ANTH 1003: Week 14
ANTH 1003: Week 14 ANTH 1003
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This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Hayley Seal on Friday April 22, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ANTH 1003 at George Washington University taught by Dr. Susan Johnston in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 13 views. For similar materials see Archaeology in anthropology, evolution, sphr at George Washington University.
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Date Created: 04/22/16
ANTH 1003 Dr. Susan Johnston Class Notes for April 20-22 Iron Age Temperate Europe (April 20) Specialization o Metal, glass, etc. requires certain skill level and need to obtain materials; indicates specialization simply because these objects exist o Druids are religious specialists mentioned in documentary sources of other people Britain and Gall, later Ireland Read omens, told the future, kept the calendar, educated children (particularly those of elites) Described by Caesar as having a certain political function, but it was 1 mention of 1 guy Elites o Documentary sources including Caesar, burials, gold and elaborate ornaments o Vix, France (late 6 – early 5 century BCE): burial of a woman laid out in the bed of a wagon with lots of gold objects, elite grave goods Specifically a kind of necklace associated with elite burials Also presence of foreign objects: black figurewear from Mediterranean and Aegean Vessel used for consumption of wine called a crater, which is 5 feet tall and holds 300 gallons; unusually large o Hochdorf burial, Germany (530 BCE): mound with tomb inside, included lots of gold objects, big flashy burial Trade o Pottery coming up from the south, a lot of which was associated with apparent trade of alcohol, especially wine o What was exported? Animals for meat consumption, possibly grain or hunting dogs, and definitely slaves which were incorporated into Roman society Conflict o Documentary evidence: Caesar wasn’t in temperate Europe for sight-seeing… o No more violent than anyone else; most documentary sources describe Iron Age Celts as warlike because they were written by people in the process of conquest o Weapons, shields, war helmet o Depictions of warriors with a particular style of shield associated with Celtic region Monumentality o Burial mounds: large, required time and labor to produce, made a statement; maybe a monument in the broadest sense o Oppidas or hillfort sites may be monuments in themselves, large and surrounded by walls o Nothing really made out of stone; maybe Celts had elaborate and large monuments that they just made out of materials that were not preserved, BUT there’s no evidence in the ground that anything was there, stone or not o Maybe status, but not really huge or monumental and not for a specific high-status individual Writing? o Most informative documentary sources are from outsiders Caesar or others who had contact with Celts Comes from his own perspective as he was in the process of conquering these people as he was writing about them; not very informative about daily life because he likely didn’t observe it No concept of “objective history” back then o Some indigenous documentation that isn’t very helpful; hard to read or not very interesting o Writing is limited and seems to be influenced by contact with Greek and Roman world Coligny Calendar in Gaulish, Botorrita I from Spain (may be about transactions) o Generally problematic in terms of interpreting Celtic society State organization o Iron Age States? Are the oppida supposed to be political centers or centralized areas? o Caesar described groups of people, but we don’t know what they meant to the people involved; may have been like states or just regions without a centralized political structure o Oppidas are probably not city-states, though they may have been centralized in some way that is more flexible May not have even meant the same thing to each group, may have been many different kinds of political structures represented throughout the whole region The New World Mesoamerica (Central America) Teotihuacan (200 BCE – 750 CE): a big-ass city o Located in the Valley of Mexico o Name was given to it by the Aztecs; we don’t know what these people called their city or themselves o Villages began to emerge by 200 BCE, but growth was rapid --> 20,000 people by 100 CE (similar size to Amarna) o Another relatively large concentration of population in the region was Cuicuilco c. 100 CE it was buried by a volcanic eruption and that was around the same time as the population of Teotihuacan exploded o Population was 125,000 – 200,000 by 200 CE, at its height Smaller than Rome, but biggest thing that had ever existed in the New World at that point o Laid out along a grid, clearly organized in quadrants divided by the Avenue of the Dead (N-S street) and another major E-W street Residential areas were organized around temple complexes o Presence of craft neighborhoods; 25% of population may have been involved in craft activities o Elites: elite goods (unevenly distributed and hard to obtain) Jade masks, pottery restricted in distribution, some metal objects Burial #3 from Pyramid of the Moon possibly contains sacrificial victims; some individuals sitting up indicates possible status Burial #4 contains decapitated individuals --> sacrificial victims Burial from Quetzalcoatl with 130 sacrificial victims found in temple and some people found burial with unusual goods such as jaw-shaped necklaces o Teotihuacan state (probably like a city-state): center of large political entity Influence stretched to at least 20 miles around the city Stela 31 from Tikal (Maya) depicts father of ruler wearing a costume closely associated with warfare at Teotihuacan and the rule holding up a headdress also associated with warfare at Teotihuacan What does this mean? Teotihuacan control stretching to Tikal, or indirect military relationship? Mimicry of status associated with Teotihuacan military? o Monumental architecture: pyramids Pyramid of the Sun is about 230 feet high May have originally been covered with plaster and painted Largely a platform that may have had a temple on top (main function was not something inside, but to elevate something above everything else) Artificial tunnel built underneath leads to a cave; clearly important but hard to interpret because of looting Other structures, human burials, votive deposits, etc. exist beneath the pyramid indicating that this was an important site even before the pyramid was built there Pyramid of the Moon is slightly smaller; some associated burials but also probably predominantly to elevate something above everything else People monumentalized this area after it was already important o Trade in Teotihuacan: everywhere Teotihuacan style stuff appears in other places Jade was highly prized; significant material Jade originally from Guatemala appears in burial at the Pyramid of the Moon Green obsidian in Belize comes from Teotihuacan area Structure at Tikal is in the style of Teotihuacan architecture Obsidian = volcanic glass good for making stone tools (can make thin, sharp blades) Teotihuacan was located close to an obsidian source o Writing? There are symbols that look sort of writing-y but too few examples are known to be able to interpret and read it “Name glyph” possibly represents Teotihuacan There was at least a knowledge of writing because it was in the area (Maya) Painting may include “speech bubbles” No real documentary evidence from Teotihuacan o Conflict Weapons, sacrificial victims, some areas under Teotihuacan control may have been controlled militarily Probably fell due to internal conflict c. 750 CE Evidence of burning, especially of elite areas of the city No evidence of anyone else moving in and taking over Population reduced to 30,000, then the site was gradually abandoned Maya sites o Pre-classic period: 600 BCE – 250 CE o Classic period: 250 – 900 CE o Post-classic period: 900 CE – Spanish conquest o Cities Pre-classic: El Mitador, up to 100,000 people Classic: Quirigua, Guatemala (about 5,000 people); Uxmal, Mexico (about 25,000 people); Copan, Honduras (about 25,000 – 30,000 people); Tikal, Guatemala (estimates range from 40,000 to 100,000 people) o Specialists Jade: must be acquired and requires skill to make objects out of it Religions specialists suggested by depictions of rituals, processions, etc. o Elites Depictions of people sitting down while everyone else is standing up Depictions of smiting or bloodletting (believed special quality of the blood of rulers) Burials: Palenque, Mexico contained a burial of a ruler named Pakal (r. 615-683 CE) beneath a slab in a pyramid, elaborate Sarcophagus cover Tomb 85 at Tikal: individual did not have a head; remains place in a sitting position with greenstone mask in place of the head, also lots of stuff associated with elite status within the burial (April 22) o Political organization: city-states Some evidence that Tikal may have controlled as much as 965 square miles around the city, but not definitive enough to make it more than a city-state El Mirador, Copan, etc. controlled 1 city and the area around it Tikal was definitely important and may have exerted greater political control, but the jury’s still out about it being more than a city-state o Monumentality Large and significant pyramids/temples: steep-sided and very vertical Roof comb (thing on top) makes the ones at Tikal particularly imposing Temple 1 and Temple 2 at Tikal, Pyramid of the Magician at Uxmal, “Observatory” at Caracol Evidence of them being for elites: burials found inside them (probably but in after temple was already built) Hieroglyphic stairway at Copan shows past rulers and their deeds; guy who built staircase is shown at the top merged with the rain god --> monument was definitely associated with elites o Trade Jade, obsidian (with Teotihuacan), pottery, cacao They did consume chocolate but it was more like black coffee and possibly associated with ritual o Writing appears by 400 BCE Probably far more extensive than what we have evidence for now Glyphs on images, monuments, “painted murals”, stelae (stone monuments) Writing on bark paper/strips, such as the Dresden Codex Like paper books Burned by the Spanish when they came to spread Christianity; 4 left today Predominantly about things that are important to elites (dates, names, etc.) More similar origins to Egypt than Mesopotamia o The Maya Calendar They were the first to develop a symbol to express the concept of zero, but they did not invent the concept of zero itself Base 20 system Secular calendar: 18 months of 20 days each + 5 “nameless days” = 365 Sacred calendar: kept track of religious cycle of life; 20 day names and 13 numbers = 260 The 2 calendars together repeat every 52 years 52 year cycle was important throughout all of Mesopotamia Monuments are dated: earliest ones from 30s BCE, latest ones seem to be between c. 880 – 900 CE Long Count: beginning 3114 BCE, another sort of time-keeping system o Conflict Apparent depictions of soldiers, possibly carrying weapons Depiction of smiting? Documentary evidence: ruler of Copan captured and sacrificed by ruler of Quirigua, recorded on stelae o Maya collapse c. 900 CE Different things led to depopulation of Maya heartland; people moved out of cities Evidence for environmental burden of large concentrations of people; use of slash-and-burn agriculture requires lots of land and may not have been able to support everyone Internal conflict; evidence for violence and destruction They simply moved elsewhere: post-classic sites appear c. 900 CE Chichen Itza, Mexico People moved north and they are still there now The New World: North America Eastern region saw biggest, densest populations north of Mexico o Exception: West Coast, fishing --> complex societies with lots of status differences Mississippian period: 900 – 1600 CE o Number of urban-based cultures: Etowah, GA (about 2000 – 5000 people), Moundville, AL (about 1000 people) Cahokia, Illinois: 600 – 1300 CE o Located at the American Bottom (bend of Mississippi River that is regularly flooded) o Relatively rapid rise and fall o Urbanism? 120 total mounds, both burial and platform, and various other structures including residences Population estimates range from 6,000 – 40,000 but most common is 15,000 Comparable to sites in Europe, but smaller than Indus Valley, Egypt, and Mesopotamia Functionally, definitely urban About 5 square miles at its height, influence was probably spread more widely based on distribution of artifacts o Specialists Production of very precise spear points, carvings in stone and minerals, mica Astronomical layout? Is it intentional? If so, suggests specialist activities Woodhenge o Elites Monks Mound: evidence for a palisade around it that enclosed 200 acres Mound 72: clearly a big, flashy burial Primary burial of man in his 40s lying on a bed of about 20,000 shell beads (possibly sewn onto a garment) Also 3 female and 3 male burials inserted later with artifacts that indicate high status Other occupants may be sacrificial victims; heads missing, hands cut off, total of 272 individuals deposited in about 6 episodes over 100 years o A few were mass female burials o Dental traits of mass female burials are significantly different from other individuals in the mound and so the females may not be local o However only 2 out of 17 had non-local strontium signatures o Mix of local and non-local people; predominance of females High-status artifacts from mound 72: weapons, tools, TONS of projectile points that had never been used, mica sheets, “discoidals” o Monumental architecture: Monk’s Mound Requires skill to build to give it stability 100 feet high, covers 16 acres Evidence for a building, possibly a temple, on top of it No burials inside, function was to elevate (like a ziggurat) Other features: “Woodhenge”, various other large mounds o Trade Wide range of locations for sources of materials found at Cahokia 1/3 of all buried individuals analyzed by strontium analysis determined to be non-local o Conflict Absence of heads and hands of sacrificial victims Depiction of violence in Effigy pipe o Political organization? Direct control of 60-90 miles around the city Material culture distributed much more widely (such as “weeping eye” motif) 3-tired hierarchy of site size in the region Probably more analogous to the flexible political structure of temperate Europe o Abandoned before 1400 CE SO: Societies with all of Childe’s criteria: Mesopotamia Egypt Teotihuacan Maya Others: Indus Valley: Monumentality? Writing? No evidence for institutionalized social status Temperate Europe: No writing. Cities? State organization? Cahokia: No writing. State organization?
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