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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taphonomy study of processes that affect organic materials after deposition

taxon (pl. taxa) unit of zoological classification, such as genus, species, family

tektite small, glassy objects that result from an ancient asteroid impact; can be dated by potassium-argon and fission-track dating methods

tell artificial mound characteristic of Southwest Asian settlement sites, created by the accumulation of centuries of disintegrated mud-brick walls and domestic debris

temper material added to clay to improve the firing qualities of pottery, preventing excessive shrinking and cracking

teosinte wild maize, from which the domesticated species evolved

tephra volcanic ash

terra firma in South America a Portuguese term referring to the Amazonian uplands, away from the rivers

terra preta in South America a Portuguese term ("black earth") referring to occupation-related (settlement) sediments; also includes ancient cultivation areas that lack artifacts

thalassocracy system of government based on sea-borne power; literally, "rule by sea"

thermoluminescence dating see luminescence dating

tholos tomb (pl. tholoi) Greek circular tomb with a domed or conical roof, also called a beehive tomb

Three Age System classification system for the sequence of technological periods (Stone, Bronze, Iron) in Old World prehistory

tibia (pl. tibiae) shin bone

tophet in ancient Carthaginian religion, a sacred enclosure in which child sacrifices took place

transhumance seasonal movement of human groups with their livestock, such as sheep, between mountain and lowland pastures

tribe group of a few hundred to a few thousand individuals, commonly settled farmers or pastoralist herders, usually descended from a common ancestor; loosely organized without central control or strongly developed hierarchy

triglyph a tripartite grooved element that alternated with the metope to form a frieze that decorated buildings of the Greek Doric order

tumulus (pl. tumuli) earthen or stone mound, usually covering a burial or burials

tuff deposit made of compacted volcanic ash

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