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Anthropology 120 Human ecology and environments week 5

by: Katie Blackmer

Anthropology 120 Human ecology and environments week 5 ANTH 120 001

Marketplace > George Mason University > Anthropology > ANTH 120 001 > Anthropology 120 Human ecology and environments week 5
Katie Blackmer
GPA 3.71

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About this Document

These notes cover week five lecture on Human ecology and environments.
Unearthng Past:Prehistory, Culture Evolution
Nawa Sugiyama
Class Notes
anth120, Anthro, Anthropology, prehistoricevolution
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Katie Blackmer on Sunday October 2, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ANTH 120 001 at George Mason University taught by Nawa Sugiyama in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 10 views. For similar materials see Unearthng Past:Prehistory, Culture Evolution in Anthropology at George Mason University.

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Date Created: 10/02/16
Human ecology and environments Environment  Abiotic: NOT alive, physical environment  Biotic: Living  Population: group of individuals of one species  Community: Populations of plant/animal species in a given area Humans make decisions that affect their environment…  Humans have always made decisions that affected their environment •  Humans‐environmental interactions are at the core of understanding the world as we live it today  What can past decisions teach us about some of the very real decisions we have to make Types of Stress  External  Climate  Geography  Human actions  Nutrition  Disease  Demographic  Competitive Microbotanical Remains: Pollen Advantages:  Most plants produce large quantities of pollen  Can be identified to family, genus, or species  Is preserved in waterlogged sediments (bogs, springs, lake sediments) Disadvantages:  Is readily transported through the air (pollen rain), so sometimes difficult to understand local signal PALYNOLOGY is used to identify vegetation changes associated with the beginning of agriculture so its also INDIRECT evidence Microbotanical Remains: Phytoliths Advantages:  Are specific to the genus/species  Direct evidence Disadvantages:  Contamination  Can’t be directly dated  Little work has been done on identifying species  For most species only identifiable to plant part Microbotanical Remains: Ancient Starch Advantages: • Can tell us about plants which normally don’t survive in the archaeological record like tubers • Is direct evidence for food consumption: found on tools, teeth and pottery Disadvantages: • We aren’t sure whether we can identify starch to the genus/species • Can’t tell us about plant domestication • Can’t be directly dated Macrobotanical Remains Advantages: • Can be directly dated • Can study effects of domestication • Easily identifiable to genus/species • Easy and cheap to process • Direct evidence Disadvantages: • Explaining how it got into the archaeological record Seed Identification  Often identified to species  May be distorted through burning  Examine size, shape, and surface of seed  Compare with modern reference collection Subsistence and Environment  Environmental and dietary reconstructions through paleobotany and zooarchaeology  Humans‐environmental interactions (adaptation and modification)  Foodways and the culture of food  Diversity in past (and present), hopefully not homogenization in future Impact on domestication  Ecology  Soil  Fire  Water  Species Diversity  Social behavior  Settlement  Toolkit  Populate Domestication  The selective, diachronic process of changes in human‐animal/plant relationships involving:  On the part of the animal/plant  Adaptations through behavioral and eventually genetic modifications • These changes become reflected in morphology and physiology  Changes prevent reproducing/surviving outside the human‐provided environment  On part of the human  Shift from focus on the dead to the living animal Securing and selectively maintaining animal progeny Shift eventually manifests in socio‐economic and ideological dimensions of the society Before agriculture  Hunting Gathering (contributes to most of the diet)  Higher mobility  Egalitarian society  Biggest difference with agriculture: Immediate returns “Pull” Models:  “Readiness Hypothesis” aka “Natural Habitat Hypothesis” : Robert Braidwood Abundance of resources led people to an agricultural lifestyle  Predictions: – Earliest agriculture should be found in the areas where the wild ancestors of domesticates occur naturally – Should be preceded/ accompanied by technological and social changes such as development of animal management tools, sedentism, storage, etc.


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