W4 Reflection Post

In Ceren, the households were extremely small compared to the other cities.  The volcanic eruption of Mt. St. Helen allowed the complete preservation of the families and artifacts found in Ceren.  Archaeologists found households and complete pieces of pottery kept intact from the ash.  In addition, they were even able to find household foods stored in these pieces of pottery.  This allowed them to get details and make educated guesses about what the people ate on a daily basis in Ceren.


Copan was a little different because there was evidence of ancient households found on the surface of the Earth, rather than buried by sediment and ash.  Because the artifacts had been exposed to major erosion, archaeologists were still able to find pieces of pottery and houses.  In fact, they were even able to find out the basic layout of a typical house in Copan.  They were normally composed of 3 buildings, one for cooking, one for storing food, and one for sleeping.  The archaeologists were able to determine all this and the family relationships from the remains of kitchens, storage rooms, and a lot of help from the current day Mayans.  They assumed that the people of Copan worked with extended families and other families in order to make their daily lives and survival easier.


In Teotihuacan, the findings and artifacts were vastly different compared to Ceren and Copan.  Teotihuacan was an extremely populated city in the ancient world.  There are artifacts laying on the ground around the cactuses where the city once was.  Their households were much bigger, holding 30-100 people according to the video.  They normally contained multiple bedrooms, patios, and kitchens.  Archaeologists were able to determine all this information and more about the relationships in the population from the human remains found throughout the city.


In Rome, archaeologists were able to find out what a typical day was like simply because the city of Pompeii was completely covered in ash.  Pretty much everyone was preserved just as they were when the explosion occurred.  This type of evidence provides so much crucial information about the daily lives in Rome.  They could tell what status the people were based off the size of their houses and the decorations found inside.  Archaeologists could even tell their occupation based off the belongings found because of how preserved they still were.


I think the most important type of evidence is that of human remains and belongings in their households, such as the evidence found in Pompeii.  This way we could determine whether the people of the area relied on kinship or not, and we could be able to tell what daily life was life for them.  I think a burial analysis would be really cool because I’m interested to see what their relationships with their ancestors were like, and if they had any special ceremonies or rituals for those that passed.

2 thoughts on “W4 Reflection Post

  1. It is interesting how archaeologists observe those in society today near the area of their excavation site to learn the daily patterns, rituals, and way of thinking. This allows the archaeologists to gain an insight into how the people of the past more than likely lived based on the generations today. The archaeologists are able to make sense of what remains from the past even if it was preserved perfectly in volcanic ash or has been exposed to the elements over hundreds of years. I agree that the findings within the foundations of the households are the most important evidence.

  2. I agree that what archaeologists discovered in Pompeii are extremely important, especially when studying about households. It is interesting, as well as a little shock, to know that households in Pompeii were made up not only by kinship or partnership, but also slaves. Slavery seems to be merciless but efficient for that time period. And Pompeii and Ceren were two examples which both preserved quite well, as they were buried by volcanic ash. It might be a little cruel for people there, but it really helps archaeologists nowadays to know how people lived their lives in the past and understand their cultures and religions.

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