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What is the human diaspora?

What is the human diaspora?


School: George Washington University
Department: Sociology
Course: Archaeology
Professor: Susan johnston
Term: Spring 2016
Tags: Archaeology and Anthropology
Cost: 50
Name: ANTH 1003: Final Exam Study Guide
Description: This study guide (2 documents) covers what is going to be on the final exam. Good luck!
Uploaded: 04/30/2016
14 Pages 63 Views 10 Unlocks

ANTH 1003

What is the human diaspora?

Dr. Susan Johnston

Exam 3 Study Guide

***Know dates to the nearest century at least; know the 15 sites specified by Dr. Johnston, as well as  Teotihuacan and Cahokia. These sites are bolded; all other sites are indicated by diamond-shaped bullet  points.

Human Diaspora 

Homo genus moved into Old World after 2 mya

Modern humans are the only ones who moved out of the Old World

Movement into Asia and Europe: after 200,000 BP

∙ Accessible by land, walking

∙ Populations expand and move as part of subsistence strategy

∙ Modern humans replaced already existing hominin populations

Peopling Sahul: 80,000 – 12,000 BP

Who are the only ones who moved out of the old world?

∙ Colder during Pleistocene --> lower water levels of oceans  

∙ Boats probably necessary

∙ Goal-oriented migration across bodies of water; must see the other side (intervisibility) ❖ Lake Mungo, Australia (40,000 – 30,000 BP): earliest undisputed Australian site, standard  hunter-gatherer habitation with burials, stone tools, and fossilized emu eggshells

Peopling North America: 60,000 – 11,000 BP

∙ Sites don’t emerge until c. 20,000 BP; lack of sites may be because of routes into North America o Beringia: ice is destructive to landscape and if sites are preserved, they are underwater o Coastal route: sites are underwater if they exist

What is the movement into asia and europe after 200,000 bp?

∙ Biological evidence connecting Native Americans and Asians supports Beringia route o Teeth; DNA from burial at Mal’ta, Siberia; Diego positive blood traits

∙ Peopling of North America occurred before Clovis sites, probably from 20,000 – 15,000 BP Don't forget about the age old question of What are the types of deterrence?
If you want to learn more check out Who are the largest user of apple gadgets?

❖ Meadowcroft, PA (14,000 – 11,000 BP): rockshelter with stratigraphic levels pre-Clovis; may  date to 17,000 – 16,000 BP or even 19,000 BP at the earliest

❖ Monte Verde, Chile (14,800 BP): incredibly well-preserved remains due to stream action that  waterlogged site; organic material includes children’s footprints, wooden tent stakes, chewed  tree leaf, and worked mastodon tusk; inhabitants made stone tools, built a 20-m long tent-like  structure, hunted mastodons and collected wild plants; site is older than Clovis but father south  from the Bering Strait, raises questions about peopling of the Americas If you want to learn more check out Which principle states that two species in the same habitat cannot have the same niche exclusion principle competitive exclusion principle population exclusion principle exclusion principle?

❖ Paisley Caves, Oregon (14,270 – 14,000 BP): coprolites with human mtDNA dated by C14 ❖ Clovis sites c. 12,500 BP

Peopling North America by following seals across the Atlantic from Europe? Debate #3:


∙ Similarities between Solutrean (western  Europe, 22,000 – 16,5000 BP) and Clovis tool industries We also discuss several other topics like What is the superordinate principle?

∙ Lack of sites on either end of Beringia ∙ Sites in the south and east are earlier than  those in the Northwest

∙ Marine adaptations --> reliance on seals as  a food source --> following them across the  ocean If you want to learn more check out What are the main classifications of hormones?


∙ Time gap between Solutrean and Clovis ∙ Tools may have developed similarly to  solve the same problems; they don’t  

necessarily have to be related

∙ Environment of Beringia makes it  

reasonable to assume sites there wouldn’t  have survived

∙ Pack ice isn’t habitable

∙ No evidence that Solutrean culture used  marine animals

∙ Conclusion: a small group of people may have migrated across the Atlantic, but this theory does  not have enough evidence to support a mass migration of people to North America ❖ Anzick, MT (12,707 – 12,556 BP): DNA analysis of burial suggests that Clovis tool makers are  ancestors of Native Americans; individual is related to Siberian burial Don't forget about the age old question of How does h. erectus evolve?

o Support for Beringia theory

After the Ice Age 

Pleistocene ends and Holocene begins c. 10,000 BP

Mesolithic: Near East and Europe Different names for the same time period, from Paleoindian and Archaic: North America c. 11,000 to whenever food production begins in that area

∙ Gets warmer

∙ Sea levels rising

∙ Land forms changing (weight of ice is gone)

∙ Resources changing

o More forests, woodland, lakes; animals that are smaller, migrate less or not and all, and  reproduce faster (red deer)

Mesolithic stone tools responded to specific changes in the environment

∙ Axes appear in wooded areas

∙ Smaller tools for hunting deer are more frequent; larger tools for mammoth hunting are less  frequent

2 widespread cultural traditions:

❖ Clovis sites, New Mexico (13,000 – 12,600 BP): tools included fluted points possibly used for  hafting; extensive faunal remains included mammoth

❖ Folsom, New Mexico (12,800 – 11,700 BP): fluted points of a different style from Clovis, faunal  remains focus on bison

Pleistocene extinctions caused by humans? Debate #4:  PROS:  

∙ Human arrival in North America  

coincides with disappearance of  


∙ Evidence of gross overhunting at Clovis,  New Mexico and Olson Chubbock,  


∙ Historical instances of humans  

overhunting species to extinction: moa  

in New Zealand

∙ Climate change was more complex,  

fluctuated & species had time to adapt

∙ Only 5% increase in predation losses  

can have a significant effect



∙ Extinctions occurred both before and  after humans arrived

∙ Majority of extinct species were not  hunted in wasteful ways or even hunted  at all

∙ Extinct species where humans already  had established presence (Europe) or  had not yet done so (Alaska)

∙ Extinctions in New Zealand were result  of new species introduced by humans  and habitat destruction rather than just  hunting

❖ Star Carr, England (8,700 – 8,400 BCE): around a lake, earliest evidence of domesticated dogs ❖ Vlasac, Serbia (7,950 – 7,650 BCE): fairly healthy population; lots of infant deaths but adults  lived to middle-age

❖ Koster, Illinois (7,500 BCE – 1,200 CE): initially a seasonally occupied campsite that became a  permanent, year-round habitation site; domestic dog burial

First Food Producers 

Humans happily and successfully hunted and gathered for 95% of our existence ∙ “Why plant when the world is full of mongongo nuts?”

c. 10,000 BP people in different places independently began to produce their own food and it spread to  most of the world

Changes in plants:

∙ Bigger

∙ Can grow in more places

∙ Better for human consumption ∙ More convenient than wild species

Changes in animals:

∙ Smaller but meatier

∙ Less aggressive

∙ Smaller horns or none at all

Cost of domestication: species cannot live without humans (unsheared sheep, corn) Explanations for food production: lots of factors likely worked together to push people into it

V. Gordon Childe’s “oasis theory”: Drier at end of Pleistocene --> humans and other species  congregated around water --> people observed the natural process of species growing and changing  --> began to mimic that process

∙ Problem: it was actually moister at the end of the Pleistocene

Robert Braidwood’s “hilly flanks” theory: People were pushed to the edges of where wild food was  most abundant --> developed agriculture to have a stable food source

Richard Lee’s hunter-gatherers theory:

∙ Hunting and gathering was relatively easy (less work, more leisure time) and healthier (more  variety in diet, less emphasis on starchy foods, less risk for food shortage or endemic  disease)

o Long-term costs suggest people were pushed into food production

o Hunting and gathering is good for abundant environments, but more stressful in  limited environments

∙ Population increase or climate change or combination of both --> resources are less  abundant  

--> people try to increase range or productivity of species of plants that they rely on o Ability to produce more calories per land area

o Greater reliability in a local area if movement to access resources is curtailed ∙ Other explanations:

o Increased social obligations (communal feasts, payment for favors, etc.)

o Maintenance of sedentary lifestyle; hard to go back once you’ve started

Food production in the Near East (Fertile Crescent): some Natufians (c. 13,000 – 10,000 BCE) responded  to glacial conditions of Younger Dryas (c. 12,000 BCE) by growing food and maintaining sedentary  lifestyle

Food production in Mesoamerica: focuses on corn; people tinkered with the environment until they  crossed a line and could no longer go back to seasonal movement

Domesticated plants: barley, millet, wheat, maize, squash, rice

Domesticated animals: dogs first, then meaty herd animals such as cattle, pigs, turkey, llamas, and sheep Effects of Food Production 

Food production may not have directly caused the emergence of complex societies with large  populations and densities, but it is a necessary precondition

∙ Increased sedentism

∙ Increased population

∙ Changed perception of land and resources (land becomes something you can own, basis for  status distinctions)  

∙ Pottery explodes: increasingly complicated, stylized, unique to cultures or time periods

Neolithic (Old World) begins when food production becomes common, ends when metal production  becomes common

Full-scale food production leads to small towns and villages; generally small, but patterns that lead to  greater status distinctions later on are emerging during the Neolithic

❖ Jarmo, Iraq (c. 7000 BCE): found by Braidwood, earliest known farming village at the time it was  found; 20 mud-walled houses with 100-150 inhabitants

o Domesticated wheat and barley, but wild plants were still collected

o Domesticated sheep, goats, and dogs

❖ Mehrgahr, Pakistan (c. 7000 – 2500 BCE): use of wild species with reliance on domesticated  animals, then dependence on cattle increases drastically

❖ San Jose Mogote, Mexico (c. 1500 – 500 BCE): domesticated plants include maize and avocado,  wild plants and animals were still used

❖ Jericho, Israel (9750 – 6300 BCE): excavated by Kathleen Kenyon in 1950s

o Long-term habitation: 21-m tells that span beyond Neolithic habitation

o Status differences: plastered skulls present in some burials, but not others

o Famous for wall surrounding much of the site and big tower --> large number of people  required for construction; either cooperated voluntarily or were forced to build them ▪ Possibly built to control access to nearby spring; may reflect changing concept  of land or resource ownership

o Evidence of domesticated wheat, barley, and goats

❖ Catal Huyuk, Turkey (7300 – 6200 BCE): one of the largest Neolithic sites in Near East; at least  several thousand people and up to 10,000; overgrown village, not a city functionally o Mud-brick houses with high population density

o Possibly controlled obsidian source nearby

o Famous for parietal art in almost every residence, many depicted burial scenes;  evidence of ritual/religious life

Appearance of sites that are consistently used for ritual during Neolithic; often associated with burials

∙ Not all are associated with food production:

❖ Gobekli Tepe, Turkey (9200 – 7300 BCE): as many as 20 circular stone structures; no  evidence that people at this site had domestic food, could have been built by hunter gatherers

∙ Megaliths common to Western Europe c. 4500 – 1200 BCE, many are burial sites ❖ West Kennet, England (3500 BCE): burial chambers in a tiny portion of the front part of a  long tunnel; must have been a visual statement of some kind

❖ Boyne Valley tombs (c. 3000 BCE): 3 burial mounds/tombs, one surrounded by smaller  mounds; suggests that some sort of status distinction is emerging at this time

❖ Stonehenge (c. 3100 BCE): involved planning and construction, ritual purposes may include  astronomical associations

Complex Societies 

Complex society = a society with complex social systems consisting of many interacting parts ∙ Integrated moving parts; people rely on other people to meet their needs

∙ Status differentiation based on different access to resources or privileges

Childe’s criteria for complex societies:

1. Concentration of population (cities)

2. Full-time specialists

3. Concentration of surplus that usually flows into the middle

4. Institutionalized status differences

5. State organization (centralized political structure)

6. Monumental art and architecture (especially if it benefits a central authority or power) 7. Long-distance trade

8. Writing

9. Conflict

Archaeological evidence for Childe’s criteria:

Concentration of population: cities, increased living spaces that cover larger areas of land Full-time specialists: Pottery, metalworking, writing, rulers, specific areas where stuff is made

Institutionalized status differences: monumental art and architecture, different house sizes or  presence of palaces, expensive or rare grave goods in large quantities (especially in burials of  children)

State organization: writing, rulers  

Monumental art and architecture: pyramids, statues of kings

Trade: goods moving in 2 directions or goods radiating from one central location, resources  appearing in non-native areas, agreed-upon value for objects, writing or artistic depictions

Writing: tablets, inscriptions

Conflict: writing, artistic depictions, weapons, defensive structures, violent deaths in large  numbers

Why complex societies?

∙ Managerial model: people in large groups need someone to manage them and effectively run  society (Childe)

∙ Resource concentration: control of particular resources allows some people to exert control  over others (Karl Wittfogel)  

∙ Ideology: a few people manipulated ideology to convince those at the bottom that elites should  run things (Tim Pauketat)  

∙ Warfare: people in circumscribed environments competed for resources and formed ever-larger  polities as they lose control of resources but have nowhere else to go (Robert Carniero)  

Additional important sites:

Uruk, Iraq (c. 4,000 – 3,100 BCE): Mesopotamian city about 40,000 people at its height (largest  Mesopotamian settlement during this time), city-state and religious center located within floodplain and

surrounded by defensive wall. Use of wheeled carts pulled by draft animals, potter’s wheel, cylinder  seals and cuneiform tablets, and manufacture of metal weapons, luxury goods, and jewelry.  Monumental temples include the Eanna Precinct and Temple D.

Ur, Iraq (c. 3,800 – 450 BCE): Mesopotamian city with royal cemetery that shows status differences; plan  of “great death pit”, sacrificial victims in some but not all burials, 16 royal burials in stone tombs with  lots of grave goods and sacrificial victims (servants and soldiers). Burial of Mes-kalam-dug surrounded by  various copper, gold, and silver grave goods including a golden helmet. Queen Pu-Abi’s burial: stone  tomb with entire funeral procession including a chariot, a harp, various sacrificial victims (both human  and animal) and stone, gold, and silver grave goods.

Amarna, Egypt (c. 1,346 – 1,332 BCE): about 20,000 people at its height, built by Akhenaten and made  the capital of Egypt when he became pharaoh. Inhabited only during Akhenaten’s reign because his  successor, King Tut, moved the Egyptian capital back to Thebes. Other cities were probably larger, but  most may be hidden under modern cities.

Harappa, Pakistan (c. 2800 – 1900 BCE): about 20,000 – 25,000 people with raised mound at one end  and residence area below. Surrounded by a non-defensive wall 45 feet high, possibly used symbolically  to control commerce. Home to “granary” and cemeteries. Possible standardization of weights and  writing; urban planning.

Mohenjo-Daro, Pakistan (c. 2800 – 1900 BCE): about 30,000 – 40,000 people with raised mound at one  end and residence area below. Surrounded by a non-defensive wall. Home to Great Bath. Possible  standardization of weights and writing. Substantial craft activity including metalworking and pottery;  non-monumental temples; subtle variation in size of residences.

Lothal, India (c. 2800 – 1900 BCE): trade hub of Indus Valley, residences separated from craft production  areas. Manufacturing of stone, pottery, and metal including copper, bronze, and carnelian; objects  manufactured here appear elsewhere. Feature lined with bitumen may have been a dry dock.

Manching, Germany (3rd – 1st century BCE): Iron Age Temperate Europe site of up to 10,000 people;  dense habitation with specialized areas for production of iron, pottery, wood, and glass; urban planning.  Some evidence for coinage including blanks and molds.

Vix, France (late 6th – early 5th century BCE): burial of a 35 year old woman with lots of physical ailments;  she was laid out on the bed of a wagon and her burial contained lots of elaborate, gold, elite objects  including a necklace associated with elite burials, foreign objects (black figurewear from Mediterranean  and Aegean), crater (vessel for wine consumption) 5 feet high that can hold 300 gallons.

Teotihuacan, Valley of Mexico (200 BCE – 750 CE): largest concentration of population in the New  World up to that point with 125,000 – 200,000 people; religious, political, and economic center. Laid out  along a grid organized in quadrants divided by Avenue of the Dead and another major road; residential  areas were family units organized around temple complexes; elaborate sewage and water systems. Over  600 specialized craft areas including obsidian and pottery manufacturing; located near obsidian  deposits.

Tikal, Guatemala (400 BCE – 900 CE): Classic Maya site with population estimates ranging from 40,000 – 100,000 people; city-state whose influence may have spread to almost 1000 square miles around the

city. Centered around Great Plaza with large pyramid-like temple. Collapsed c. 900 CE due to  environmental strain and internal conflict; population just moved, didn’t disappear.

Cahokia, Illinois (600 – 1300 CE): North American Mississippian site with 6,000 to 40,000 people;  relatively rapid rise and fall. Functionally urban center with 120 mounds and various other structures;  influence (distribution of artifacts) spread beyond the site itself. Monk’s Mound is the most significant  monumental structure. Abandoned before 1400 CE.

NAGPRA (Discussion) 

Purpose: to give federally recognized Native American tribes control over those human remains, sacred  and funerary objects, and objects of cultural patrimony that are culturally affiliated with a particular  tribe

Covers 5 types of items:

1. Human remains

2. Associated funerary objects

3. Unassociated funerary objects

4. Sacred objects

5. Objects of cultural patrimony (culturally affiliated)

2 qualifications:

1. Item is Native American

2. Item is culturally affiliated with a particular tribe


∙ Native American: of, or relating to, a tribe, people, or culture that is indigenous to the United  States

∙ Cultural affiliation: a relationship of shared group identity which can be reasonably trace  historically or prehistorically between a present-day Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian  organization and an identifiable earlier group

∙ Affiliated remains: those that can be shown to have a cultural or geographical link to a modern  Native population

∙ Sacred object: ceremonial objects which are needed by traditional Native American religious  leaders for the practice of traditional Native American religions by their present-day adherents









4000 – 2350 BCE

3100 – 1070 BCE

2800 – 1900 BCE

700 – 150 BCE

200 BCE – 750 CE

400 BCE – 900 CE

600 – 1300 CE


Uruk, Iraq:  

c. 4000 - 3100  


40,000 people

Ur, Iraq: major  

Mesopotamian  burial area

Amarna, Egypt:  c. 1346 - 1332  

BCE 20,000  

people (other  

cities were  

probably larger)


20 – 25,000 people and


30 – 40,000 people

Raised “citadel” at  one end, residence  area below

Surrounded by a wall

Hillforts or  

“oppida” range  from 500 to  

maybe 20,000  

people; cities by  function, not size


Germany: 3rd – 1st century BCE

10,000 people  

with specialist  


Bibracte, France:  2nd century – 20  BCE

5 – 20,000 people


125,000 –

200,000 people

Cuicuilco: buried  by a volcanic  

eruption c. 100 CE

Tikal: 40,000 –

100,000 people

El Mitador: up to  100,000 people


Guatemala: 5,000  people

Uxmal, Mexico:  

25,000 people

Copan, Honduras:  25,000 – 30,000  people



Etowah, Georgia:  2,000 – 5,000  



Alabama: 1,000  people

Cahokia: 6,000 – 40,000 people;  

functionally urban





writing, rulers

King List: list of  

titles and  

professions from  3000 BCE



writing, rulers

Lots of  

gold/metal grave  goods in tombs

Pottery made in and  distributed from  

certain areas

Maritime travel


Metal, glass  

objects, pottery,  “artisan quarters”

Coinage probably  used for status  

rather than  


Druids were  


specialists noted



25% of population  involved in craft  activities

Jade: must be  

acquired, requires  skill to make

Depictions of  


specialists in  

rituals and  


Production of  



carvings in stone  and minerals,  

stone axes, shell  beads



Woodhenge; if  


by Classical  

writers (Caesar)


specialist activity




Monumental art  and architecture,  grave goods

Sumerian king  

list: Weld

Blundell prism (c.  1763 – 1753 BCE)

Elaborate gold  

grave goods at  

Ur; sacrificial  

victims in some  but not all  

burials; plan of  

“great death pit”

Monumental art  and architecture,  grave goods

Egyptian king  

lists: Abydos king  list (1309 – 1291  BCE) and Karnak  

king list (1490 – 1436 BCE)

King Tut’s tomb  and grave goods


Expression of elite  status may have  

been very different  and not preserved  archaeologically

Elite goods? Bangles  found everywhere  but gold or agate  

ornaments more  


No elite monuments,  no wealthy burials,  no major differences  in residence size

Cemetery is tiny and  individuals buried  are healthy/well

nourished -->  

possibly being buried  at all is indicator of  elite status

Figurine from  


Having one shoulder  bare is associated


sources (Caesar),  burials, elaborate  gold ornaments

Vix, France: late  6th – early 5th 

century BCE

Burial of a woman  contained gold  

objects, elite and  elaborate grave  goods, foreign  


Hochdorf burial,  Germany (530  

BCE) is a mound  with tomb inside  that includes lots  of gold objects

Goods that are  


distributed and  difficult to obtain

Jade masks,  

pottery restricted  in distribution,  

some metal  


Individuals sitting  up in burials and  artistic depictions  may indicate elite  status

Sacrificial victims  in burials  

(Pyramid of the  Mood,  


Depictions of  

people sitting  

down while  

everyone else is  standing up

Depictions of  

smiting or  


Pyramid at

Palenque, Mexico: burial of the ruler  Pakal with  


sarcophagus cover

Tomb 85 at Tikal:  individual with  

greenstone mask  in place of missing  head, in sitting  

posture, grave  

goods associated  with elite status

(sting-ray spine)

Burials in mounds

Monk’s Mound:  evidence for  

palisade around it

Mound 72:  

primary burial of  man with 20,000  shell beads,  

additional burials  of 3 males and 3  females with high  status artifacts,  272 sacrificial  

victims (mix of  

local and non

local victims)


artifacts from  

Mound 72:  

weapons, tools,  unused projectile  points, mica  



with high status in  more modern times

Copper and silver  “crowns” from  

Harappan burials



Best indication in  writing

Secular leader,  

but has clear  

overlaps with  


City-states mostly  controlled by  

kings but also by  a priesthood

Not unified

Temples owed  

labor, taxes, etc.

Best indication in  writing

Secular leader,  but has clear  

overlaps with  


United under a  single ruler after  3100 BCE

Priesthood was  similarly  

influential as in  Mesopotamia



weights and writing


Caesar described  groups of people  but we don’t  

know how they  would have  



Probably not city states

May have had  

some kind of  



Probably a city

state, influence  spread 20mi  

around the city

Stela 31 from  

Tikal depicts  

Maya ruler  

wearing costume  and headdress  

associated with  Teotihuacan  


City-states: El  

Mirador, Copan

Never politically  unified; city-states  competed

Tikal may have  

spread influence  almost 1,000  

square miles  

around city but no  real evidence that  it was more than a  city-state


Direct control of  60 – 90 miles  

around the city

Material culture  distributed more  widely (“weeping  eye” motif)

3-tiered hierarchy  of site sizes

Probably a  

flexible political  structure (like  




mostly, if not  

only, benefitted  rulers and priests


Temples elevated  over landscape


mostly, if not  

only, benefitted  rulers and priests

Pyramids for  

single important  individual  



Structures may  

require similar  

amounts of work to  build as monuments  in Egypt and  

Mesopotamia, but  no obvious  

connection to a

No evidence of  

stone or any  

other kind of  

monuments or  

anything built for  specific high

status individual  

Burial mounds  

(large, require

Pyramids of the  Sun and Moon:  primarily  

platforms with  

temple on top,  

associated burials  and other  



Large and  


pyramids/temples:  steep-sided and


Temple 1 and 2 at  Tikal, Pyramid of  the Magician at  Uxmal,

Monk’s Mound:  largest pyramid  north of Mexico,  lots of labor  

required to build; 100 feet high and  covers 16 acres

Evidence for a  

building (maybe

specific individual or  small group of

people; unknown  function

“Granary” from  


Great Bath at  


City walls (45 feet  high at Harappa)

time and labor to  build)

Oppida may be  

monuments in  

themselves (large,  surrounded by  


Area was  

monumentalized  after it was  

already special

“Observatory” at  Caracol

Roof-comb makes  monuments at  

Tikal especially  



stairway at Copan  shows past rulers  and deeds  


associated with  


temple) on top of  Monk’s Mound:  function was to  elevate  



various other  


sized mounds





written records

3 major trade  

partners named  in written records  (one may have  

been Indus  




written records,  artistic depictions

Traded with  

Minoan and  

Aegean cultures

Egyptian artistic  depictions of  

people bringing  in imported  

items from  

faraway places  (pottery in styles  of Aegean and  


With Mesopotamia:  copper (native to  

Indus Valley) and  



standardization of  weights and  


Lothal: metal  


feature lined with  bitumen may have  been a dry dock;  


manufactured here  appear elsewhere

Pottery from the  south (often  

associated with  alcohol/wine)

Exports: animals  for meat  


grain, hunting  

dogs, slaves went  to Roman society

Teotihuacan-style  stuff appears in  other places

Jade was highly  prized, significant  material; some  

from Guatemala  appears in  

Pyramid of the  

Moon burial

Structure at Tikal  in style of  



Jade, obsidian  

with Teotihuacan,  pottery

Cacao (chocolate) consumed as  

liquid, associated  with ritual

Wide range of  

sources for  

objects found at  Cahokia

Importation of  

exotic chert

1/3 of burials  

were non-local  


Located close to  source of green  obsidian


Cuneiform from  c. 3100 BCE

Primary context:  economic,  

keeping track of  economic  


between people  of many  


Hymn to Ninkasi,  goddess of  


Hieroglyphs from  c. 3100 BCE

Earliest example  from Abydos c.  3300 BCE,  

resemble tags  

and may have  

been used as  

labels to indicate  places or  

personal names

Primary context:  identification of  rulers in


displays and on  monuments,  

identification of  things in tombs


Begins c. 2600 BCE

Mostly on seals  

without evidence of  wear

Clearly symbolic

Not yet translated

3000 symbols but  over 100 have only  been used once or a  few times



influenced by  

contact with  

Greeks & Romans,  can’t really be  

used to interpret  Celtic society

Most informative  documents come  from outsiders  

(Caesar) -->  

perspective of  

someone in  

process of  

conquest, no  




documentation:  not readable or  interesting



symbols, but too  few examples for  interpretation


“name glyph”?

They at least  

knew about it  

because of others  in the area  


Appears by 400  BCE

Glyphs on images,  monuments,  

painted murals,  stelae, pottery

Writing on bark  paper/strips  

(Dresden Codex):  like books, burned  by Spanish so only  4 left today

About things  

important to  

elites: dates,  

names, political  histories, etc.

Calendar: secular,  sacred, and the  

Long Count -->  

dated monuments




sources of battle  and conquest

Naram-Sin Stela  shows conquest,

Histories told by  Egyptians show  their culture as  having been born  out of conflict or  chaos


Cranial trauma in  

9/58 individuals  

from study of  

Harappan burials


evidence: Caesar



sources describe


sacrificial victims,  military control of  surrounding areas

Depictions of  

soldiers, possibly  holding weapons

Depiction of  


Absence of heads  and hands of  

sacrificial victims  in burials

depictions of  



Narmer Palette:  clear record of  


Depictions of  

soldiers and  


Celts as violent  

because they  

were written by  people  

conquering them

Weapons, shields,  war helmet

Depictions of  

warriors with  

Celtic style shields

Falls c. 750 CE  

probably due to  internal conflict:  evidence of  

burning, esp.  

religious and elite  areas, population  reduced then  




evidence: ruler of  Copan captured  and sacrificed by  ruler of Quirigua,  recorded on stelae

Internal conflict  may have played a  role in collapse

Depiction of  

violence on Effigy  pipe in Cahokia  style


All criteria  


All criteria  


Institutionalized  social status?

Monumentality? Writing?



organization? No writing

All criteria  


All criteria met State

organization? No writing

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