ANT 304 Study Guide Exam #1
(Highlighted material was either mentioned multiple times in lecture or was singled out as information that will possibly be referenced directly on the exam)
Important Terms from Lectures:
Middens - rubbish or trash heaps that tell us about past societies’ behavior when examined and studied.
Context - An artifacts’ time, place and relation to other artifacts (location in the ground). When artifacts are removed from their context by looters that damage is irreversible. Context and position must be recorded so that knowledge isn’t lost. Artifacts - things made by humans
Prehistory - Prehistory is the part of human history before written records. Human Prehistory begins with the very earliest concentrations of stone artifacts. The New Archaeology - The New Archaeology looks to explain the past with data and statistics. New Archaeologists claimed that they could study all aspects of the past although some of those claims failed to materialize.
Process - Process is changes over time. It implies pattern sequence of events. Most changes in human culture have been built up over time and the processes of culture are caused by adaptations.
Archaeological record - The remains of human behavior form the Archaeological record which is analyzed by Archaeologists. For example, animal carcasses, tools, dried seeds, leather etc.
Exceptional remains - Remains preserved exceptionally well by extreme conditions such as excessive cold or being underwater.
Neolithic Revolution - the discovery of farming and the beginning of agriculture as a means of life
Types of Anthropologists
Social/Cultural Anthropologists - Social or Cultural Anthropologists study living people and their behavior.
Physical Anthropologists - Physical Anthropologists study human biology past and present. They ask questions such as: “Why do we stand upright?” or “Why are our hands shaped in this way?”.
Types of Archaeologists
Classic Archaeologists - Archaeologists associated with classical societies such as Rome, Egypt and Greece. We also discuss several other topics like biol 221 purdue
Historical Archaeologists - Historical Archaeologists study sites of the recent historical past such as Medieval sites or those in the Colonial US. They confirm what is in historical documents that can be biased or untrue.
Underwater Archaeologists - Underwater Archaeologists’ techniques are similar to those of terrestrial archaeologists, the difference is that due to the depth at which they work they’re on a time crunch. They do fieldwork such as examining shipwrecks and looking at the cargo within.
Prehistoric Archaeologists - Prehistoric Archaeologists deal with an enormous time scare. 99 percent of human history is in the prehistoric era, therefore these archaeologists must specialize.
Anthropologists and Archaeologists’ main goal is to study human society. Their three objectives are to (1) study cultural history (2) reconstruct ancient lifeways and (3) investigate how and why cultures changed in prehistory. Increased access to travel and technology have increased societal and anthropological knowledge.
What to know from the Neandertal Documentary If you want to learn more check out chapter 4 the structure of the atom study guide
Features of Neandertals (Homo neanderthalensis) - Neandertols were robust and short and had protruding brow bones and noses, Neandertal jaws and skulls were shaped differently than human jaws and skulls. Neandertals also had a smaller tibia than humans possibly because of where they were located in extremely cold regions. They also had a brain size slightly larger than ours and there is evidence that they used fire as well as may have had a culture.
● It is very hotly debated if Neandertals are our direct historical relatives or a completely different species altogether, and no scientific consensus has been reached.
● Most Neandertals disappear after 40,000 years ago although Neandertal genes are present in some modern human populations today Don't forget about the age old question of cbu public safety
● Pleistocene climatic events may have had an impact on the extinction of Neandertals as well as interaction with Homo sapiens. Don't forget about the age old question of hypokusis
What to know about Early Hominins
Hominoidea - This taxonomic category includes humans and their ancestors, as well as gibbons, gorillas, chimps, and orangutans. The Hominoidea have many similar traits.
● For current humans there is only one species within our genus. Humans belong to the species Homo sapiens. (Homo = genus, sapiens = species) ● Humans’ earliest potential ancestor is a group called australopiths. Early Hominins shared the anatomy for bipedalism which had multiple advantages. (1) It freed up the hands allowing them to make tools, carry objects, and throw things. (2) The upright posture it promoted was better for withstanding heat. (3) Being upright may have given them better awareness of predators over long distances.
What to know about Homo erectus & Homo heidelbergensis
Features of Homo erectus - H. erectus had large brow ridges, thick skull bones and a longer and lower skull shape than humans. They had a modern form of bipedalism.
● Fossils of Homo erectus began appearing in Africa’s paleoanthropological record around 1.9 million years ago.
● Neither H. erectus or H. heidelbergensis were not modern humans.
What to know about the Early Upper Paleolithic period
The Upper Paleolithic period began around 45,000 BC and the majority of cultures in this period behave like modern human groups.
● The exact origins of the Aurignacian culture is not known but their use of artistic expression is well documented.
● Innovations of the Upper Paleolithic include hearths lined with heat capturing rocks, the invention of a hand operated drill that could be used to start a fire, and the construction of shelters. Don't forget about the age old question of uwm biology
● Early Upper Paleolithic groups hunted large animals such as reindeer and horses with sophisticated means such as traps.
What to know about Mid-Upper Paleolithic period
Mid-Upper Paleolithic hunter-gatherers left an archaeological record classified as Gravettian. Gravettian cultures began around 30,000 BC.
● The mammoth steppe was an especially rich habitat for these groups and allowed Upper Paleolithic people in Europe to live in otherwise harsh glacial condition.
● Eastern Gravettian people built shelters using mammoth bone, hunted many animals for food and experimented in ceramic technology 15,000 years before the first widespread use of ceramics in places like China. Their intriguing burial sites have also been examined at sites such as Sungir and Dolni Vestonice indicating rituals and symbolism. Artistic expression is also present in this culture in cave art.
What to know about Late Upper Paleolithic period
The Late Upper Paleolithic period begins around 20,000 BC. The Magdalenian and Epi-Gravettian were cultures present during this period. During the Late Upper Paleolithic period a recently invented spear thrower technology known as atlatl was used for hunting.
● Magdalenian - The Magdalenian culture was associated with hunting a wide range of animals including reindeer.
● Epi-Gravettian - It is known that Epi-Gravettian people used bone as fuel due to the cold generally treeless climate they lived in, It is also known that they occasionally hunted mammoth. If you want to learn more check out when the cause of your frustration is intimidating or unknown
A unique aspect of the cave art created during this period is its large diversity in images and techniques. There are a few theories that attempt to describe why the
art was so intricate and excessive. (1) One theory is that this cave art was “art for the sake of art”. (2) Another theory known as “hunting magic” claims that the art was part of a magic ritual to ensure good hunting results. (3) Another explanation called “entoptic phenomena” states that all human minds experience the same set
of visuals in the same progression when in an altered state and the cave art represents these visions. (4) The final explanation claims that the art was meant to form alliances and resolve disputes over resources between settled groups.
Possible Routes to the Americas
The most widely accepted proposal is that of an all-land route from Siberia to Alaska over the Bering Strait. When people reached Alaska they were prevented from further migration southwards by large glaciers until an ice-free corridor formed along the Canadian rockies and allowed people to move the Americas south of the glaciers. Another possible route involves a sea passage from Europe in skin boats although archaeologists do not believe this to be likely.
What to know about Paleoamericans
The Clovis culture dates from 11,300 to 10,850 BC and was located generally in the boundaries of the US. Unlike the cultures of Upper Paleolithic Europe, there is no unambiguous Clovis art except for a few designs on tools and bone. They ate a variety of animals including deer, rabbits, turtles, alligators, birds, raccoons, and different plants. They were generally highly mobile and specialized in big game hunting.
The Folsom culture appeared after the Clovis period and these groups’ main activity was making stone points. They were also known for hunting bison as well as other animals.
Important Terms from the Textbook:
Datum - A datum is a reference point on the ground with known coordinates, They are used to set up site grids and for precise location measurement. Transit - A transit is a precision instrument that is used to measure angles such as those used by archaeologists to establish grids.
Cartesian Coordinate System - This is a 3D grid system that is used to calculate the position of any given point.
Spit - A spit is an excavation unit with an assigned depth.
Microfauna - Microfauna is small animals such as mice, snails and moles that archaeologists collect to determine changes in temperature.
Paleoenvironment - Paleoenvironment refers to the types of environments and habitats of regions in the past.
Relative Dating - Relative Dating techniques allow archaeologists to see which artifacts are older or younger. Two relative dating techniques are stratigraphy and seriation.
● Seriation - Seriation is a relative dating method that gauges an artifact’s frequency as an indicator of its chronology.
● Stratigraphy - Stratigraphy refers to the levels at an archaeological site which can be used for relative dating.
Absolute Dating - Absolute Dating methods yield dates in years and have proven earlier guesses about some artifacts’ chronology incorrect.
● Dendrochronology - Dendrochronology (tree ring dating) is based on the principle that trees add a ring annually that varies in thickness based on the availability of water that year. This technique can be extremely accurate but it can only be used in regions with wooden timbers and the sequence doesn’t go as far back in time as other dating methods.
● Archaeomagnetism - Archaeomagnetism is based on the fact that earth’s magnetic field changes over time. It is used by heating a fixed feature to about 600/700 degrees C so that its iron particles will align to the position of the magnetic north pole at the time of its firing.
● Radiometric Techniques - Radiometric Techniques use the rate of decay of certain isotopes into stable elements in order to determine the date of a site. Radiometric techniques include radiocarbon dating and potassium-argon dating.
Indigenous Archeology - Indigenous Archaeology combines archaeology and native knowledge taking into account the concerns of the people whose ancestors occupied the land they’re studying.
Bipedal - The use of lower limbs (two legs) to move around on the ground as the main form of movement. A fossil can be distinguished as bipedal based on features of the skull. Fossils that have a foramen magnum (an opening in the lower skull where the spine meets the skull) or an S-shape spinal column can be recognized as bipedal.
Mosaic Revolution - Mosaic Revolution occurs when natural selection acts at various rates of change on different parts of the body.
Culture - sets of behavior that result from social learning and traditions. Acheulian - A flaked stone tool tradition that included handaxes and cleavers. Origin Models
● Multiregional Model - This model assumes that all hominin populations were interconnected through the evolutionary process of gene flow and hypothesizes that modern humans in the Old World evolved from archaic hominins as gene flow kept the populations similar enough to interbreed.
● Recent Single Origin Model - This model states that modern humans only originated from Africa and did so quite recently (200,000 years ago). They later spread out to other regions and replaced archaic hominins.
Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act - This federal law passed in 1990 requires consultation with Native American and Native Hawaiian groups about sacred objects, human remains, and grave goods that are uncovered during excavation.
Paleoamericans - Some archaeologists use the term Paleoamericans to refer to the earliest people in the Americas. These people lived during the end of the Pleistocene and the early Holocene.
People to know:
Gordon Willey - Gordon Willey was an American archaeologist who pioneered the development for settlement pattern theories.
Archbishop Ussher - Using Old Testament Ussher calculated the age of the earth as 4004 BC. Obviously, this was eventually disproven.
Edward Tylor - In the 1870s Edward Tylor organized humanity into three stages of achievement: (1) savagery (ancient and modern hunters and gatherers) (2) barbarism (farmers and those who cultivated plants who were less mobile than
hunters and gatherers) and (3) civilization (Egyptians, Mayans, Romans). Nowadays no one would agree with Tylor’s stages.
Cushing - Franklin Cushing spent five years living with the Zuni people in New Mexico studying their culture and society.
Bandelier - Adolph Bandelier studied living Pueblan society and recorded oral histories. He worked from the present to the past.
Binford - Binford argued for more scientific analysis when looking into the past and is credited for establishing The New Archaeology.
● Everyone lives in a cultural context
● Human culture is transferred from generation to generation. You aren’t born with culture, you learn it from the people you are surrounded by. ● Humans are the only species that uses culture as their primary form of adaptation.
● Culture is the dominant factor in determining social behavior. ● Culture helps us explain the products of human activity in which archaeologists look for a pattern.
● Every cultural system is in a constant state of change
Extra concepts to know:
● TV archaeology (Indiana Jones etc.) is not anything like real archaeology. It is purposefully fantasized and does not accurately represent the science it attempts to portray.
● Archeologists collaborate with many different scientists including those who study Paleoanthropology, Ethnoarchaeology, Ethnography, Geoarchaeology, Palynology, Zooarchaeology and Archaeometallurgy.
● The presence of modern humans and Neandertals began around 200,000 years ago.