Archaeology and Heritage of the Human Movement into Space (Space and Society)

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This book presents the research of the foremost scholars in the field of space archaeology and heritage, a recent discipline of the field of Space Archaeology and Heritage. It provides the emerging archaeological perspective on the history of the human exploration of space. Since humans have been creating a vast archaeological preserve in space and on other celestial bodies.

This assemblage of heritage objects and sites attest to the human presence off the Earth and the study of these material remains are best investigated by archaeologists and historic preservationists. As space exploration has reached the half century mark, it is the appropriate time to reflect on the major events and technological development of this particular unique 20th century arena of human history. The authors encapsulate various ways of looking at the archaeology of both fixed and mobile human artifacts in the solar system.

As missions continue into space, and as private ventures gear up for public and tourist visits to space and to the Moon and even Mars, it is the appropriate time to address questions about the meaning and significance of this material culture. From — she has served as the Governor appointed vice chair of the Cultural Properties Review Committee. For the last 12 years she has been involved with the cultural heritage of outer space and the preservation of sites related to space exploration.

Author of more than a dozen books, his archaeological research has taken him several times to Svalbard and Franz Josef Land and twice to the North Pole. The U. JavaScript is currently disabled, this site works much better if you enable JavaScript in your browser. Cultural and Media Studies. Space and Society Free Preview.


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Perhaps the USA's 21, p57 greatest contribution to archaeological theory, this is one of two major models still applied today. Its proponents often enjoy a great and sometimes furious academic rivalry with the model that followed Post Processualism. That is, the ultimate goals of both archaeology and anthropology are the same - to discover and explain the human past and human society through the examination of different aspects of the human past.

It applied far greater scientific rigor than any previous theoretical model attempted.

The Wake of the Anthropocene

The main argument of the New Archaeology proponents was that, with the application of a solid scientific method, we may break free from the limitations of the physical remains of the study of the archaeological record and come to understand the lives of the people who interacted with them every day. It was as much about the study of the past of humanity as it was about the material remains that our ancestors left behind.

It promotes cultural evolutionism, the idea that we can understand the people of the past through their relics. Most interestingly for academics in other disciplines, this was the first time archaeology began to examine environmental adaptation as an agent for societal change. The old linear model of natural progression from barbarism and chaos to civilization and order was abandoned.

In its place came ideas of functionalism, utility and agency. Early pioneers such as Colin Renfrew, Paul Bahn and Lewis Binford called for better quality of data in archaeology 21, p But it would prove to have limitations of its own, some of which would be challenged in the emerging theoretical model of the late 20 th century.

Post-modernism grew out of the limitations and not always unjustified criticisms of processual archaeology being too positivist 21, p Positivism is the demand for quantifiable data and evidence for everything, even that which is not quantifiable or from which it will be difficult to extract evidence. It was largely influenced by post-modernism of the s and its major proponents were the British archaeologists Ian Hodder, Michael Shanks, Christopher Tilley and Daniel Miller. It would give rise to many other movements including experimental archaeology, ethnoarchaeology, and feminist archaeology, all of which are explained in a later section.

Post-Processualism sought to revolutionize and critique the New Archaeology while complementing it 20, p It aimed to put humanity back at the experience of archaeology and anthropology through understanding thoughts, actions and feelings, including spirituality, cultural behavior, ethics and morals, and superstition, irrational behavior, group and individual psychology at the heart of research.

After all, humans are not mindless drones who always act rationally and have no thoughts beyond merely the pragmatic; empiricism does not always apply 22, p We know that superstition, imagination and art are core to human intellectual development too. The argument from processualism is that we cannot ever fully understand thoughts and feelings without physical evidence and that we can only theorize.

Further, it challenged the notion that archaeology could come to rational and objective conclusions, untainted by the bias of the individual's culture. In Europe, post-processualism is viewed as in opposition to processualism, while in North America, the perception is that the two movements are complementary or even non-overlapping. Key to post-processualism is the notion of inherent bias on the part of the archaeologist when he or she is examining an artefact, monument or cultural landscape - one's country of birth, region of birth, religious belief, political affiliation, ethnic identity, sexuality and even age will color one's perception.

While post-processualism accuses processualism of being too positivist, processualism equally complains of post-processualism's attempts to quantify the unquantifiable, leaping to conclusions, navel-gazing, and in some cases, abject refusal to draw any sort of conclusions. Archaeology is now in a state where it is converging the two models of processualism and post-processualism.

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The largely science-based empiricism is limiting; the largely experiential archaeology focus of post-processualism has its flaws too - largely focusing on the unprovable and sometimes, wishful thinking. That is why in the 21 st century, there is a movement to converge the two interpretation models to create one that looks for empirical evidence while considering aspects of human psychology, group identity, gender and beliefs, cultural transmission, trade and technological adoption.

Processual Plus allows for subjective interpretation of scientific data 29 accounting for hard data and applying a perception-based interpretation.

Through the two archaeological theoretical platforms of processualism and post-processualism, many subdisciplines have arisen. Some examine one aspect of the archaeological record while some are based on methodology. A relatively recent application is the use of digital technology in the application of data analyses. As with any other scientific discipline, computers are used to perform complex or large calculations that humans could not possibly hope to achieve individually. It includes technology such as GIS Geographic Information Systems 23 , surveying and satellite data for spatial analysis.

It also involves the study, use and application of statistical models for big data analytics in human behavior, probability models, intrasite analysis digitized data of stratigraphic relationships 3D modelling, artefact concentration and distribution , predictive modeling and heritage conservation. There is also profound use for information sharing within academia and with the public. This is a broad subdiscipline that examines human interaction with the natural world It's divided into three broad areas:. This data allows archaeologists to examine data in large and broad areas, or as a global phenomenon, examining changing technology, and natural and anthropomorphic environmental change 20, p With strong links to ethnography, this is the examination of technologically primitive people - their beliefs, practices, hierarchies, technology, methods and social values 20, p This human-based qualitative data is then used to theorize and come up with potential explanations for past human records.

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Archaeology: Examining Its Past and the Future

It has its limits. Caution is urged as it does not necessarily follow that the reasons a modern technologically primitive people in the East Indies do things a certain way that ancient Native Americans did the same thing s for the same reason s. However, it has helped examine some long-standing mysteries in archaeology. Seminal work in Alaska by Lewis Binford helped archaeologists understand practices of paleolithic peoples of the Mousterian Culture in France and Germany 20, Learn more about becoming an ethnoarchaeologist.

Dr Space Junk vs The Universe: Archaeology and the Future.

This is an area of applied science and one of the most fascinating for the student. Experimental archaeology may seem a fun practice from the outside, but it's just as relevant and just as useful as any of the other subdisciplines. Simply, it is about reconstructing the past through creating replicas of materials through methods available only to those peoples. Experimental Archaeology examines stone tool working methods, how to create certain edges and flakes, the development of early bronze and iron smelting and mining, how to construct a building and making clothing.

This has made for good television too with several successful TV shows across the world introducing the public to archaeology. A subdiscipline of post-processual archaeology, it largely studies the role of women in each society - their working roles, attitudes towards them, and perception of gender differences But it also looks at social attitudes towards class, race and sexuality. It is at the forefront of critiquing older models of looking at ancient cultures through a modern lens as a comparison to current models.

This is the kind of bias against which post-processual archaeology stands. Specializing in the discovery and recording of human remains, many forensic archaeologists work in criminology examining recently deceased for signs of a crime. They are present at signs of mass shootings and terrorist attacks as well as murder sites.

Table of contents

The reason they are considered archaeologists is that they use the same methods and tools that would be used on a historic site Nor do they just look at bodies. They will examine environmental remains, soil samples, botanical data and the stratigraphy for evidence. However, they will also work with historic remains to examine whether a body discovered is recently deposited or has been there for hundreds of years.

There are laws on the treatment of historic human remains.

Despite being a relatively new discipline, archaeology always had a sense of historic landscapes and places. William Camden wrote about the English countryside and its characteristics. But these individuals were looking at isolated elements in the landscape as separate, not as a topographic or geographic network.

What is archaeology: understanding the archaeological record

They were not considering its natural or anthropomorphic evolution and certainly not as the environmental science. Archaeology largely concerns monuments and relics but there is a gap - how humans viewed and used landscapes in the past. There is rarely a model for examining landscape as a relic. This is where landscape archaeology comes in - the treatment of landscape as a historical record in its own right Many consider it both a technique and a theory. It relies on the new technologies some of which are mentioned above in computational archaeology but also historic maps, land deeds, and accumulated survey and excavation data from past investigations.

How do we study humanity's use of the sea - an area of land largely off-limits to humanity despite being vital for human life and possessing historic importance? This is just one of the questions that Maritime Archaeology tries to answer. Humans have always needed waterways such as lakes, rivers and oceans. We mine its resources, we travel on it to reach new destinations and we build technology to allow us to do that. This area of study concerns human relationships with the sea That means the evolution of rafts and boats, examining seafaring cultures such as the Vikings and the spread through the islands of Micronesia.

It also means the archaeology of fishing. There is some overlap in climate change. Some impressive prehistoric sites exist beneath the seabeds of the world, land that would once have been dry land. These records are an untapped resource. A form of landscape archaeology see above , this is the examination and study of urban centers as a historical record It focuses on such aspects as for why a site was chosen, its evolutionary development expansion and contraction , the people who lived there, industry, its form and function and its wider importance to the landscape - for example, its strategic placement and importance to the culture.

Humans produce a lot of waste and urban archaeologists examine trash, human waste, discarded pottery and food in examining an urban center's history. Towns and cities often produce a large stratigraphic record; historic remains are preserved beneath layers of much later buildings and structures. It's also concerned with such aspects as regionality in an urban center. In any age, there are unique threats and challenges facing academic archaeology, the industry and conservation of archaeological heritage.

The 21 st century is no different. The future holds for archaeology precisely what the past held - conservation, but there are now new threats. The end of the 20 th century and the start of this one presented some new challenges to our study of people in the past.

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