Glossary of Archaeological/Anthropological Terms


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QANAT __ An irrigation system formed by tunneling into a hillside to find a water-bearing formation, and then channeling the water out of the hill to the surface for use in irrigation. Much of the water used in the plateau regions of Iran, for example, is brought into use in this way.

QUADRANT __ generally refers to one-quarter of an excavation unit or level, e.g. "the northwest quadrant of excavation unit N. 2-4, E. 4-6".

QUADRAT __ A rectangular sampling unit. 

QUADRUPEDALISM __ Locomotion on four limbs. 
QUARRY SITE __ A site where lithic raw materials have been mined.

QUARTER RUDDER __ A.k.a. side rudder. Ships of antiquity had two side rudders. Nordic ships had one, placed on the starboard (right) side. During the middle ages all European ships slowly changed to using one stern rudder.

QUARTZITE __ A stone which was formed in water deposited sediments and consists of sand grains which have been cemented together. It can be chipped, but is difficult to work.
QUATERNARY __ The most recent of the geological eras or periods which incorporates both the Pleistocene and Holocene (Recent) Epochs.

QUERN __ A stone used for grinding corn or grain.

QUETZAL __ A plumed jungle bird, highly prized for its tail feathers in Maya costumes.

QUIVER __ A container for arrows or darts.

QURAN __ The collection of Islamic scriptures. It is made up of 114 sections that are believed to have been revealed verbatim to Muhammad over a period of time through the angel Gabriel.


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