The Human Past The Human Past The Human Past The Human Past
The Human Past The Human Past The Human Past The Human Past
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pa Maori earthwork enclosures on New Zealand

paleoanthropology study of earliest humans from fossil remains

paleobotany study of fossil plants

paleomagnetic dating method of dating baked clay structures (ovens, kilns, hearths) based on correlating the magnetic direction of the enclosed iron particles to known variations in the earth's magnetic direction; also known as archaeomagnetic dating

paleontology study of fossils

palynology the study of pollen and spores

pan ritual bronze serving vessel

papyrus an aquatic plant native to Egypt, from whose stems a type of paper was made

páramo high-altitude grasslands of the northern Andes

passage grave a type of chamber tomb in which the burial chamber is reached via a long passage from the edge of the covering mound

pediment the triangular area below the roof pitch at either end of a building

peer-polity interaction the full range of interchanges - diffusion, emulation, warfare, interaction, material exchange - that take place between different societies, generally within the same geographical area; sometimes responsible for secondary state formation

peripteral temple one in which the central chamber is surrounded on all four sides by a colonnade

phalange finger or toe bone

phenotype a set of genes possessed by a particular group

phylogeny an evolutionary pedigree, or family tree

phytoliths minute particles of silica derived from the cells of plants, able to survive after the organism has decomposed or been burned; common in ash layers, pottery, and even on stone tools

piece-mold technique bronze-casting method in which the vessel was cast in sections, which were then joined with mortises and tenons

pithos (pl. pithoi) large Greek storage jar

postcranium the skeleton below the head

postprocessual archaeology an approach which questions the rigidly scientific methods of archaeology in favor of a variety of "individualist" approaches and multiple interpretations

potlatch a competitive and feasting ceremony common among Northwest Coast peoples of North America

prehistory the period of human history before the invention of writing

processual archaeology see New Archaeology

prognathic having a projecting jaw

pseudomorphs the space left by decayed organic objects within brecciated sediments

puna high-altitude grasslands in the Andes; in the central Andes they are referred to as wet puna, whereas in the southern Andes they are called the dry or salt puna

punctuated equilibrium model of human evolution in which periods of rapid, dramatic change occur over short periods of time, separated by longer periods of little change

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