Economic case studies

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  • Created on: 08-04-14 14:09
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Agricultural Case Study: Mashkan Shapir
140km downriver from Baghdad
Site discovered through satellite technology
Irrigation systems and canals used to inundate the fields
Texts named the city and date it to 2000BC under King Larsa
State society
Traded wood, fish and crops with Euphrates and Tigris rivers
Population roughly 15,000 ­second largest
Abandoned in 1720 and not built on again
Multiple entrances and exits to the city
The flooded fields became toxic by high salt content
None of the crops could grow, people had to leave
Storage in warehouses
Large cemetery allows for scientific analysis of their bones for clues as to diet
Agricultural Case Study: Danebury
Animal husbandry ­capids, cattle and pigs
Hand sewn seeds
Surplus pits and granaries
Field systems
Sickles pulled by ox
Fields also evidence of animal domestication, not just horticultural practises.
Grain and quern stones ­barley and wheat staple crops
Iron knives and sickles
Bone weaving combs
Drainage ditches
Most agricultural tools made from iron, they survive clearly in the archaeological record but rust
Charred grain remains from cleared out pits
Higher percentage of domesticated animals suggests pastoral farming whereas the smaller
quantities of feer, cat, badger, fox, horse and fish suggests they were either for ritual feasting or
Indicates fairly stable agricultural practises despite the burning down between middle and late
period and change in pottery styles.
Milk, cheese, pork, beef, horse and mutton, eggs and honey also found on site (residue analysis
and lipid analysis)
Many of the capids found died young (animal husbandry) suggesting this was intentional for
selective breeding

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Conclusions about Agriculture
Agriculture can be seen in fields and irrigation systems
Technologies vary due to regional and climatic differences
The Nile's annual inundation washed out the salt from the fields preventing the increase in
salinity but the artificial canals in Mashkan Shapir failed to cope with this
Tell Abu Hureyra
Evidence of nonsettled to settled
2 phases
1st phase predominantly seasonal settlement
Came to hunt the migrating gazelle during April and May
Whole groups killed enmass: unselective hunting
Only 10% (wild) capids in bone…read more

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Animal bone analysed showed that most animals killed were around 1 year of age
Suggest they were killed in the summer months and fit with additional bone profile
Head Smashed In
Northern America
Native Americans used the topography and knowledge of bison behaviour
Chased bison between natural drivelanes over a precipice
Bison carcasses then carved up in the camp below
Suggests a well organised concerned group effort
May have used firebrands to drive them off the cliff
Deep stratified deposits containing evidence of 5,700 years…read more

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The statues were carved on their backs
Toki were seed to chisel into the rock
Outlines of the moai would be established
Sides would be carved out
Next carved the space underneath allowing work on the back to begin
One person would have been able to work in the space between the statue and cliff
A keel of rock was left in place to hold the statue up
Extraction and production occurred at the same time on the same site
Basic details of the head,…read more

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Continued for at least 1000 years
Half a million tonnes of ore on 140ha mined
Xia Dynasty first large bronze vessels were cast at Erlitou
Mine shafts were 60m deep
Passed through the water table, wood troughs channelled water to special pumps
Before iron was available, the ore was secured with bronze pickaxes and mattocks
Iron hammers and spades made more efficient extraction
Narrow mineshafts opened into wider wood lined galleries
Enclosed furnaces for the smelting were located on site
Copper from Tonglushan was cast…read more

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Season first phase, permanent second phase
Grain: barley, wheat, corn
Easter Island:
Volcanic tuff
Lobster, tuna and eel
Basalt toki
Remote island
All sites exploit recourses in some way
Technology improvements allow expansion of exploitation and trade
Hard to define where the boundary lies for anything except Easter Island
Where are the boundaries for individual tribes on the island?
Function is often the same
Market Exchange at Hengistbury Head…read more

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All local pottery styles in early phase (700 to 400BC)
100BC to 50AD pottery more varied than any other UK Iron age site
Beyond the scale of anything else ever seen
Luxury objects suggest wealth amongst inhabitants ­gold, copper broaches, pottery, coins
bronze bits)
Daub and clay floors and hearths
Amphorae not found on other iron age sites
May have smelted gold for exchange
Trade with local area and market exchange with Rome
Pottery, coins and metal work all found locally suggests an important and…read more

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Transport from Shipwrecks: Kyrenia
Cyprus 300BC
9000 almonds
400 amphorae
Sunk by pirates
Trade porttoport to collect and deliver
90 year old pine
Hull first technology
Unknown destination
Transport from Shipwrecks: Yassi Ada
Turkey 625AD
Dated by coins from the Byzantine emperor Heraculius
Steelyard head of boar with a sliding bust of Athena
George Senior, sea captain
Historical documents suggest he was part of a growing class of merchants who financed their
own ventures
Hull first and frame first technology
Change in social conditions
Possible…read more

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