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Archaeology Week 3

by: Sam Hipe

Archaeology Week 3 AN220

Sam Hipe
GPA 3.13

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About this Document

This covers archaeological theories and the human evolution as seen through Ani's guest presentation
Intro to Archaeology
Moran, Kimberlee
Class Notes
Archaeology, Theory, evolution, Anthropology
25 ?




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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Sam Hipe on Thursday September 22, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to AN220 at Arcadia University taught by Moran, Kimberlee in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 3 views. For similar materials see Intro to Archaeology in Sociology/Anthropology at Arcadia University.


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Date Created: 09/22/16
Archaeology 9/20 Archaeological Theory Reasons that theory is important from Michael Johnson:  Archaeology is grounded in theory  We have competing interpretations and use frameworks to compare viewpoints  Needed to admit our own biases  Humans are theoretical beings – we see patterns to help us understand; we can’t help it What is theory?  A set of concepts, definitions, relationships, and assumptions that project a systematic view of a  phenomena  May consist of one or more relatively specific and concrete concepts and propositions that  purport to account for, or organize some phenomenon (Barnum, 1988)  Should be able to test it …in Archaeology  Formal research depends on socially constructed frames of reference that incorporate both  explicit and implicit value judgements about what is important to study and what is a credible  interpretation of the evidence  “Theory is the order we choose to put facts in” ­ Johnson  Impacts archaeological interpretation   Assemblage of artifacts = group of artifacts Before the 1960s  “long sleep” (Renfrew) of theory  Little to no discussion of theory  Antiquarianism – collecting stuff o Goes back to Roman times with Greek culture th o Peaks in 18  century enlightenment o National identity o Collection of material from which narratives of history were devised (Culture­Historical)  Lumping similar objects and calling is a culture  Linear sequences  Natural selection – cultures would die off and new thltures would survive o “We speak from facts not theory” – Sir Richard Colt Hoare, 18  century antiquary “New Archaeology”  Started in 1958 with Gordon Wiley and Philip Phillips o “American archaeology is anthropology or it is nothing”  Trying to understand culture and the process of culture  Later called processual archaeology  Claimed that rigorous use of the scientific method could get past the limits of the archaeological  record and help us learn how past peoples lived o Looked at more environmental stuff o How people adapted to the landscape o Radio carbon dating o Pigments and residues in pots Processual Archaeology  “underlying historical processes which are at the root of change” – Renfrew o Ecology   Environments are changing over time o Technology  Artifact analysis  Tools – how they are shaped and used o Economic Raw materials o Social organization  Work being distributed  Values and religious beliefs  Cultural evolutionism  Emphasis on quantifiable data  If it can’t be tested, then it can’t be science  Dependent on excavation to test hypothesis o Can only do this once Cultural Evolution  Predictable framework, therefore, science is the key to unlocking information o Reduces us to robots  Lewis Binford believed studying living cultures was necessary (Mousterian) Systems Theory  1960s­1970s  Good at describing how elements of a culture interact but not why they interact the way they do  Claims to examine culture without bias  Data speaks for itself Processual Problems  Different view between US and Europe in terms of where archaeology fits as a discipline and  what it should study  No room for agency; cultural change came from external factors o No room for internal revolution  Failed to take into account gender, ethnicity, identity, and social relations o Anything that makes us human  Materialism  o The world is a set of resources for humans to use Post­processual  Emphasizes the subjectivity of archaeological interpretation  Original in the UK in the late 70s/early 80s  Primarily a reaction and critique to processualists, specifically the idea of objectivity  Idea that all interpretation is clouded by the views and values of the interpreter  Positivist vs. post­modernists o Positivist – truth is noble o Post­modernists – everything is relative Structuralism  Cultural patterns are not necessarily caused by outside influences  Every culture has a structure and laws  All human thought governed by dichotomies (series of opposites) o Hunter/gatherer o Black/white o Male/female  French  Agency  “Pots are made by people”  Humans make choices but are constrained by structures   Class conflict drives social change  Movement to assign agency to objects and landscapes o Object biographies  Emphasis on marginalized groups (gender/feminist/colonial) Phenomenology  Importance of meaning  Material culture as meaningfully constructed  Study of lived human experience and the conditions that make experience possible o Structuralism   Individual vs. collective lived experiences Authenticity/Context integrity  The demonstration or belief that a property or object has survived from some time in the past to  the present day  Has the power to provide both evidential and evocative connections between past and present  Many degrees of disturbance; not all preclude worth and value Other frameworks  Historical particularism – data can tell you anything; interpretation is not necessary if you collect  enough data  Diffusionism – ideas, objects, culture are transferred from one society to another through trade,  contact, migration, and invasion o How languages change o Elements of agency  Cognitive archaeology – focuses on the ways that ancient societies thought and the symbolic  structures that can be perceived in past material culture  Behavioral archaeology – studying how people behave and what it leaves behind Archaeology 9/22/2016 Ani – Forensic Anthropologist Human Evolution: 7 Million Years in a Nutshell Paleoanthropology  Physical Anthropology  Key questions o What does it mean to be human o How did we become who we are today o How does our biological past influence our lives in the present environment o What is the place of human beings in nature?  Early human fossils and archaeological evidence offer the most clues about our past o Bones, tools, footprints, hearths, evidence of butchery o Bone size, shape, and muscle attachment sites indicate how our ancestors moved, held  tools, and how their brains developed over thousands of years How does Evolution Work?  Evolution – a change of frequency of a gene or trait in a population over multiple generations  Natural selection requires: o Inheritance – heritable o Mutation – show variation among individuals o Fitness – environment must exert some pressure on the trait Forces of Evolution  Natural selection – organisms better adapted to their environment tend to survive and produce  more offspring  Gene flow – transfer of alleles from one population to another, migration into or out of a  population may be responsible for a marked change in allele frequencies  Genetic drift – variation in the relative frequency of different genotypes in a small pop, owing to  the chance disappearance of particular genes as individuals dies  Sexual selection – preference of one sex The Last Common Ancestor (LCA)  Is there a “Missing Link”? o No  Human and chimp lineages diverged 6­7 million years ago Evolution Tree  Ardipithecus group o Closest link to other primates. Evolved in Africa and took the first steps toward walking  upright  Australopithecus  o Walked upright o Lucy  Paranthropus group o Known as robust Australopithecus, had large teeth and powerful jaws  Homo erectus group  Milestones in Evolutionary Adaptation  Bipedalism (Walking upright) o Laetoli footprints  Tanzania  A. afarensis ~ 3.6 million years ago o Why?  Energy efficiency*  Carrying  Tools  Food  Children   Thermoregulation*  Sun has less surface area  Keeps body and brain cooler  See over tall grass  See predators o Anatomical Adaptations  Skull attaches inferiorly rather than posteriorly  Spine S shaped instead of slightly curved  Arms shorter than legs and not used for walking unlike vice versa  Bowl shaped pelvis instead of long, narrow pelvis  Femur angled in instead of angled out  Smaller teeth/jaw o Smaller anterior teeth (front incisors and canines) o U shaped dental arcade  parabolic shape o Relatively prognathic o Reduction in canine size  Reduction/loss diastema o Thickened enamel  Elaboration of material culture o Tool use  Oldowan industry (~2.5 million years ago)  Cores – used to produce flakes  Flakes – sharp, cutting  Hammer stones – crack open bones and create flakes from cores  2015 discovery now dates tool use back to 3.3 million years ago so it’s possible  that pre­Homo species made and used tools  Increased brain size o Our brain size has tripled  From ~350 cc to ~1350 cc Early Hominin Geology  Earliest hominins found in south and east Africa beginning about 7 million years ago  Only genus Homo migrates out of Africa  Homo erectus to Asia/Indonesia 1.8­1.3 million years ago  H. heidelbergensis first to reach Europe 1.5­1 million years ago o By 250 thousand years ago they had evolved into H. neanderthalensis  First anatomically modern humans (AMH) appear in Africa about 190 thousand years ago The First Hominin  Several candidates between 7 and 4.4 million years ago o Although molecular data suggests split a bit later (10­7 million years ago)  Currently 3­4 possible candidates o Sahelanthropus tchadensis   Toumaї – “Hope of Life”  Chad, Africa o  Orrorini tugenensis  “Original Man”; “Millennium Man”  Kenya, Africa o Ardipithecus kadabba   Ethiopia, Africa o Ardipithecus ramidus  “Ardi” (“Ground” or “Root”)  Ethiopia, Africa o Australopithecus anamensis  Kenya and Ethiopia, Africa o Australopithecus afarensis  Lucy  Dikika Baby  Ethiopia, Africa o Australopithecus africanus  Taung Child  South Africa o Australopithecus sediba  South Africa Early Homo Species  Homo habilus o Handy man o Kenya and Tanzania  Homo rudolensis o Lake Turkana, Kenya, Africa  Homo erectus  o Upright man; Java Man o Found in Asia and Indonesia; Kenya, Ethiopia; Israel  Homo ergaster o Turkana Boy, Nariokotome Boy o Complete Skeleton in Lake Turkana  Homo heidelbergensis o Heidelberg Man; Boxgrove Man o Heidelberg, Germany; Africa; France; Greece; Italy; Spain; China  Homo neanderthalensis – the Neanderthals  o In the Neander Valley (Neandertal) in Germany; Engis Caves  Homo sapiens o Modern humans  Homo floresiensis o Flores Man; Flores; Flo; Hobbit o Indonesia


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