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Archeology term paper

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"European ethnocentrism may be inherent in the predominance of the Bering Land Bridge theory in explaining the initial colonization of the Americas. The New World has largely been interpreted as an extension or repetition of the patterns identified in Old World archeology, particularly from late Pleistocene archeological sites in central Eurasia. However, analogous environments, species, and economic pursuits may have led to the development of functionally similar tool kits requiring similar types of artifacts. Independently developed subsistence strategies based on large terrestrial mammal predation may have emphasized well-made Paleolithic projectile points and cutting implements. Similar economic systems also tend to create similarities in band size and settlement patterns. In other words, similarities between Old World Paleolithic and New World Indian-Paleolithic technology may result from convergent evolution (the process by which unrelated cultures develop similar technological adaptations in response to similar environmental conditions), rather than linear evolution that requires a historic relationship resulting from migration from Asia."
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"It must be apparent by this time that there exists little else than academic grounds for questioning the presence of the Pawnee as a firmly ensconced tribe in the Platte-Loup region since at least the coming of the whites. The data of tradition, history, ethnography, and mythology all support this inference. Moreover, the numerous archeological similarities between the historic Pawnee and the earlier Lower Loup Focus reflect essentially the same dual mode of life. Viewed in the light of history, the differences in materials from the two complexes are not so great as to strain the probability of a common authorship. They involve details rather than fundamentals. The greater richness, abundance, and variety of remains on the proto-historic sites indicate a general level of cultural achievement far above that of the historic Pawnee. If, as is very probable, this superiority extends to the nonmaterial side of life as well, then the proto-historic period may be regarded as the climax of social, ceremonial, and political development in the Pawnee area. The culmination must have been reached before 1750. Thereafter came a steady decline which left the nineteenth century peoples in possession of a much simpler and clearly decadent cultural heritage, though the recorded myths as well as many political and ceremonial survivals hark back to the older and better days. Such a regression is perfectly in keeping with the contemporary history of the area: increased pressure from hostile tribes, growing commercial intercourse and territorial quarrels with the whites, new diseases, and a generally more desperate struggle for sheer existence, all of which left scant leisure for cultural advancement."
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"A thorough reconnaissance was made of virtually the entire area included in the key map in an effort to discover burial grounds other than those at sites 3 and 4. All hilltops, knolls, and other likely spots were tested by trenching. In each case, trenches were dug in the form of a cross, the arms varying in length from 30 to 60 feet according to the size, height, and general promise of the particular location. Depth of these tests varied from 1 to 4 feet; the width averaged 3 feet. In all, 28 separate points were thus examined. At one or two, bits of burned and weathered human bone were noted on the surface, but the evidence from the trenches was uniformly negative as regards graves. This, of course, does not prove conclusively that isolated or even small groups of burials may not occasionally have been missed. Nevertheless, it is presumptive evidence that other large burying grounds which might have been utilized by the occupants of sites 1 and 2 probably do not exist in this immediate vicinity. Such remains as were brought to light by the tests included occasional charcoal deposits, bitumen, flint scrapers, broken projectile points, and scraps of steatite. These prove nothing except that, as would be expected, the refuse from the communities along the lake shore is not entirely limited to the immediate areas of occupation as we define them."
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