Hunting activity is one of the observable activities since it leaves iron tools, as material remains deposits. One would study of the remains through describing them and taking photos and drawings of the same. The important aspect in this kind of study is to identify the kind of weapons used by a specific community under study. The other aspect is also to infer from the artifacts and deposits the type of animals that the community is targeting as their food. This takes place by analyzing the weapons used and therefore be able to identify whether they are big or small animals, whether the animals are fast runners or slow depending on the range of attack by a specific tool (Abu Zahra, 2002, p. 18).
The above aspects cannot be inferred from the material remain alone. It requires the archeologist to have other knowledge concerning the deposits. For instance in case of a bow and arrows found as deposit there is a need to know the distance that the arrow could be shot. It is also very important to have specific knowledge of the community. This is because the various artifacts found could have different purposes, knowledge of the culture of a community is therefore important in identifying the probable use of the material remains. A case study in this case is a machete used by farming communities as a farming tool and used by hunting communities as a hunting tool or weapon (Ackerman, 1999, p. 21).
One would find material remains deposited at the activity areas and the dumpsites. These are the areas where people have done things in the past and left some of the residues of having undertaken an activity at that particular site. This would include things such as a construction or a minor thing like a flint exe or even eating a shellfish. Therefore, it is of no doubt that one would only find the material remains deposited at the activity sites since they might have changed over time. They have changed during the life of an activity area, they might have also changed if redundant or following the abandonment of a specific archeological site. Therefore, it is not all remains deposited together and again some of this material may be lost over time. The deposits analyzed herein are mainly primary artifacts since they are mainly the physical artifacts that are visible. However, one would analyze secondary artifacts to determine how one handled the artifacts and the reason why they used them (Ackerman, 1999, p. 27).
Over time new deposits of material remains deposit on top of the initial material remains and therefore the innermost stratum is the old piece of material remain. It is also possible that over time some of the material remains are decomposed or undergo weathering process leaving them more disfigured compared to when used in the first time or when identified in the first time excavated. The process of decomposition and weathering is depended mainly on environmental conditions such as temperature and humidity. Therefore, either deposits change with time new materials depositing on top of it or the material disintegrates (Drewett, 1999, p. 33).
Ethno-archaeology is a kind of ethnographic approach that seeks to study contemporary living societies to identify behavioral realities that make up a potential archeological record. It is the study of the present to answer question s about the past. However, this kind of archaeology have been shown to have some limitations one being that it has to have scientific control in data collection and analysis. It also takes an assumption that human behavior does not change over time as known to change (McPherron, 2010, p. 32).
Abu Zahra, N., 2002. links to Ancient Egypt. In Moving matters. ethnoarchaeology in the Near East , pp. 215-224.
Ackerman, K. D. K. E. H. C. K., 1999. A study of iron smelting at Lopanzo, Equateur province.. Journal of Archaeological Science , Volume 26, pp. 1135-43.
Drewett, P. L., 1999. Field Archeology; An Introduction. 1st ed. London: s.n.
McPherron, S. P. Z. A. C. W. M. J. G. W. D. R. D. G. R. B., 2010. Evidence for stone-tool-assisted consumption of animal tissues before 3.39 million years ago at Dikika. Nature, pp. 857- 860.