Archaeology Assignment 22 Essay

Submitted By devlu
Words: 851
Pages: 4

Assignment 2: Formation Processes of the Archaeological Record

I noticed a few differences between the artifacts used in the activity area and those deposited as primary refuse, one difference I noticed was some items deposited as primary refuse were packaging for another item like a gum wrapper. Other items were either accidentally left behind or no longer functional, such an ink pen. An old water bottled which was left behind on the table where it was also consumed, had clearly served its purpose and was no longer needed. The male front desk attendant of the commuter lounge did eventually go grab the water bottle that was left on the table and tossed it into the plastics bin once it was clear that the woman would not be returning. A man enters and sits down at the table next to me and he pulls out Tupperware with pasta in it, he proceeded to heat it up in the microwave then returned to his seat to eat it. This man reaches into his book bag and pulls out a metal fork from home to eat his lunch with. The differences between the artifacts being used and those destined for secondary refuse appears to depend on quality of the materials the objects are made out of. The water bottles that were disposed of were a much thinner cheaper plastic than the refillable bottles several students had. I found it interesting to see the students take their empty refillable water bottles out to the refill station and were able to refill their bottles for free, as well as reduce the amount of refuse accumulated. It made me wonder why the thinner plastic bottles are not also saved and refilled. Was it because the refillable bottles cost more money? Possibly the refillable plastic bottles are more durable than the thin plastic bottles. I also noticed that plastic forks were thrown away after use, but then a young man brought in a Tupperware container filled with pasta and went and heated it up in the microwave. He returned to his table and proceeded to eat his homemade lunch with a metal fork, which I am assuming he brought from home. This young man did not dispose of the metal utensil once he had finished eating and instead wiped it off with his napkin and then returned it to his lunch bag. After witnessing this I concluded that metal is clearly more valuable than plastic. Obviously the material that an artifact is made out of plays a role in deciding whether it is to be disposed of, or retained. Another observation was that electronic devices are protected and are obviously highly valuable artifacts. These artifacts rarely leave these students’ hands or sight, I never saw any of them left behind or disposed of. They rarely even shared these devices with each other. I can conclude form my observations that electronic devices play some type of large role in their society, and the way they are treated and valued causes me to speculate that they may even possibly be sacred objects of great importance. Primary refuse in this activity area seems to be due to an object no longer being needed, functional or accidentally left behind. The items that were secondary refuse