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What is Anthropology?

What is Anthropology?


School: Clemson University
Department: Evolutionary Anthropology
Course: Intro to Physical Anthropology
Term: Fall 2015
Tags: Anthropology
Cost: 50
Name: Anthro 2010 Exam 1 Materials
Description: These notes cover all the information that will be on exam 1 of anthropology.
Uploaded: 02/07/2016
48 Pages 6 Views 5 Unlocks


What is Anthropology?

A. What is Anthropology?

a. The study of human beings in all times and places i. All human beings in all times and places

b. Interested in the essence of humanity and what makes us  human

c. What does it mean to be human?

d. Branch of social sciences

B. Special Features of Anthropology:

a. Distinct through the way we study human beings b. Applied to almost any career

c. Biological anthropologists

i. The way we study human beings: field work

1. Some anthropologists use field work to study  

closest relative (monkeys and apes) in their  

natural habitat to understand normal primate  If you want to learn more check out When Americans started buying bottled water in a serious way?
If you want to learn more check out Looking at human behavior, based on choices is what?


d. Archeologists

i. Interested in evidence of change over time

ii. Excavate evidence of human behavior through time e. Cultural anthropologists (linguists)

i. Use field work – participant observation

How can Archeologists study culture?

ii. Listen to the words people say, watch facial  expressions

f. Understand other perspectives We also discuss several other topics like What is a rational basis test?

g. Anthropological toolkit

i. Contrast the develops from participant observation 1. Want to gain others’ perspectives on life

ii. Subjective perspective “emic approach” must be  balanced with an outsiders perspective “etic  


iii. Contrast between seeing human beings as biological  organisms and seeing human being as social  


1. Examine the origins of social behavior

a. How did we come to have societies?  

Where is the evidence of this?

iv. Anthropology is comparative

1. Most humans have not lived in large scale  We also discuss several other topics like what is Iconoclasm

western societies which many people focus on

2. “Take the blinders off” and look at the entire  range of human societies  all times, all  

societies of all sizes

What does culture mean?

a. Broad range of societies

v. Universality – easy to dismiss societies different as  ours (some societies may not be as complex and  intelligent as ours)

1. No matter how different societies are, all of us  are equally human

2. Share essence of humanity as a whole

vi. Cultural relativity

1. Not unique to anthropology

2. Idea that when we study behaviors of humans  in societies, we do not pass value judgments  on behaviors not like our own We also discuss several other topics like The total enthalpy change of a reaction is the sum of all of the steps/changes of the reaction.

3. Morally neutral  recognize difference but try to understand them  

4. Cannot discount traditions that do not agree  with our ones today

5. Not the same as moral relativity

a. There are certain kinds of moral  

behaviors that are morally reprehensible  

6. Counter point  ethnocentrism

a. Idea that your way of life is superior to  

others’ way of life

b. Not used by good anthropologists

c. Very common idea but also very  

dangerous b/c then the next logical step  

is then that group needs to conform to  

your way of life

d. If a resistance to change, that group is  

labeled as bad (terrorists) which causes  


e. Example: Ancient Hawaiians, Egyptians  

could not marry commoners so brother

sister marriage would occur to not  

contaminate bloodline

vii. Conflicts & Dilemmas

1. What behaviors should be changed and who  makes that decision?

a. Label between morally right/ wrong  

b. Where are the moral lines drawn?

c. What cultural practices are so  

reprehensible and how can you stop  


viii. Holistic approach

1. Put practice back into cultural where it took  place and try to understand it as part of a  

larger cultural complex

a. See how it fits in in that time and society 2. Example: nuclear family is ideal  creates  extreme social pressure

a. Can relate to other parts of American  


ix. Culture If you want to learn more check out How can you lead political stability?

1. Set of rules that we carry in our heads that tell  us how to think and act in the world around us a. Both mental and behavioral  

2. “Rules to the game of life”

3. Shared by members of society, not  

individualistic  most people follow most rules  most of the time

4. A learned behavior

5. How do anthropologists study culture?

a. Sit down and talk to people

b. Watch human behavior as a reflection of  the rules people carry in their heads 

i. Observe patterns of behavior 

c. Archeologists study culture by analyzing  the outcomes of human behavior

i. Changes to the physical  


ii. Evidence of past human behavior

d. Study evolution of culture?

i. Evidence of origins of human  


ii. Looking at our closest human  

relatives (apes and chimps) can  

give us clues to the origins of  

human behavior

6. What does culture mean?

a. Fundamental way of thinking about and  acting in the world

b. Natural human behavior  commonality  of social inequality (leaders and  


i. Human beings are fatally flawed so we need leaders and laws to  

prevent chaos

ii. Other cultures do not have that  

same basic assumption  don’t  

have leaders and laws

1. Example of the range of  

human possibilities

2. Challenges us to look at  

other cultural norms

iii. Value of competition differs  

between societies (some follow a  

cooperative approach vs. a  

competitive one)

iv. Supreme being (what gender?)

1. Male  

2. Varies between cultures

C. Subfields/Specializations of Anthropology a. Most anthropologists specialize in more than one subfield  of the field

b. Biological/Physical Anthropology

i. Studies humans as biological organisms

ii. Major questions

1. How similar are we to our closest living  


2. What can ape behavior tell us about human  


3. What can ape behavior tell us about the origin  

of human behavior

4. How did we become to be human

a. Look for scientific evidence

iii. Human variation  how can it be explained? 1. Example: blood types

iv. How does certain physical variations influence  human health and disease

v. Sometimes rely on geneticists

1. Provide evidence for evolution

vi. Sometimes rely on zoologists  

1. Study animals in their natural habitat

vii. Sometimes rely on psychology  

1. Evolution of human brain

viii. Sometimes rely on medical specialists

1. Help to better understand human health and  disease resistance

ix. Sometimes work close with law enforcement 1. Forensic anthropology  help in solving crimes c. Archeology- study human cultures of the past i. Look at evidence people leave behind and try to  reconstruct the events that put that stuff there ii. Evidence based field

iii. Interested in human cultures

iv. Don’t have luxuries of talking to people

v. Questions of interest

1. How did human beings come to live in large scale societies?

2. Why did people give up individual freedom to  be controlled by extremely powerful leaders?

3. Why did some societies fail in the past?

4. Why did people develop domestication?

a. Plants and animals

b. Compare societies before and after  


5. How do we document the lives of people who  lived beyond history?

a. Example: life of president vs. life of  


vi. Need historians, geologists, botany, zoology, experts  in human anatomy, architects,  

d. Cultural anthropology- interested in essence of what it  means to be human

i. Look at modern day human societies

ii. Interested in questions like

1. How do societies decide what strategies they  use to extract food from their physical  


a. Agriculture

2. What strategies do societies use to decide who  gets what resources and how they get  


3. What kind of ways of raising children are there   different definitions of family

a. What are the social obligations

4. How many deities to societies worship and  


5. What is the process by which we learn our  

cultural value

iii. Rely on economists, sociologists

iv. Use field work, emic or etic perspectives

v. Cross cultural

1. Study all societies large and small

e. Linguistic anthropology – look at relationship between  humans and their languages

i. How to languages relate to the essence of being  human?

ii. Questions of interest

1. How is it possible for you to process the sounds that one makes and transform them into  

words/ ideas

2. How are languages put together?

a. Logical structures of the words and  


b. Some common structure to every human  language that related to every human  


3. How did human language evolve?

a. As we become human, we must evolve  


4. Why did human language evolve the way it  did?

a. Common threads between languages

b. What does this tell us about patterns of  

human migrations

5. Why is language so critically important to  human societies?

6. Social use of language  why do certain  dialects come to have certain social meanings  7. What other ways are there of communicating  information besides language

iii. Rely on experts from a wide variety of fields 1. Psychologists

2. Educational specialists

3. Historians

4. Computational experts

f. Applied anthropology – applies toolkit of anthropology to  solving problems

i. Problems can be global or micro

ii. Example: international development, solve SIDS,  iii. Uses approach unique to anthropology to understand humans

iv. Can be applied to any career


A. Introduction  

a. Subfield of anthropology that studies human as biological  organisms

i. Try to understand essence of being human

b. Some may study monkeys and apes  clues

c. Some may study scientific evidence for evolution d. Some may study human variation

i. Why do we genetically differ? What do these  

differences mean?

B. Evolution:

a. Introduction

i. Life changes over time by means of the accumulation of favorable traits

ii. One of best scientifically proven ideas  

1. We know life changes over time through  

evolution (fact)

b. Darwin's Theory of Evolution

i. Nineteenth century theory

ii. Explain life’s diversity

iii. He drew upon ideas that were already established at  his time

1. Geology – uniformitarianism

a. Same processes that occur today have  

always been occurring at the same rate

b. The earth must be must older than  

anybody previously thought

c. Gave Darwin a window of time to include  

life’s diversity

2. Too many people born in each generation than  the earth can sustain – surplus population

3. Drew upon his own observations

a. Coral grows slowly, must take a very long

time to accumulate coral islands

b. Galapagos- species of birds that differed  

in appearance

c. Generation after generation farmers have been cross breeding favorable traits to  

increase productivity

iv. Final theory explained life’s diversity

1. There are too many individual born in each  generation for all to survive (applies to all life  forms)

2. Between each generation of life form parents  differ from children

a. Variation within and between generations 3. Those individual with favorable traits will most  likely survive and pass them on to the next  generation  

a. Not strongest  most favorable traits

b. Tend to survive  no guarantee

c. Reproductive success  must survive to  pass those traits on

d. Those traits have to be inheritable

4. Through long periods of time, as favorable  traits are passed, they accumulate in  

populations, as they accumulate, the  

populations change through time

5. Didn’t know biomechanical process through  which evolution worked though

6. Acts on populations over thousands of years c. Impact—

v. Social Darwinism

1. Maybe evolution can explain societal  

advancements since it can explain biological  


2. This idea could be exploited

a. One culture greater than another

3. Assumption that complex societies are superior to less complex societies

d. Modern Synthesis and Modifications

i. Added new information and getting rid of some old  fashioned assumptions – “modern synthesis”

1. An update of Darwin’s ideas

ii. Genetics was not fully understood by people of  Darwin’s time – could not explain biomechanical  process

1. Gregor Mendel

a. Figured out process for how traits were  

passed on

b. This was when genetics was officially  

added to Darwin’s theory and it was  

significantly improved

c. Genetics can offer an independent way  to test evolutionary ideas

i. Look at fossils, compare DNA;  

allows the ability to crosscheck  

iii. Paleontogoloy – study of ancient life

1. Adds a tremendous amount of fossil evidence  which shows the change of life over huge  

periods of time

iv. Physics  

1. No one was able to date these fossils

2. Discovered subatomic particles decay at fixed  rates over time

a. Revolutionized our understanding of the  history of the Earth

v. Assumptions

1. Life progresses from simple to complex

a. Absolutely false

b. No ladder of increasing complexity

c. Instead, we see a “bush” of radiating  


d. Most life starts simple and ends simple i. Some may increase in complexity  

but not the vast majority – even  

these are not guaranteed survival

ii. Some start complex and end  


e. Life diversifies

2. Evolution progresses gradually

a. Often time, there are long periods of  equilibrium punctuated by relatively  

short bursts of change  

i. “Punctuated equilibrium”

3. Determinism – evolution has a predetermined  outcome

a. No rational plan of direction, history of  life on earth is totally random

b. Perfectly okay to believe that there is a  rational plan – not in the realm of science however

4. Perfectionism – history of life on earth perfects  organisms to be completely adapted to their  environments

a. Life on earth is flawed in design

b. Physical environment changes faster  

than most life forms can adapt

c. Imperfections hint at our ancestors way  

of life

d. Genetic variation shows adaptive traits  

but also traits that serve no evolutionary  


i. Example: no benefit in different  

eye colors

vi. Modern synthesis is different from Darwin’s original  idea – improvement over time as new knowledge has been discovered

e. Facts supporting Darwinism Evolution

i. Paleontology revolutionized how we think about life  changing over time

ii. Genetics- reconstruct genetic variation between all  living organisms

1. Humans and chimpanzees share 98-99% of all  DNA

2. Match genetic record to fossil record

a. Proves we share a common ancestor

iii. Design flaws/ imperfections

1. Example: whales have hip bones

iv. Artificial selection – humans select for the qualities  we want in organisms

1. Reflection of natural selection in a larger scale

v. Evolution of organisms through natural selection 1. Organisms that evolve rapidly allow us to  

physically see natural selection

a. Viruses, pesticides

C. Science and Intelligent Design/Creationism

a. Reasons why ID/Creationism are not science

i. Artificially creates a dichotomy between religion and  science

ii. Argue for the fact that there is only one  

interpretation for the beginning of life (Holy Bible) –  “literalists” believe everything is literally true

iii. Young Earth creationists – dates of earth genesis are  not clear

iv. Old Earth creationists – recognize physical facts but  life is relatively recent

v. Theistic evolution – God is creative force but uses  evolution to diversify life

1. Could be any God from any religion

2. Vast majority of Christians believe this

vi. Nontheistic evolutionists – God does have to do with  the biological processes on Earth

vii. Problems

1. Creationists argue the Bible must be literally  interpreted – fundamental flaw

a. Religion vs. religion argument rather than religion vs. science

2. Creationist scientists do not hold advanced  degrees in the area that they criticize

3. Creationists mislead the public with half truths a. There are certain laws of physics (second law of thermodynamics – energy goes  

from higher to lower state unless an  

added input of energy) that evolutionists  

violate (*creationists leave out*)

b. Evolution doesn’t happen because  

nobody can observe it

i. There is evidence  fossil record

c. Life is too complex to have evolved  

through chance – must have been  

designed by someone

d. Evolution is a theory in crisis

i. Is there enough information to  


ii. Over 95% of scientists accept  

evolution  not debated

iii. Question is how does evolution  


e. Evolution is not science because it  

cannot be observed, tested, or corrected

D. Reconciling Science and Religion

a. Why not let people choose what they want to believe? i. Creationism is not a science while evolution is

ii. Do not continue to offer equal time for nonscientific  ideas  

1. Do not teach religion or discarded ideas in  

science class/ school in general

iii. Religion is linked to a political party in the United  States

b. If one believes in evolution, does one have to give up on  God?

i. No, evolution deals with how we got here and how  long the process took

1. Explains diversity

2. Evolution does not address who is behind the  

process or why

c. Should not be in conflict, just play by different rules i. Both equally important


A. Intro: 

a. One topic of study for Biological Anthro.  

b. Study of humans' closest living relatives--primates. c. Done to note basic sim and diff twt humans et non humans, 

i. To gain understanding of exactly what "human" is. ii. What are differences? 

iii. Establish "base line" for change. 

iv. Note taxonomic chart. 

B. Primate char: As Primates, humans share traits with Monkeys,  Apes. Other animals have some, but Primates have all.  Ancestors mod char, helped in human evolution. 

a. Grasping hands/ft with opposable thumbnails, not claws:  precision grip. 

i. Varies in degree.  

ii. Later imp for human tool use, carrying.

1. Reduced sense of smell, more reliance on  


b. Leads to rounded face, shorter snout.  

c. Sight also imp for later ground-dwellers.

i. Stereoscopic vision, in color: 

C. Judging distances, gaining perspective; 

D. Finding food; 

E. Identifying others.  

F. Later implications for human evolution--helped pre-humans  survive in dangerous ground environ. 

a. Increase in brain/body size, esp. in certain lobes: G. Greater LEARNING potential. 

H. Brain increases in complexity, more convolutions; I. Impl for human evol: brain space for learning info = culture.  “Behavioral plasticity.” 

a. TENDENCY toward upright posture 

b. Helped when on ground. 

i. Reduced # of offspring (1-2 instead of litters); young  dep on parents longer than other mammals (2-10  


1. Impl--greater time to learn from adults, sibs. 

2. Impl for human evol: TIME to learn cult info;  

brain space + time.

3. To care for young, need social organization: 

4. Gen, primates organ into groups (esp on  


ii. Have LEARNED rules for social interaction. 

1. Impl for human evol: origins of HUMAN social  

org; mechanism for learning culture. “Beh.  


iii. Humans took basic primate chars, used in new ways.  How evolution works. 

J. Primate Relations 

a. Promisians 

i. Smaller bodies 

ii. Nocturnal 

iii. Tooth comb  

iv. Grooming claw

v. Rhinarium 

vi. Postorbital bar 

b. Anthropoids 

i. Larger bodies 

ii. Sexual dimorphism 

iii. Fewer teeth 

iv. Postorbital closure 

v. New world monkeys vs. Old world monkeys 

1. Old World  arboreal and terrestrial 

a. Baboons, etc. – sexual dimorphism (body  

size different between sexes 

vi. Hominoids (Apes and Humans) 

1. Larger body size 

2. No tail 

3. Elongated forelimbs 

4. Suspensory behavior 

5. Y5 molar 

6. Complex brains, means of survival, no tail 

7. Hylobatid (Lesser apes) 

a. Gibbons and siamangs 

b. Asia 

c. Smallest bodies 

d. Brachiators

e. Monogamous 

f. Gibbons 

i. Live in south east Asia 

8. Great apes 

a. Pongins (Pongo) 

i. Orangutans 

ii. Mother and children live together  while males separate 

iii. Indonesia 

iv. Four handed locomotion 

v. Sexually dimorphic 

vi. Solitary 

b. Gorillins 

i. Gorillas 

ii. Terrestrial – easier for us to keep  

track of them 

iii. Live in central Africa 

iv. Sexual dimorphism – males 2x  

larger than females 

v. Knuckle walkers 

vi. Extra long arms 

vii. Highly intelligent 

viii. Live in social groups of 30+

1. More females than males 

2. Very stable groups 

3. Led by a silverback male 

4. One male - multifemale 

ix. Eat only plants, herbivorous  c. Panins (Pan) 

i. Bonobos 

1. Africa 

2. Terrestrial 

3. Small chimps 

4. Unique sexual behavior  

stress related 

a. Male-male, female

female, male-female 

b. Sexual activity for  

other social purposes 

5. More bipedal locomotion 

ii. Chimpanzees 

1. Closest living relatives 

2. Live in central Africa 

3. Terrestrial 

4. Knuckle walkers

5. Social organization  Jane  


6. Less sexually dimorphic 

7. Sexual activity from  


8. Seen hunting 

a. Omnivores  

9. Use tools  termite fishing 

a. Take natural object,  

modify it, and use it for 

a particular purpose 

i. Exactly what  

humans do 

10. Have a culture 

11. Posses botanical  


12. Defend space  

aggressive towards other  

chimp social groups 

d. Hominins (Homo) – considered a tribe i. Only living member of homo 

1. Modern Humans 

ii. Habitual bipeds

1. Always upright 

iii. Complex brains  

iv. Culturally dependent 

v. Wide geographical dispersion 

c. Primates today 

i. 50% of species are endangered 

1. Deforestation, global poverty 

2. Hunted, captured 

ii. Great ape species may become extinct in the wild  within our lifetime 


A. Dating Methods:

a. How do we know how old something is?

i. Rate of decay of radioactive particles  half life ii. Carbon-14 dating

1. Only works on relatively recently deceased  


2. Only organic things

iii. Potassium Argon dating

1. Works in deeper time than carbon 14

2. K-40 will decay into argon gas

a. When volcanic rocks are heated the  

subatomic particle of K-40 is frozen in the

volcanic rock and then will decay into  

argon gas which is then trapped in the  


b. The more argon gas, the older the rock

c. Only works for inorganic materials

d. Date volcanic layers around fossils

e. Takes a long time for the decay to  

happen  4-5 billion yrs.

B. Fossil Forms in Human Evolution.

a. Began in Africa – around 8 millions years ago (Pongins  became hominins)

i. Fossil evidence shows mix of ape and human traits ii. DNA of modern chimps and humans differ only by 2% iii. 2% difference in DNA can take 8 million years

iv. West and east Africa split – east became forest and  west became tropical

b. Ardipithecus (5.7 – 4.2 mya).

i. First definite hominins

ii. We are NOT descendants of chimps

iii. Relatively small cranial capacity, still later than  chimps

iv. Brow ridge

v. Forward jutting face

vi. Canine teeth longer – ape characteristic vii. “U” shaped jaw

viii. Habitual upright posture

1. Hip bones, leg bones

2. Foramen magnum, hole at bottom of skull  where spinal cord passes

a. More towards base of skull, indicates  

upright posture

ix. Increasing reliance on learned behaviors x. Found in forested environment

c. Early Australopithecines (4.5 – 3.0 mya)

i. Two species probably

ii. Ape like characteristics

1. Sexual dimorphism

iii. Heavy brow ridge

iv. Forward jutting face

v. Longer canines

vi. “U” shaped jaw

vii. Lucy was this

1. Very good skeletal remains

viii. Arms longer than legs in proportion to torso

ix. Brain storage space was larger than Ardipithecus x. Permanent teeth were erupting later in life – like  humans

1. Babies needed protection

2. Longer childhood, more necessity for group  social behavior

xi. Early upright posture

1. Pelvic bone similar to humans

xii. Volcano erupted over Africa

1. Animals walked across volcanic ash, leaving  footprints

2. Two hominin footprints  

a. Measure gate

b. Looks a lot like modern humans

xiii. Increasing reliance on learned behaviors

d. Late Australopithecines and Paranthropus (3.0 – 2.4 mya) i. East Africa and south Africa goes through a major  speciation event

ii. Late Australopithecines stay in east and south Africa  1. Still have basic human like traits

2. Upright locomotion – can tell from fossilized  bones

3. Increased cranial space

4. Still have ape like characteristics

a. Forward jutting face, brow ridge, canine  

length longer but decreasing

5. Scavengers and gatherers

iii. Paranthropus

1. Different genus than late australopithecines 2. Still sexual dimorphism

3. Different skull shape

a. Large crest over face, anchor jaw bone

b. Molar teeth similar to human but 2x in  


4. Probably mostly a gatherers and a consumers  of nuts, roots, seeds

a. Reason for large teeth

5. Had tools (baskets, digging tools, etc.)

6. Lived side by side with late australopithecines  a. Both bipedal

b. How did they interact?

i. Evolutionary competition?

1. Maybe not – scavengers vs  


e. Early Homo (Homo habilis, e.g.) (2.4 – 1.6 mya). i. East Africa again

ii. More closely related to humans than anything else  before

iii. Same genus

iv. Abundant fossil evidence

v. Still some primitive features, but gradually receding vi. Much larger brain – used to store learned information in a more complex way

vii. Much more concrete evidence on increasing cultural  complexity

viii. Find stone tools – represent significant intellectual  achievement

1. “Oldowan” tools

a. Scrape meat from bones – protein to feed need of growing brain

b. Proves there was a intellectual step by  

step process

i. “Syntax”  

c. Implies that someone collects that  

material and brings it somewhere  

(“Quarry sites”)

i. Collections of bones

d. Suggests that this is the beginning of a  

home base

i. When you have to support people,  

you must supply them with living  

materials  indirect evidence of  

some sort of exchange of materials

ii. Social bond (need to trust; some  

form of communication)

ix. More human like behavior than ever before, but not  considered modern human behavior

f. Homo erectus (1.6 – 600k ya).

i. Same genus as modern humans again

ii. Hard to distinguish late habilis from early erectus  iii. Very successful

1. Around for over a million years

iv. Pioneer  fossils found in Asia (China and southeast),  Europe

1. Old soviet state of Georgia, place called  


a. Fossils found from 2.4 million years ago  

v. Evidence of fire making

1. Social bonding – camp fires, human creativity 2. Break down meat protein

vi. From the neck down, very similar to modern humans

vii. Different skull however, brow ridge, forward jutting  face, use teeth as tools, cranial capacity mush  larger that habilis (2/3 size of modern humans)

1. Adult teeth come in later in life, extended  

childhood, more time to learn information

viii. Tools – Acheulian (named after site in France) 1. Bifaces – worked on both sides

2. Ex: hand axe

3. Found generation after generation in the same  place

4. Problem: the tools almost never change, no  regional or cultural evolution which is a modern human trait

ix. Skull gives evidence of more complexity (speech, but not modern human language)

x. Non utilitarian objects (objects not used as tools) 1. Red pigment, crystals

a. Maybe some type of cultural thing?

g. Homo heidelbergensis (600k – 200k ya).

i. Very early version of modern humans - Archaic Homo sapiens

ii. However majority opinion is that it is a separate  species

iii. Found throughout Europe, Africa, and Asia

iv. Evolved from late erectus – very vague difference  though

v. Skull shows transition between erectus and sapien vi. Some consider this as homo sapien

h. H. Sapiens, Homo neanderthalensis, and Homo floresiensis  (200k to present).

i. Most modern form of human

ii. Earliest found in southeast Africa

1. Homeland for human evolution

2. Greatest genetic diversity on the planet

3. Evolutionists were racist (from Europe) so they  didn’t want to admit evolution occurred first in  Africa

iii. Out of Africa Hypothesis

1. Human evolution occurs only in Africa

2. Homo sapiens replaced all other early hominins while branching out from Africa

iv. Human like behavior

1. Exactly like our own

2. Different kind of tool kit

a. Composite blades

i. Blades composed of other parts

ii. Can be spear, scraper, saw, etc.

iii. Indicate homo sapiens are using  

the natural resources in a more  

efficient manner

iv. Improvement over hand axes

b. Body adornment, necklaces, clothes,  

sewing materials

i. Varying by region, shows ethnic  


3. Camp in particular places for period of time a. Seasonal occupation in sites dependent  on resources

4. Trade between neighboring groups

a. Shows human social groups are not  

entirely independent

b. Trade of economic goods as well as  

knowledge/ ideas

i. Also sexual trade

v. Homo neanderthalensis

1. Could not interbreed with homo sapiens 2. Found in Europe and near-east, no more west  than Ural mountains

3. Brow ridge, slightly forward jutting face, teeth  same size as humans, low sloping forehead,  bodies more robust (because of ice ages) a. Neck down, fully erect and upright

b. Cranial capacity is larger than that of  modern humans

4. Cultural differences

a. Different toolkit  “Mousterian tools” b. Scrapers, axes, saws (woodworking  tools)

c. No personal adornment, sewing

d. Spears, can kill large animals

i. Lots of injuries found because they  had to approach large animals  

(mammoths) for food

e. Injured persons were not left to die,  however they were cared for by other  group members

i. Deliberate burial of dead

ii. Buried with animal bones, tools,  


1. Shows evidence of belief in  


5. No indicators that homo sapiens and  Neanderthals fought

6. No fossils since about 30k years ago a. Neanderthal DNA is almost the same as  modern day DNA

b. Homo sapiens mated with Neanderthals  and therefore changed their genetic  

makeup to match ours

c. Around time when humans entered north and south America

i. Realized there were other hominins living in other parts of the world

ii. Eastern Siberia (Denisova) recently found DNA of another hominin not  

previously found

iii. Islands of south east asia

1. 20-15 years ago during an  

excavation they found a new  

hominin – not anything like  

other species “homo  


2. Probably isolated on islands  

and evolved independently  

over thousands of years

3. Latest fossils date to 12k  

years ago

4. Locals have stories about  

little people that live up in  

the caves of southeast Asia

a. Could they still exist  


i. Upper Paleolithic Culture.

i. Cultural period where homo sapiens persisted ii. 40 k years ago

iii. Europe, Asia covered with glacial sheets, Africa was  cooler

iv. Prime time to be a hunter gatherer

v. Associated with cave paintings in Europe

1. Something more concrete and visible as a form of art

2. Some challenges  what did this art mean to  the people who created it

3. Interpreting art depends on the person viewing it (class, race, region, etc.)

4. Scientists compared modern hunter gatherers  

to past ones to see if values and beliefs were  


5. Animals not depicted in homes of humans,  

usually in deep caves

vi. Found fragments of flutes

1. Almost always found in places with good  

acoustics, indicate organized music  could be  

initiation rituals

vii. Found large dots, tallies, holes in animal bones that  could indicate the people were keeping track of  


1. When sun rises and sets  know time to hunt  

and gather

viii. 12k years ago humans faced a dilemma


A. Problems with “Race” as Biological Category:  

a. Why do we divide humans into categories by biological  background

b. Where do these divides exist?

c. Main Issues

i. What is the reason why skin color is the most  important classification that we see? Could be eye  color, height, etc.

1. No biological reason to do so

2. More of a social reason, NOT biological

ii. How many distinctions can there be? This division is  arbitrary, there could be an infinite amount of skin  color categories

1. These are cultural categories, not biological iii. When we look at the distribution of genetic traits  across the globe, we do not see distinct boundaries  where skin color starts and stops, it is a consistent  variation

1. Gradual trends

2. All human genetic traits vary from place to  place  “Clinal distribution”

a. Like a stone’s ripple in a pond

d. Race is a social category, has nothing to do with biology e. Brazil – much like the US

i. Huge native American population

ii. Settled by Portuguese (imported slaves)

iii. Multiethnic country

iv. Brazil classifies humans into multiple racial  


1. Skin color, heritage, where you live, language,  


v. Brazilians believe that education can change race 1. Nothing to do with biology, and they recognize  


f. White privilege

i. Majority group presents social benefits

ii. No one thinks race is a factor when talking about  benefits, accomplishments, or advantages

B. Human Variation: it’s a fact

a. Clinal distribution creates genetic spread

b. As people moved further distances, huge difference  between people became apparent

c. Colonialism – exploit native people because they were seen as inferior

d. How do anthropologists study human variation?

i. Recognize that humans vary

ii. Try to understand why particular genetic traits exist iii. Sickle cell trait

1. Strong correlation between sickle cell and  

tropical regions

2. These regions are also susceptible to malaria 3. Sickle cell from one parent  your red blood  cells change shape

a. Malaria cannot infect these sickle cells

b. Helps populations offset malaria

c. Regional adaptation

iv. Melanin – skin color, eye color, hair color 1. More melanin = darker skin colors

2. Correlation between tropical locations and  more melanin

a. Skin color darker by equator than at the  poles

b. Human evolution started in Africa  we  

had to have had a lot of melanin

c. Advantages

i. Melanin protects against UV  


ii. Why don’t we all have high levels  

of melanin

1. Places where sunlight isn’t as

strong, need a lot of vitamin  

D and need to get that from

the sun so less melanin  

allows more UV radiation

v. Lactose intolerance – don’t have lactase, enzyme  that digests milk

1. Lactose = sugar in milk

2. Every mammal nurses young with milk

3. Why some population that cannot digest milk?

a. Every mammal ceases production of  

lactase after weaning except from some  

African populations and western  

European populations... Why?

i. Correlation = African and western  

European population are herding  

populations  dependent highly on  


vi. Random neutral changes help with genetic variation 1. Finger prints

2. Blood types

3. Melanin in eyes (eye color)

C. Medical Anthropology  subfield of biological anthropology a. Combination of human variation with human survival b. How does variation benefit in human survival?

c. Links medical practitioners with biological anthropologists  and cultural anthropologists

d. Understanding how and why humans gets sick is party  biological and party cultural  

e. Ethical dilemmas

i. CDC sends anthropologists into Amazon rainforest to  study people

1. See that certain plant cures diseases  bring  

back to USA and patents plant component,  

makes huge amount of money, natives do not  


ii. Who owns human genetic information?

f. Spread of disease

i. Epidemiology

ii. Cultural and biological phenomenon

1. How do we explain death?

a. Bubonic plague

i. 14th century crusade  middle  

easterners had the plague and it  

spread to European countries

ii. 30% of Europe died

D. Development and Indigenous Peoples

a. Amazon rainforest

i. Lots of resources from their surroundings ii. Changes upon contact with large scale societies iii. Modern day people keep pushing into the rainforest,  bringing with them unwanted things such as diseases that native people have never faced

iv. Indigenous people now work for big corporations  which changes entire culture

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