Looking at Prehistory:
Indiana's Hoosier National Forest Region, 12,000 B.C. to 1650


Archaeology— the scientific study of material remains of past human life and activities.

Atlatl— spear thrower

Artifact type— defined by what they look like and how they were made.

Awl— needle or punch used in leather or wood working

Biface— a tool with at least one edge sharpened on both sides, as opposed to a uniface whose edge is only sharpened (flaked) on one side.

Cache— a group of high quality/finely crafted artifacts.

Celt— ungrooved axe used for cutting and hewing wood.

Chert— a variety of silica containing microcrystalline quartz used to make stone tools.

Cluster— groups of projectile points or pottery with similar age and distribution.

Culture— socially transmitted behavior patterns, arts, beliefs, institutions and all other products of human work and thought.

Geophysics— see remote sensing.

Gorget— pendant or throat armor/ornament. Drilled decorative item often shaped like a reel.

Midden— deposit of refuse, or garbage.

Phase— a smaller unit of people within a particular named tradition.

Post mold— a black circular soil stain that is the decomposed remains of a wooden post used in building or other constructions.

Prehistory— period of time before the written record, A.D. 1650 in Indiana.

Remote sensing— the use of geophysical instruments such as magnetometer and ground penetrating radar to detect subsurface changes which often signal site features or artifacts.

Sinew— dried tendons used for sewing and cord making.

Stratigraphy— the strata of soil. when undisturbed, the older deposits are found below more recent ones.

Tradition— particular way people lived over a period of time.

Wattle and daub— a building construction technique using a framework of woven rods and twigs covered and plastered with clay.

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Last Updated: 21-Nov-2008