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Mexican Heritage Summary

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This chapter discusses artifacts, ecofacts, features of the landscape and sites. The authors define artifacts as portable, human produced, or modified objects. Ecofacts are important clues in the archeological record, in this chapter our authors inform us that ecofacts are environmental and organic remains not manufactured by humans. Non-portable artifacts are termed features in this chapter, and sites are locations of artifacts, ecofacts and features. In addition, the authors describe the vital importance of context of artifacts, ecofacts, features and sites. Without context, archeologists cannot know the who, what, where and when of an artifact or ecofacts. Looted treasure is worth far less to humanity if not retained in its original context. The authors continue, defining more …show more content…
Caves, for instance, are seldom disturbed and can protect fragile remains like footprints. Tropical climates preserve virtually no organic materials because they have heavy rains, acidic soils, erosion and a wealth of insect and plant life. Temperate climates also work against the preservation of organic materials by increasing the rate of decay. Temperate climates have preserved artifacts before with oxygen free enclosures. Natural disasters protect organic remains as well. Dry environments and cold environments both protect organic material extremely well. Natural mummies occur, and in some cold environment cases dogs will try to eat a defrosted mummy. Organic material is known to survive well in waterlogged environments, such as wetlands and peat bogs. Various wetlands differ in their preservation abilities, for example acidic peat bogs will preserve wood and plants, but destroy pottery, iron and bones. Occasionally a waterlogged effect will take place inside of a burial. For example, some Viking bodies have been preserved in a layer of peat, because their burials involve sending a body out on the

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