Ancient buildings in Ceren, El Salvador were made of mud, yet they were preserved for so long. This was due to the ash from the eruption of Mt. Helens. There was evidence of at least 7 buried structures, so archaeologists decided to start a full excavation. The archaeologists discovered that the inhabitants of that area did their cooking on round bottom pots on three points of contact. The pots were huge vessels that were still intact and protected for centuries. These pots still had some food in them, so we could see that the inhabitants grew their own food. The pots had foods such as carbonized cacao seed, squash, chilies, and beans. Also there was a basket that once held corn. They were living quite well due to the variety of foods and richness of materials.
In Copan, Honduras, archaeologists found ancient Mayan Dwellings. Very few artifacts were found to be in tact due to erosion. From what they had discovered in Copan, they found sleeping beds and sleeping remains. The archaeologists concluded that the Maya constructed separate buildings for sleeping, cooking, and storing food. In order to learn more about the family relations of the Mayans, archaeologists asked the Mayans of today. They discovered that daily life revolved around the household. Extended families lived together so they could divide the labor needed to survive and live a comfortable life. Also, they found clusters of houses surrounded by agricultural foods which suggests that they relied on the agriculture as their food source.
Teotihuacan, Mexico is now covered by cacti and cornfields. Farming was pushed to the side of the urban center. The surface of the ground is littered with artifacts that can help archaeologists learn more about the daily lives of the individuals who used to live there. Teotihuacan has residential compounds with sleeping rooms and kitchens that can fit about 130 people. It seems that the compound ds were the homes of an extended family, so the people living in the compounds were all related to each other.
Rome was the wealthiest and most powerful society of the ancient world. It had the extremes of society: either you were rich or you were poor. Rome was very well preserved. Pompeii showed the full social spectrum from rich to poor. Archaeologists found pots of wine, water, olive oil, etc. To get rid of the pots, the individuals would crunch up the pots and make floors out of them. In the house of the wealthy, there were slaves. These slaves were considered part of the family. Slaves could be beaten, whipped, killed, or even freed. Family to the Romans included the slaves, ex slaves, dependents, and people related by blood.
Overall, archaeologist are basing their interpretations on the artifacts they find, and the clues of the land and even the people. The evidence that I think is most important is how they find their food, because then that leads to figuring out family relations. Since the 1990s, I think that technology has improved, so archaeologists may be able to interpret artifacts quicker and more accurately. Also, since we have more information now, it is probably easier to learn from previous excavations and techniques. I personally really liked Rome because I thought it was interesting how they could free the slaves and the slaves would be included as part of their family.