Archaeology & Evolution Glossary (W)

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Wahlund effect: Internally subdivided species have more homozygosity than an equivalent fused population would, creating more phenotypically expressed variation.

weight: The force that gravity exerts on a body of mass.

Wheeler box-grid: An excavation technique developed by Mortimer Wheeler from the work of Pitt-Rivers, involving the retaining of intact baulks of earth between excavation grid squares, so that different layers can be correlated across the site in the vertical profiles.

wild type: A strain, organism, or gene of the type that is designated as the standard for the organism with respect to genotype and phenotype.

wild-type allele: The allele designated as the standard (“normal”) for a strain of organism.

wobble hypothesis: A theory proposed by Francis Crick that proposes that the base at the 5′ end of the anticodon (3′ end of the codon) is not as constrained as the other two bases. This feature allows for less exact base pairing so that the 5′ end of the anticodon can potentially pair with one of three different bases at the 3′ end of the codon.

woodland: A vegetation type characterized by discontinuous stands of relatively short trees separated by grassland.

world system: A term coined by the historian Wallerstein to designate an economic unit, articulated by trade networks extending far beyond the boudaries of individual political units (nation states), and linking them together in a larger functioning unit.

Wormian bones: Small bones formed within sutures from isolated centers of ossification between major components of the skull vault. Commonly found between the occipital and parietal bones.

woven bone: Bone of a coarse, fibrous texture that results from rapid, relatively disorganized growth; normally replaced later in development by more geometrically organized bone.

Bibliography

Andrefsky, W., Jr. 1998. Lithics: Macroscopic Approaches to Analysis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Keesing, R.M. 1975. Kin Groups and Social Structure. Fort Worth: Harcourt Brace.
Renfrew, C., and P. Bahn. 1996. Archaeology: Theories, Methods, and Practice. New York: Thames and Hudson Inc.
Russell, P.J. 1998. Genetics. Menlo Park: Addison Wesley Longman, Inc.
Wolpoff, M. 1999. Paleoanthropology. second edition. Boston: McGraw-Hill.