ANTH 3151 – Exam I Study Guide
Definitions Key Concepts Locations
THE ISLAND ENVIRONMENT
Four Island Types (pg. 4450)
1 Islandarc islands: a curved chain of volcanic islands located at a tectonic plate margin. ∙ Formerly referred to as "continental" islands because they sometimes incorporate ancient continental rocks
∙ Among the largest islands in the Pacific, concentrated along the western margins of the Pacific basin; Near Oceania
New Britain, New Ireland, Solomons, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, New Zealand
∙ Often large in scale, exhibit varied habitats
∙ Offer a wide range of lithic resources and minerals utilized by ancient Pacific peoples to manufacture stone tools
Formed by a characteristic kind of volcanic activity
Note: the complex geological history of islandarcs can include successive stages of active volcanism, erosion, subsidence, and formation of marine limestones and other sedentary deposits, producing islands with complex structures of volcanic, metavolcanic, and sedimentary rocks.
Also includes plate fragments derived from the ancient supercontinent of Gondawana (like New Caledonia)
Accounts for unique aspects of biota
2 High islands
∙ Midplate hot spot origin still in the earlier stages of their evolutionary cycle Typically originate from a "hot spot" or thermal plume of magma arising from deep in the mantle
Tahiti, Rarotonga, Tutuila, Pohnpei, Hawaii > Remote Oceania ∙ Will eventually sink beneath the ocean surface to become atolls or seamounts ∙ Vary greatly in landform
∙ First fringing reefs develop, then barrier reefs separated from the main island by lagoon
Fringing reefs are for younger islands, barrier reefs are on older high islands
∙ Evolutionary stages We also discuss several other topics like Who is Benjamin Franklin?
Initial volcanism and shield building
Subsidence due to pointloading of the thin oceanic crust
We also discuss several other topics like What is Hominid?
Subaerial erosion by streams, waves, and wind
Often a late stage of renewed volcanism, typically pyroclastic
Continued erosion and reduction of the island's mass
Formation of extensive coastal reefs (if island is within the tropical to subtropical regions)
Complete erosion and subsidence of the volcanic cone (resulting in the formation of a coral atoll)
Eventual drowning of the island (forming a submerged seamount) 2 Coral atolls
Formed on volcanic masses that have subsided beneath the ocean's surface (refer to high islands)
Later evolutionary stages of midplate hot spot islands
∙ Islets: very small islands.
∙ At most 23 meters above sea level, vulnerable to inundation by waves and storm surges during cyclones
∙ Cultivation is risky, many crops do not tolerate the saline conditions
∙ Remote Oceania
∙ Rich marine resources
∙ No stone of any kind
3 Makatea islands (Polynesian word meaning "white stone", or reef limestone) ∙ Old high islands; French Polynesia, Remote Oceania
Coral atoll or reef formations have been uplifted or have emerged through tectonic activity at plate margins, or lithospheric flexure
Mangai uplifted by Rarotonga (a high island)
∙ Some are marginal environments for human habitation, lacking surface water (rainfall disappears immediately)
Theory of Island Biogeography the closer an island is to a resource, the higher probability that it will be home to more species. Don't forget about the age old question of Who is Thomas Hobbes?
∙ Land area
Island distance dispersal:
Mammals can't get far (except for bats)
Birds excellent dispersers
Reptiles can't get far
Fish westtoeast decline
∙ Adaptive radiation: species colonize a new region with many empty niches. ∙ Note: island size and distance from mainland influences plant and animal types and diversity
Note: environmental differences can lead to speciation.
∙ Competition can increase morphological differences
∙ Reinforcement: keeping it within the adaptive peak
∙ Allopatric speciation requires physical barriers
Evolutionary Trends on Islands
∙ Major trends
Reduced dispersal (large sedentary seeds for plants; flightlessness among birds and insects)
Size changes (larger due to competition, smaller due to limited resources) ∙ Other trends
Less conspicuous flowers (less diversity of specialist pollinators)
∙ Limited size
∙ Extreme vulnerability when isolation breaks down
∙ Note: high occurrences of endemism on islands
The Bismarck Archipelago, the Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu
Never supported high density human populations, other than in very local areas ∙ The islands were largely untransformed by human activities, despite thousands of years of human presence. If you want to learn more check out Nicknames of the two major parties.
∙ Most likely due to malaria
Sahul: technical name for the continent comprising mainland Australia, New Guinea, and neighboring islands
∙ Papua New Guinea
∙ Huon Peninsula (northern Papua New Guinea)
Among the oldest manifestations of a human presence in the Australia New Guinea region
Discovery of crude axes (also known as waisted axes) placed them at 4060 ,000 years old
Note: waisted axes may represent early stages in an evolutionary progression from forest foraging, through intermediate stages of food
plant promotion and forest management, leading ultimately to plant
domestication and true gardening.
∙ Evidence of early inhabitance (in New Guinea highlands)
The landscape, with its extensive grasslands, has been radically shaped by the cumulative actions of many human generations
Direct evidence is limited to materials from a handful of excavated and published sites
Material culture found in these sites consists largely of amorphous stone flake and core tools, axes similarly found in Huon
Limited evidence of diet and economy
∙ Initial human arrival in Sahul and Near Oceania
∙ Early sites are distributed over virtually the entire geographic expanse of Sahul and Near Oceania
Homo sapiens populations rapidly spread out over these new lands Early modern humans were able to move into, exploit, and permanently inhabit a remarkable range of habitats, from the tundralike high latitudes of Tasmania, through the deserts of Australia, to the humid topical forests of New Guinea and the Bismarcks. Don't forget about the age old question of What is the used to communicate?
∙ Note: initial entry into Sahul occurred at least 40 kya, and colonization of the entire Sahul Near Oceanic area from Tasmania to New Ireland was accomplished by 3536 kya
∙ Note: peopling of Sahul did not correlate with one of the maximal periods of sea level lowering and maximal exposure of dry land Don't forget about the age old question of What is the Geography of food production?
The arrival of humans into Sahul necessitated overwater transport (also the case with Near Oceania) > *archaeologists are most likely dealing with the earliest purposive voyaging in the history of humankind.
∙ By the midHolocene the peoples who occupied New Guinea had developed new subsistence strategies of food production
∙ Edible roots, tubers, fruit, or nuts had been brought under human manipulation and control, domesticated through planting, tending, and selecting.
∙ These changes in subsistence were accompanied by new technologies in the working of shell and stone
∙ Includes Papua New Guinea, the Bismarcks, the Solomon islands, Vanuatu, and Fiji ∙ (Refer to Sahul for information on Papua New Guinea)
∙ Bismarck Archipelago and Solomon Islands
∙ All evidence pertaining to the Bismarck Archipelago sites is still new, and since several sites have not yet been fully analyzed or reported, a detailed understanding of the 25,000 years of Pleistocene history represented in these sites lies in the future.
We can at least rough out the framework of a prehistoric sequence for the BismarcksSolomons region from 3510 kya
∙ Note: the Bismarcks were the first true Pacific islands to be colonized, beyond the shifting continental margins of Sahul
∙ Faunal evidence from the oldest Pleistocene sites in the Bismarcks suggests that people exploited a wide range of both terrestrial and inshore marine resources. There is as yet no material evidence for fishhooks or other sophisticated kinds of fishing devices
∙ Two changes have captured the attention of prehistorians:
The appears of bones of the Gray Cuscus, an arboreal marsupial This species is not indigenous to the Bismarcks, and is likely to have been purposively introduced by humans into the islands from its
original habitat on Papua New Guinea.
The presence of obsidian, deriving from the Mopir and Talasea sources on New Britain
Indicates that people were no longer simply using local stone
resources, but were transporting directly or through trade or exchange
networks a valuable lithic material over distances of up to 350 kilometers ∙ Fish bones and shellfish remains from the Matenkupkum Rockshelter site of New Ireland (in the Bismarcks) are possibly the earliest evidence of marine resource exploitation anywhere in the world.
∙ Note: the use of the terms "old" and "new" Melanesia references the periods prior to and after the emergence and expansion of Lapita.
∙ Pleistocene: 2.5 mya 12 kya
∙ Settlement of Sahul and Near Oceania occurred during this time period ∙ Holocene: 12 kya today
Note: by the Pleistocene era, the Australian Plate (Sahul) was in its modern position, separated from the Asian mainland by deep oceanic trenches in the Wallacean region.
Wallacea (pg. 6566)
∙ To the western side is the vast Sunda, to the east is the enlarged "Greater Australian" continent Sahul.
∙ Note: the islands of New Oceania (the Bismarcks and Solomons) were likewise never connected to Sahul by dry land
Deep water trenches also separate these from the Australian Plate
This isolation gave rise to marked biogeographic patterns, for the diversity of marsupials, birds, and other life forms drops off rapidly as one leaves New Guinea and moves progressively through the Bismarck and Solomon Archipelagoes
New Guinea and Bismarcks Centers of Domestication
∙ Note: archaeological discoveries in Near Oceania over the past two decades have been those supporting this ethnobotanical hypothesis of a Near Oceanic center of early plant domestication and horticultural development.
∙ Australimus bananas
∙ Pueraria lobata (tuber crop)
∙ Ti plant (corduline fruticosum)
∙ Fruit and nutbearing trees
Canarium almond, Tahitian Chestnut, and others
∙ Note: fairly strong case for indigenous development of a kind of subsistence system known as aboriculture: orchardbased tree cropping.
Canarium almond, and others
∙ First people to penetrate Remote Oceania
Around 1200 B.C., a phase of longdistance voyaging and colonization commenced
Lapita groups broke through the invisible boundary of Near Oceania (which for 30,000+ years had marked the limits of all human existence in the Pacific). Note: the earliest Lapita settlements that involved crossing open ocean were established by around 1100 B.C. in the Reef/Santa Cruz Islands; a few centuries later, Lapita sites first appeared in the Bismarck Archipelago
Colonizing populations were small, resulting in "genetic bottleneck" effects that can be detected in modern molecular variation among Polynesians
∙ Note: Austronesian peoples were horticulturists, had domestic animals, knew how to fish the inshore and offshore waters, made redslipped earthenware pottery, used groundstone and shell adzes, had a variety of other tools and implements in shell, and were canoe builders and navigators.
∙ TripleI Model: intrusion, innovation, and integration
∙ Ceramic series
Dentatestamped method of decoration is characteristic in Lapita pottery The earliest dates for site with this distinctive Lapita style range between 15001400 B.C.; for the next 23 centuries, there was no expansion of Lapita populations beyond the immediate Near Oceania region
Stamps were applied according to a set of artistic rules, constituting a "grammar" of Lapita design.
Note: Oceanic art is of the pervasive type in which the same motifs and rules are applied to a diversity of artistic media.
∙ Site characteristics
Several characteristics marked sites wholly different from anything preceding them in Near Oceania (known as rubric Lapita)
Goodsized settlements (up to 80 or more hectares), situated on coastal beach terraces or built out over the shallow lagoons as clusters of stilthouses.
The beaches and reefs were the favorable location for settlements Occupants made, traded, and used large quantities of earthenware ceramics, of both plain and decorated varieties
The economic base had expanded, utilizing all of the tree crops that had been domesticated in this region, also including pigs, dogs, and chickens; fishing strategies were sophisticated, and they employed a variety of fishhooks
Sufficiently large, safe, and fast to sustain an extensive maritime migration Likely a singleoutrigger
Sail was a simple twospar right, usually described as an "oceanic spritsail" May have changed direction relative to the wind by some mode of tacking rather than shunting
Tacking canoes: have distinctive and permanent bows and sterns like Western crafts.
Included all of the classical Eastern and Wester Polynesian twinhulled canoes, as well as those of Hawaii and New Zealand
Sailing outrigger canoes of Tahiti, Samoa, and Tonga (but no Pukapuka) fit in this category
Theories of Remote Oceania Settlement (pg. 53, 58)
1 ENSO (El Niño Southern Oscillation)
2 Changing sea levels
Sea levels were periodically as much as 100120 meters lower than at present, facilitating movement of people into Near Oceania.
3 Strategic use of weather patterns for survival
Transported landscapes colonizers brought domestic animals, plants, and a sophisticated culture around horticulture
∙ 28 species of plants (taro, yams, coconuts, bananas, tree crops, breadfruit, Vi Apple) ∙ Chickens, dogs, and pigs (Austronesian origin)
∙ Tools for exploiting marine resources
Founderfocused Ideology that greater status (often of a ritual or sacerdotal nature) is allocated within a community to those who descend from earlier rather than later kin group founders. ∙ Note: these ideologies and ascribed ranks are very discontinuous in their distributions ∙ Founder rank enhancement: process whereby junior founders move into relative or absolution isolation (such as a new island, previously inhabited or not) could establish senior lines, aggrandize their resources, and attempt to ensure methods of genealogical inheritance which would retain privileges for their descendants.
Could have given founders opportunities for aggrandizement of their own, and their descendants' statuses, that they might not have had at their home.
∙ Note: the most persuasive evidence for the presence of some form of institutionalized inequality in early Austronesian societies comes from comparative linguistics.
Intensification increased output
Better cultivators, technology
∙ Increased labor
Landesque capital intensification
Modification of the landscape
Cropping cycle intensification
Reduction of fallow period, more labor toward weeding, mulching ∙ Why?
Demographic pressure (necessary condition)
Production and power > to generate surplus
Adaptation on Rough Terrain
∙ Complex design problems
∙ Developmental and genetic constraints
∙ Games of coordination
∙ Chaotic dynamics
∙ Note: example of adaptation = canoe traits across eastern Oceania
Note: the above graphs reflect potential population sizes (done in class). Consider the traits of the four island types discussed at beginning of study guide.
Major Crop Plants and Purposes Polynesia
∙ Candlenut tree
Illumination, dye (tattoos, barckcloth)
∙ Giant Taro
Tuber (famine food), leaves (temporary umbrellas, thatch, wrapping for food items, placed over ovens)
Fragrance (leis, scent oil)
Food (starchy fruit), timber (wood), glue (sap), medicine (leaves, sap) ∙ Paper mulberry
Barkcloth, other minor uses
Food and drink (meat, water, milk, cream, utoabsorbing organ), animal feed pigs and chickens (mature coconut), medicine, oil, thatch, baskets, hats, fans, fish
traps (leaves), cups, tools, jewelry, container (coconut shell), cordage, clothing, toilet paper, bath sponges, kindling (husk), sennit for canoes, ropes, shark nooses, brooms, brushes, speaks, staffs (timber)
Food (root, young leaves)
∙ Winged yam
Food (root, young leaves)
Root intoxicating beverage used formally in ceremony, or informally in social gatherings
Polynesian Contact with Americas
From South America
There were no women with them. They built a sort of village on the point (the sites of their houses may still be seen today) and having found no water, bored wells through solid rock, that were extraordinarily deep.
The food resources of the region were quickly exhausted as a result of the voracity of these men. They also sowed hatred and fear throughout the land, massacring the women in order to rape them, and the mean for other reasons. From Polynesia
They described the one rauena, a peculiar kind of sandy beach, well stocked with shellfish. The country, they said, was inhabited by handsome people, who property was abundant, and the fruits of the earth delicious and plentiful. There was also a stream or fountain, which was called the wai ora roa (water of enduring life).
"Kaahua" was the name of a canoe of very great size which made a voyage from Puamua in ancient times in search of lands. It was a double canoe with a number of houses on it, and carried a great quantity of breadfruit paste. So large was it that bailers had to climb up the sides from the bottom to pour the bilge water out. The people who went on this canoe were of the tribe called Tuoo, and Teheiva was their chief. The expedition was comprised of men, women, and children. From Hivaoa they went first to Nukuhiva. Thence they sailed east, and finally reached Tefiti. Some of the explorers remained at this land, while others returned to Puamau on "Kaahua".
∙ Oral traditions
∙ High similarity in prehistoric material culture
∙ Human commensals
∙ Diffusion: transmission by contact, and thus the spread of norms from one person to another and more broadly from people of one local tradition to another.
∙ Homologous: any technological or behavioral attribute that shows a degree of similarity due to shared ancestry.
∙ Analogous: behaviors or technology developed by multiple groups independently.
∙ Political organization is based upon patrilineal (lineal) descent groups, segmented, on cognatic groups, etc.
Every public action is designed to make a competitive and invidious comparison with others, to show a standing above the masses that is the product of his own personal manufacture; personal power
Attainment of bigman status is the outcome of a series of acts which elevate a person above the common herd
The bigman political system is generally unstable over short terms: in its superstructure it is flux or rising and falling leaders, in its substructure of enlarging and contracting factions.
∙ Smaller populations, 70300
Size may be limited by number of individuals a bigman can convince to follow him
Consisting in its main portion of the triangular constellation of lands between New Zealand, Easter Island, and the Hawaiian Islands
∙ Political organization is pyramidal
Often, but not always, facilitated by the development of ranked lineages Called the conical clan by Kirchoff
Genealogical ranking is its distinctive feature members of the same descent unit are ranked by genealogical distance from the common ancestor; lines of the same group become senior and cadet branches by this principle; related corporate lineages are relatively ranked, again by genealogical priority.
Feudal rather than capitalist, bearing is almost regal (looks like a chief) Every public action is a display of the refinements of breeding
Standing not so much a personal achievement as just a social due, "he can afford to be, and he is, every inch a chief"
∙ Larger populations, 2,0003,000 (depending on the island, population may be a greater number)
Limited by competing chiefdoms
End of Lapita
Lapita "ends" at the first millennium B.C. throughout the entire range The defining cultural signature > dentatestamped pottery with a formal design system > disappears, with continuity of other forms
Polynesian Plain Ware pottery in Samoa and Tonga
In Mussau Islands, and adjacent regions, incised designs with some Lapita motifs And beginning…
Isolation in Remote Oceania > diversification a uniform Lapita no longer possible
Linguistic and genetic exchanges between Papuan and Austronesian language speakers
Trade networks and specialization
Inland settlement and land use changes
Note: some islands, such as Hawaii, Tonga, Tahiti, and Fiji, were able to develop a strong/stable enough political organization system (big man/chiefly) that they were recognized by Europeans, and they were therefore able to resist invasion.
Rapa Nui (Easter Island)
∙ Woodland destruction
Due to rats or humans?
Melanesian land dive a ritual performed by the men of the southern part of Vanuatu. ∙ Precursor to bungee jumping
∙ Men jump off wooden towers 2030 meters high, with two tree vines wrapped around their ankles
Done with no real safety equipment