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UMB / Evolutionary Anthropology / ANTH 240 / Why do some cultures survive and others collapse?

Why do some cultures survive and others collapse?

Why do some cultures survive and others collapse?

Description

School: University of Maryland
Department: Evolutionary Anthropology
Course: Introduction to Archaeology
Professor: George hambrecht
Term: Fall 2017
Tags:
Cost: 50
Name: Midterm Format
Description: The Midterm will consist of 3 essay questions consisting of the following concepts. Here's a compilaton of all of my own notes on these topics. Best of luck!
Uploaded: 10/04/2017
8 Pages 8 Views 4 Unlocks
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Midterm Format Friday, October 6, 2017 11:33 PM


Why do some cultures survive and others collapse?



3 essay questions

1.

History and Theory of Archaeology

Historical figures

Willard Libby (1940s) -Nobel Prize winner, discovered radiocarbon  

dating method

James Ussher (1581-1656) - archbishop of Armagh, Ireland,  

"calculated" the age of the Earth based on the Old Testament and  claimed it was created Sunday October 23rd of 4004BC James Hutton (1726-1797) - advocate of New Formatarianism,  

claimed Earth is actually older than 6,000 years because his  observations of geological  structures and landscape indicate it  would take much more time to form

Charles Lyell (1797-1875) - "Father of Geology", wrote "Principles of  


Why are we called homosapien?



Geology" (1830-33), the "Evolution of the Species" for Geology  Jacques Boucher de Perthes (1788-1868) - French amateur  

archaeologist followed construction workers to see what they  would dig up

William  Pengelly (1812-1894) - found stone tools in association with  

bones of extinct animals beneath a sealed floor of stalagmite.   Scientists are now convinced, examined Boucher de Perthes' work  and whose work is now also validated If you want to learn more check out What is an example of a bourgeois?

Christian J. Thomsen (1788-1865) - first curator of Danish National  

Museum, Devised the "Three Age System" for tools, assuming that  these were technological phenomena during specific periods of  time (Stone Age, Bronze Age, Iron Age)

Jens Worsaae (1821-1885) -successor to Thomsen, founder of  


What are the 7 schools of thought?



archaeology discipline

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) - 1st archaeologist of the Americas,  

1784 excavated several burial mounds on his VA plantation (slave  labor, the first archaeological excavation)

Influential Schools of Thought ○

Cultural Evolution -- Lewis Henry Morgan (1818 - 1881) ▪

Societies "progress" through 3 stages of development (you  can classify them just by hearing information, no actual  fieldwork is done by the classifier)

,    

Influential Schools of Thought

Cultural Evolution -- Lewis Henry Morgan (1818 - 1881) ▪

Societies "progress" through 3 stages of development (you  can classify them just by hearing information, no actual  fieldwork is done by the classifier)

1.

Savagery - hunter/gatherers, no plant or animal  domestication Don't forget about the age old question of What is amplitude?

2. Barbarism - agriculture

3.

Civilization (obviously the height was the 19th century)- writing

Historical Particularism -- Franz Boas (1858-1942) "Father of  

American Archaeology"

Each culture has unique history of development, not  everyone has to go through the same stages of development □ If you want to learn more check out What gregg olsen define as social stratification?

Each must be understood in its own context, requires  fieldwork and participant observation

Emphasis on collection and classification, because that is the  material context of the civilization being examined

Culture-Historical Approach

□ Emphasis on data collection and creation of typologies □ Saw cultures as generally static Don't forget about the age old question of What is phospholipid?

□ Cultural change cause by diffusion & migration □ Change comes from external influences

Processual Archaeology a.k.a. the "New Archaeology" -- Lewis  We also discuss several other topics like What publicization means?

Binford (1930-2011) + David Clarke (1937-1876)

Sought to explain the site formation processes, cultural  systems, and social change

Stressed scientific methodology

Testing hypotheses against archaeological  data ◆

Used computers to test data and hypothesis, and  

then apply to archaeology

Search for general laws

Ex: thinking that computers will be so advanced  

that they can predict weather for the rest of the  future.

Positivist

Overly optimistic obsessed reliance on the  

scientific method

Processural Archaeology II

□ Emphasized the influence of environmental factors

Middle Range theory - an approach to sociological theorizing  aimed at integrating and empirical research We also discuss several other topics like What are the different vision problems?

□ Ethnoarchaeology - uses ethnography

 

Processural Archaeology II

□ Emphasized the influence of environmental factors

Middle Range theory - an approach to sociological theorizing  aimed at integrating and empirical research

□ Ethnoarchaeology - uses ethnography

Experimental archaeology - recreating artifacts by yourself (a  Moana recreation experiment, the Polynesian voyages)

Post-Processualism -- Ian Hodder (1949-present) ▪

Rejected positivism and using the scientific method in a  "slavish maniacal manner"

◆ No single correct interpretation

Human behavior is not predictable, there are no general  

laws

Some reject positivism so much, they essentially reject  

science

Stressed:

◆ Study of symbolism, ideology ◆ Social conflict

Archaeology's ethical  responsibilities ◆

Were a bunch of Westerners dig a bunch of stuff  

up and disappear, but the nearby descendant  communities never hear about the discoveries or  get any reparation or information.  The natives  will know more about the artifacts than the guest  archaeologists (think Henrietta Lacks but in  archaeology)

◊ Bring a lot of social theory

◆ Incorporation of non-Western perspectives

Archaeology Theory Today, s sort of post-post-processualism

□ Processualists and post-procesualists still exist

Each has been affected by each other

Processualist approach is now more holistic, and gives  

more focus on gender, social conflict, ideology, etc. Post-processualist are now not as anti-scientific or anti

positivist

Historical ecology (arguably the best of the "posties" and the  

processualists)

Balances agency and external  determinist factors-especially  environmental factors

Expands the breadth of what is human.  Landscapes and  ecologies as human constructs

□ Terra Preta (Black Earths) as an example

The relationship between humans and ecology and the  nuances in-between

environmental factors

Expands the breadth of what is human.  Landscapes and  ecologies as human constructs

□ Terra Preta (Black Earths) as an example

The relationship between humans and ecology and the  nuances in-between

2.

Homo Sapiens - Modern Behavior

Have some important sites/locations/dates(ranges)

▪ The Invention of Art

□ Before the appearance of modern humans, very little  

evidence of impractical modification of equipment

□ Began 35,000 years ago, when bone becomes common  material for human use, modification, and decoration

□ About 80% of Upper Paleolithic art comes from the last  period, Magdalenian

◆ Mural

◊ Cave wall paintings and engravings

???? Paintings are rendered in outline and often  

colored in monochrome or polychrome

???? Paint made with ground minerals, red  

ochre, charcoal, clay, etc. mixed with water

???? Usually carefully planned and skillfully  

executed (so could not be punk graffiti)

◊ Most are naturalistic representations of animals  

(horses, wild cattle, bison)

◊ Some of the pigments are organic material (and  

carbon-dating can be used!)

◊ Few representations of humans, usually more  

abstract

◊ Mostly found deep inside caves in France and  

Spain (over 200 in France alone)

???? The ones in the caves survive, we don't  

know if there were any paintings outside  

the caves

???? Deep inside the cave, is dark, they'd need  

light, so why/how did they get there?

???? Some are up beyond arm's reach, so there  

would probably needed scaffolding

◆ Portable

◊ Carvings, figurines, and other shaped or  

decorated works that can be moved from place to  

place

◊ Usually made of stone, antler, ivory, bone,  

robabl also made of wood but not reserved

◆ Portable

◊ Carvings, figurines, and other shaped or  

decorated works that can be moved from place to  

place

◊ Usually made of stone, antler, ivory, bone,  

probably also made of wood (but not preserved)

◊ Animal representations are common

◊ Bâtons de commandements - hypothesized to be  

either a leader's baton, or tent peg, or even spear  

straighteners (function unclear)

???? Made of reindeer antler

???? Perforated at one end

???? Incised or carved with decorations

◊ Venus figurines - face is obscured or nonexistent,  

interpreted as accentuated fertility or  

prosperity(social identity), ritual fertility activity,  

etc. (function unclear)

???? Many date from Gravettian

???? Usually made of ivory, steatite (soapstone)  

or calcite  (limestone)

???? Often with large breasts, buttocks, hips,  

sometimes the arms disappear

???? Some appear pregnant

◊ Anthropomorphic figures

▪ Lascaux

□ SW France

□ Discovered in 1940s, sealed after 15,000 yrs

□ Most important collection of Paleolithic art in the world ◆ Paintings and reliefs date to about 17 kya

◆ Over 600 paintings and 1,500 engravings found

□ Atmospheric environment started damaging the original, so a  scale replica was built for tourists to visit

▪ Chauvet  

□ S France

□ Discovered 1995, over 5 times larger than Lascaux

□ Dates to about 32 kya (Aurignacian period)

□ Paintings depict horses, cattle, woolly rhinos, cave bears, cave  lions, etc.

□ 75 cave bear skulls found in Chauvet, and only skulls □ One skull perched atop a boulder

□ Sculpted Bison were found in the cave, and small foot prints  were found circling  the sculpture (it was sculpted in wet mud) ▪ Cosquer

□ Spelunking divers off Mediterranean coast of France in 1992

□  cave ear sus oun n auvet, an ony sus

□ One skull perched atop a boulder

□ Sculpted Bison were found in the cave, and small foot prints  

were found circling  the sculpture (it was sculpted in wet mud)

▪ Cosquer

□ Spelunking divers off Mediterranean coast of France in 1992

□ Entrance is 120 ft under water today

□ Dates 19,000 to 27,000 yrs ago

□ Paintings depict horses, ibex, bison, seals, and seabirds

□ There are hand imprints in the paint, too

▪ Various interpretations of Mural Art

□ Hunting magic - asking for good hunts or honoring the hunted  animals?

◆ Many of animals were prey species

◆ But why are there predators also depicted?

□ Caves as Paleolithic "cathedrals"

◆ Places of ritual activity

◆ Ties into view of art as related to hunting success

□ Caves as seasonal communal gathering places

□ Depictions of traditional stories and myths (trying to link cave  paintings to modern folk tales)

□ Art for art's sake

3. Kintigh Reading: Current Priorities in Archaeology

5 different categories:

1. Emergence and Complexity

○ Origins and Dynamics

▪ Leadership/Authority (How did social authority appear and how did  they propagate themselves?)

▪ Social inequality

▪ Markets

▪ Social complexity

▪ Urbanism

▪ Violence and conflict

○ Agency and Structure (How much society creates structures around us  that we operate in? How much free will is there?)

2. Issues behind the idea of Resilience and Collapse

○ Why do some cultures survive and others collapse?

○ Diversity: Social, Environmental

○ General patterns in the above relationships (can we identify a society  about to collapse?)

○ Ideologies

3. Issues around Movement and Migration

○ Origins of Homo Sapiens

○ Environment and Social Dynamics (in the biological development of our  species?)

○ Adaptation to extreme environments (how and when, for example, the  Arctic)

○ How, when, why does migration occur, and how are social identities  impacted? (some groups seem to keep social cohesion, while others seem  to disappear)

4. Cognition and Behavior

○ Biophysical and social contexts of the origins of Homo Sapiens ○ How are social/cultural identities formed

○ Phenomenology of human experience

5. Human/Environment Relations

○ Origins of Anthropocene (the name that has been proposed for our  current environmental epoch, formerly the Holocene, because now we  are changing the environment)

○ What factors are behind population growth and crashes?

○ Factors behind health of society as seen in the archaeological record? ○ Origins of domestication (the birth of farming)

○ The growth of domestication

○ Response to sudden catastrophic events

▪ Ex: Caribbean homes, had a central post that was constantly  reinforced so that when a hurricane came in and swept away the

○ Origins of domestication (the birth of farming)

○ The growth of domestication

○ Response to sudden catastrophic events

▪ Ex: Caribbean homes, had a central post that was constantly  reinforced so that when a hurricane came in and swept away the  outside, the people could rebuild again easily because the central  post was still there

○ Respond to environmental and climate change in the short and long-term

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