W3 Reflection Post

1.      When analyzing stratigraphy, it is important to understand both principles of stratigraphy.  The superposition principle states that layers lying beneath others are older than the ones above them.  The second principle states that the depositional units at a specific site must be distinguished from each other by the differences in artifacts and contents of them.  With these principles in mind along with a natural flow of stylistic change, the most detailed sequence of strata is U-R.  Stratum U is the lowest layer and thus the oldest according to the first principle, which means it is most likely the least disturbed by mixing, or perturbation.  The sequence of strata here also shows a steady gradual change between the strata.  Each stratum in this sequence contains many of the same artifacts as the previous and the next strata with small modifications, allowing us to distinguish the separate strata but also understand the slow cultural change of the society who lived there.

2.      There are obvious signs of mixing near the bottom of the left side of the wall.  Stratum N is near the bottom of the wall on the left side and contains red-painted pottery and concave-curved bottle spouts with beveled rims.  The strata above this includes a mixture of other types of pottery including red, blue and green painted pottery with different styles.  Once above the wall, the strata resume with red-painted pottery and eventually at strata G and H, there is again beveled rims.  This shows that there was some mixing and filling going on because we see evidence of red-painted pottery in two different strata with different colored pottery in between.

3.      The evidence is the fact that we see red-painted pottery with beveled rims in strata N and H but green, blue and red painted pottery in the strata between them.  This shows that there was possibly some mixing of strata going on and possibly some filling which involved filling different types of pottery on the left side of this wall.  This occurs between strata N and G.

4.      It seems as though the wall was built at ground level which would be near stratum O at this point because this is the first sign of a cement floor.  But over time, dirt and other remains accumulated over time and new cement floors were laid down over the course of a long period of time until the wall was too short to be useful.  It may be that the left side of the wall was used for a house or some other structure while the right side was open to the environment.  We see this through the constant application of cement floors on the left side but only one single stratum on the right side.

5.      It seems as though the strata on the right side is older than the strata on the left because the strata on the right shares more similarities with stratum P (which is the stratum below the wall) than the strata on the left side.

6.      The strata that brackets the construction of the wall on the left is O-G.  The strata that brackets construction on the right is K-G.

7.      The oldest burial in stratum P is shown as a flexed burial where the body is not laying down but almost sitting while the most recent burial in stratum B shows the body laying down with many types of colored pottery and artifacts decorating the burial.  So we go from a simple flexed burial to a more decorative, meaningful flat burial.

One thought on “W3 Reflection Post

  1. I agree with you that the stratum that are the most detailed are U through R. My reasoning was very similar to what you said about the steady gradual change, containing artifacts from both previous strata and modifications. I also felt it was good that you prefaced the question by explaining the two principles of stratigraphy. As you stated, I also believed that the strata on the right was older, it is interesting to me that we came to similar conclusions on many of the questions but in different ways of thinking. The way you differentiate the burials was in a way I had not considered previously, it didn’t occur to me that the position of the bodies in the graves were meaningful.

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