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ANT 215 Week 3 Notes

by: Brandon Czowski

ANT 215 Week 3 Notes ANT 215

Brandon Czowski

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About this Document

Covering the lectures of 1/26 & 1/28
Origins of Civilization
Jeff Chivis
Class Notes
25 ?




Popular in Origins of Civilization

Popular in anthropology, evolution, sphr

This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Brandon Czowski on Sunday January 31, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ANT 215 at Grand Valley State University taught by Jeff Chivis in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 28 views. For similar materials see Origins of Civilization in anthropology, evolution, sphr at Grand Valley State University.


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Date Created: 01/31/16
Mesolithic Period “Middle Stone” age (10k ya -8/5k ya) • Overall increase in biomass (more plants/animals) o Allows expansion of humans to new areas o Shift from hunter/gather à more complex agriculture • Civilizations starting to be composed of cities/villages • Change in diet o Even more diverse plants/animals being consumed o Fishing becomes more prevalent o Grindstone used to grind plants/seeds o Fashioning of baskets o Construction of pottery more frequent o Wider range/variation in projectile weapons o Becoming more sedimentary • Subsistence patterns—food production, collection & distribution o Hunter-Gatherers § Food extraction, not being produced § Rely on diverse, natural occurrence of resources • Loss of one resource isn’t as much of a loss § 96-99% of human history relied on this • set foundation for cultural beliefs § Except in artic, most hunter-gathers rely on plant foods • Women were gathers and provided a lot of the nutrition; hunting did not provide as many nutrients § Foraging Characteristics • Division of labor; men hunt, women gather • Egalitarian: no differences in social/wealth status between individuals of sexes o Leveling mech: putting hunters down instead of complimenting to prevent arrogant behavior • Polytheistic: more than one god/supernatural being o Animism: Souls exist in humans as well as plants, animals, natural phenomenon • Lived in bands; >50 individuals, flexible membership because of their migration patterns (summer could include visitors, winters have less people) • Monogamous • High mobility/nomadic o Wandering: no pattern, 25-100 people in size, usually in areas where resources are uniform o Seasonal Transhumance: patterned, move from area to area based on seasons (make rounds ex. Fishing in spring, planting in late summer) • Not as harsh living as we’d expect (20 hours/week) • Limit birthrates to limit group size to keep sustainability o Prolonged nursing: lactaction inhibits ovulation o Postpartum sex taboo: no sex after birth o Abortion/infanticide: common in twins • Social boundaries o No strict boundaries of territory (don’t view as owning land/area, only inhabiting) o Groups come together and have welcome ceremonies; allows access to resources in other groups area o Generalized Reciprocity § When you help one group, it’s expected they help you as well § Time/method of repayment is flexible § Don’t expect equivalent returns § Risk buffering: reducing risk of starvation § Social storage: when sharing with other groups, build up of favors/obligations in return o Food Production § Domestication: breeding animals for favorable characteristics that are present in next generation • Present 10k ya in Old World • New world domestication occurred later and less intense; lower populations, later discovery § Plant domestication (11k ya): mainly wheat, barely, wild grasses • Seed sizes for domesticated plants are larger • Decrease in thickness of seed coat (easier to extract seeds by human, plants grow easier) § Fat-tailed sheep (3000 BC): inscribed on stone, referenced in Bible; specifically bread for the fat in tail (cooking) o Horticulture (produces their food) § Focus on farming; preparing fields, storing seeds § Only use human labor/simple tools (no complex tech.) § Supplements hunting-gathering § Lives in larger groups than H/G § More sedentary to stay near crops § Polygamous: men have more than one wife (need more workers to sustain living) 2 § Relatively egalitarian: beginning to have surplus of food leads to more successful/ higher social status families • Start to see social stratification • Big Men become leaders by accumulation, then giving back to community (gives higher prestige) § Territories become more defined § Balance reciprocity: sharing but expecting equivalent return; more formal and specified time to repay § Polytheistic: supernatural beings are ranked (more powerful than hunters; reflects world view and power over the earth) § Generally, live in tribes not bands; no leaders, but subunits make collective decisions for entire group o Pastoalism (food producers) § Herding of animals provides subsistence (use hide, meat, blood) § Nomadic because dependent on animals § Mix of egalitarianism and social stratification; equal among one another but separate from outsiders § Social stratification more present: based on number of animals you own § Division of labor: men care for herds, women care for children and household § Ancestor worship: pleasing the spirits by following their way of life § Balance reciprocity and live in tribal structure Agriculture: Neolithic time period • Use animal labor and more complex tools o Clearing forests for fields, inventing new technologies (irrigation, fertilizers, plows) • Crops provide most of their diet • Full-time labor specialists: labor, war, political, farming • Social stratification: wealth and power in hands of few families; no longer done for the common good, becomes more individualistic o Classes: social status can change and move up/down o Caste: born into social status, cannot advance/move out of • Polytheistic: hierarchically ranked, leaders are connected to highest ranked spirits • Mostly monotheistic: focus on power over nature by the use of new technologies and growing own produces • Labor is organized around the individual rather than families (each member has a given task they are responsible for) o Chiefdom: interacting groups has their own chief (leader); chiefs interact with one another to make decisions for societies o State: central authority that governs all individuals in society • Lifestyle of agriculture leads to civilization 3 o Agricultural surplus o Social stratification o Labor specialization o Formal governments o Rule by power o Monumental agriculture: temples, roads, pyramids, fences (large workforces needed) o Record keeping: development of writing o Metallurgy • Industrialism: focus on mechanical sources of energy/food production o Small % of population o Population were large, extreme labor specialization o Secular laws replace religious beliefsàgovernment more complex • Market systems arise: system that uses money rather than trade o Money is a symbolic o Sense of community diminishes (more focused on family) • Drawbacks of agriculture o Prone to disruption compared to H/G § Crops failing could lead to a lot of stress o Must trade for other resources via balanced reciprocity o More competition and warfare: clash of societies § Negative reciprocity: when the giver is trying to get the better of the exchange, sometimes involving theft o Lower nutrition/health § Small variety of food § Caries are very prominent § More energy is required to keep society going § When having surplus, must store food • Could attract varmints that carry disease § Sanitation/waster removal Mesolithic & Neolithic Periods Mesolithic (Epipaleothic/ Late Epipaleolithic) Focused on southwest Asia and Middle East 10k – 8300 ya in Middle East Holocene era beginning and had a very environmentally rich coastal area, so much so that hunter-gathers began to be sedentary. Hunted gazelle and deer mainly while also gathering plants 4 Natufian culture: the first hunter-gathers that became sedentary; lived in round huts (2-6m diameter) with plaster floors with several pits linked together to create complex center, some contained burial sites • Used flint sickle, storage pits (had enough food), mortar/pastels, long distance trade relationships Jericho Site • One of earliest known villages • Round pit houses • Lived there for a very long time • 10k ya focused on hunting wild deer, 8k ya goats/cattle became main focus • A lot of trade—turquoise, salt, obsidian • Change of structure from round—square • Round tall tower that was built inside the house structure Consequences when hunter-gather go sedentary 1. Population growth: no longer using mechanisms to keep population down (higher nutritional values, less time between births) 2. Community size: don’t have to maintain long distance relationships as much, allowing expansion 3. Subsistence diversity/risk: much narrower range of resources (wheat/barely) 4. Food storage: have to make their resources last while staying in one area 5. Resource depletion: not common for H/G, forces them to expand farther out of village to reach them 6. Territoriality: guarding their fields preventing other groups to interact, more types of inequality arising (egalitarianism is disappearing) 7. Disease: living closer together for longer periods Evidence for sedentism: going out and bringing resources back to their village 1. Found food storage structure 2. Found permanent structures 3. Expect to find seasonal foods that you find all months of the year 4. Super positioning houses: building/expanding from older houses End of Natufian culture from much dryer times, that now have more people and less food to feed everyone; when resources low, their options are to then: • Go back to H/G lifestyle • Intensify their effort (via domestication/agriculture)—mostly in costal or good areas This is the period where they are actively trying to domesticate plants Neolithic How agriculture began 5 • “Oasis Theory”: V. Gordon Childe—humans allowed animals to feed on the fields harvested by humans, which allow humans to select different traits. The dry period caused the animals to move towards the water, and humans recognized that. o He addressed the animal domestication but not plants, and the weather actually became wetter; more food-producing areas that are outside of oasis’ • Hilly Flanks Hypothesis: people moved to higher areas (hilly flanks) because the first domesticates spend much of their time there already, over time humans went to these areas and seen the domestication of these animals; this area was between the cool, high areas and the low, hot areas Neolithic Revolution • 8300-6k ya • Sedentism & plant/animal domestication • 8300 ya o Wheat, barely, chickpeas o Sheep, goats, cattle, pigs Pre-pottery Neolithic A (PPNA) • 8300-7500 BCE • Domestication of plants • Main Characteristics o First domestications: wheat, barely, chickpeas o Still relying on hunting of wild animals and gathering plants Pre-pottery Neolithic B (PPNB) • 7500-6000 BCE • Domestication of animals • Main characteristics o First domestication of animals: sheep, goats, cattle, pigs o Spread of food producing communities (combination of plant/animal domestication) o Construction of rectangular/square houses; multiple rooms with plastered floors, and overall larger, multi-storied § Settlements becoming larger and families growing o New religious beliefs occurring at these villages § Ex. Plastered skulls buried in pits beneath house floors as well as limestone sculptures—related to ancestor cult (way to claim territory by having proof of their ancestors that entitles them to that area) Natufian: rounded houses, 18 people in community size PPNA: larger villages, round houses made of brick/mud, 90 people 6 PPNB: expanded even more to include 900 people, no longer round now rectangular and square, multi-storied/linked houses, include sacred areas Jarmo Site: bones of all domesticated animals, food storage bins, flint sickles, farming utensils (what you’d expect to find in agriculture society) Abu Hureyra: found arthritis and deformation of foot bones due to the constant grinding of grains by women Ain Ghazal: sculptures of other people Summary: End of the ice age as climate becomes warmer and wetter Halocene culture Natifian culture arises where H/G settle There were independently domesticated plants and animals all over the world—they did not have contact with the people who did so the environments created the inventions 7


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