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Archaeology, Week 1 of Notes

by: Nicole Shaughnessy

Archaeology, Week 1 of Notes APY 108

Nicole Shaughnessy
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These are this week's first batch of notes.
Intro to Anthropology
Timothy Chevral
Class Notes
Anthropology, Archaeology




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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Nicole Shaughnessy on Sunday January 17, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to APY 108 at University at Buffalo taught by Timothy Chevral in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 18 views. For similar materials see Intro to Anthropology in anthropology, evolution, sphr at University at Buffalo.


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Date Created: 01/17/16
1/25/16 Intro to Archaeology  Social Sciences study processes and conditions that make societies work, the relationships between individuals and groups within society, and the way they influence the world around them.  The goal of social sciences, like psychology, sociology, geography, economics, political science, and anthropology, is to explain why people take certain actions or attitudes, and what impacts occur. It usually is comparative, using different case studies to contrast the conditions that lead to certain outcomes.  It is illegal to put people in harm’s way for the purpose of research; instead, they look for natural situations to study. For example, if one wants to study the impact of war on a society they must go to a society already at war. They cannot put them in a war for the sole purpose of the research.  Some disciplinary areas are considered to have scholars who may be both humanists or social scientists, or both. History is one of these; archaeology is another. Anthropological Archaeology  The study of prehistoric, protohistoric, and historic cultures.  NOT based on a desire to display the achievements of one specific group, or time and place.  Studies every time and place, from the first humans to the recent past.  Goal: to reveal something about human society in general, by examining specific cases.  Also aims, like anthropology itself, to study all aspects of any society: their technology, way of life, beliefs and religions, political life, and we study them in many ways; with biology, chemistry, geology, paleoecology, and physics.  Laboratory and field methods of anthropological archaeology differ from other methods  Cross-cultural and comparative  Holistic  Hypothetico-deductive Today:  What do archaeologists do? Does it matter?  What is the nature of archaeological data?  Who are the stewards and the stake holders? Stratigraphy, association, and the context Principle of Superposition  Artifacts, features, structures, sites, regions  Questions we as about places and things:  How old?  What is it?  What was the structure of society?  How did people make their living?  Must discover, investigate, find funding, Remove, destroy, reconstruct, interpret, present data  Stake holders differ from the past. Many groups want to learn about the past. Including, farmers, religious groups, different ethnic and cultural groups who may want sites protected in different ways.  Museums want to display things insensitively. Others want to use sites for construction. Art collectors that are corrupt, steal artifacts. These are examples of controversy between stakeholders. 1/28/16  Earliest Ancestors  Concepts: Time and Change  Adaptation-coping with change  Evolution/change through time  Biological- Adapting in physical ways  Cultural- Adapting within our society  Time:  Geological time 1. Eras: Paleozic, Mesozoic, Cenazoic 2. Epochs: Paleocene, Eocene, Oligocene, Miocene, Pliocene, Pleistocene, Holocene  Archaeological Time:  Paleolithic: old stone age; Hunter-gatherers of the Pleistocene- creation of stone tools  Mesolithic: middle stone age; Transition from ice, melting, to recent times. Can find villages drowned in water after melting of ice, formed lakes, and rises in sea level.  Neolithic: new stone age; Agriculture began- the Holocene. Not directly related to climate change.  Chalcolithic- Copper Age, copper very easy to manipulate  Bronze Age  Iron Age: fairly recent  The Paleolithic  The Basal Paleolithic or Oldowan Period: 3 to 1.9 MYA (million years ago). Stone tools were invented.  The Lower Paleolithic: 1.9 MYA to 200 KYA (thousand years ago). More advanced tools and bigger brains. Began to look more like what we know today.  The Middle Paleolithic: 200 KYA to 45 KYA. New hominins (human ancestors), new tools.  The Upper Paleolithic- 45 KYA to 12 KYA. Modern humans. More similar bone structure, still different tools.  What defines humans?  Some of the earliest found fossils were found in the mid 1800’s.  Tools help define usbut we know nowthat otheranimals make tools aswell. Thiswillnot set us apart from other species.  Thumbs- other animals also have semi-apposable thumbs. Also cannot separate us from other species.  Intelligence, language, and self- consciousness are all found evident in other species as well.  What makes us different is:  Bipedalism  Increasing brain size  Changes in dentition (teeth)- differences between us and apes; why our faces look different from apes  Degree of sexual dimorphism- the degree of which the male and female differ in size  Tool-making ability; especially tools to make other tools  Hominins- any human ancestor  Hominoids- all ‘apes’ including humans  Fossil- bone in which calcium has been replaced by limestone, the only way bones can be preserved  Assemblage- archaeological word for a group of tools and other artifacts found at any site. A variety of items characterizing the tool kit. Natural Selection  Descent with modification- more and more of the adapted creatures  Gradualism- slow changes in the population  Punctuated equilibrium- things stay the same for a long time and then a change in the environment causes rapid changes in a shorter period of time  Anagenesis- takes place in gradualism periods and nothing new takes place, just small changes in the features  Cladogenesis- the arrival of a new species emerges from adaptations of an old species Speciation  Competitive exclusion- two different versions of the same species cannot exist in the same niche  Ecological niche- a way of life. Ex; the difference between a nocturnal mammal and a day dwelling mammal of the same species, they will not exist in the same niche  Adaptive radiation- when many different types of one animal arises from the same species andtheir adaptations.Ex; thereare multipletypesof lemursonthe islandof Madagascar and theycannotallsurviveoffofthesamefoodandlivethesamewayortheywillgoextinctwhile competing for survival. So they adapt and different types are created so they may all survive together. These different types are not able to breed with each other because they do not create a viable species. African Origins  Hominin Evolution: old expectations  Before much evidence of bones and skulls were discovered, the idea of how human evolution must have occurred was very different.  Adesiretoimaginethatourspecieswasentirelydifferentthantheotherapesledscholars to speculate that our great intelligence must have driven early evolution.  They believed that a big brain must have been the first sign, allowing us to make tools, which needed our hands, causing us to stand up.  As evidence built up, they learned that this belief was backwards. The first thing our ancestors did was stand up. Our brain size didn’t increase for millions of years.  Primate evolution took place over a long period of time.  At some time after 10 MYA, some of the early African primates became bipedal, a move toward the human ancestral line. The Family Tree  Major changes in the paleoanthropology have occurred in recent years, including the discovery of several new species.  Our oldest known bipedal ancestor, Sahelanthropus tchandesis, was found in Chad and dates between 6 and 7 MYA.  Early human ancestors diversified, with some becoming more human-like. Existing in different niches.  Hadar  Until 1970, there was relatively little evidence for the earliest human ancestors. The modern human characteristics of upright posture, large brain size, and tool use were found here. “Lucy” was the first skeleton found. Gracile form- slender bones and skull. Had a small brain and was just under 4 feet tall. Her pelvis, knees, and leg angle helped determine her bipedalism. Morphology and behavior  These can help make inferences between the modern ape and hominins  Males that are different in size fight for mates.  Not all species fight for mates, reduces tension in the group  There are apes that pair-bond, one male and one female and one offspring


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