ANT 304 - Week 5
ANT 304 - Week 5 ANT 304
Popular in Intro to Archaeol STDS: Prehistory
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This 8 page Class Notes was uploaded by Sarah Bruederlin on Friday September 25, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to ANT 304 at University of Texas at Austin taught by F, Valdez in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 28 views. For similar materials see Intro to Archaeol STDS: Prehistory in anthropology, evolution, sphr at University of Texas at Austin.
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Date Created: 09/25/15
ANT 304 Intro to Archaeological Studies Modern Humans Primate Evolutionary Trends September 21 2015 COMMENTS ON LAST CLASS 0 Primate evolutionary trends 0 Stereoscopic vision Humans have it Means we can see things in 3D Accomplished by having our eyes separately on the same plane and same level It s the overlap in that vision that gives us 3D 0 Movement or tendency towards an erect posture We have an erect upright posture Number of ideas behind why we have this 0 Nails instead of claws Cats and others have claws Function is to grasp Nail provides support for when you grasp things 0 Generalized dentition Central and lateral incisors canines premolars and molars The more you chew and grind your food the more nutrition you receive Regardless of your size teeth are incredibly strong In some places like Alaska natives would use teeth to pull of steel Up to 200 pounds of grinding pressure with your molars o Opposable thumbs Humans have completely Opposable thumbs Meaning we can take our thumb and fully touch the tips of our ngers Helps do ne technical work Great apes are almost there but they can only touch sides of ngers Done by most mammals Provide a constant body temperature Reptiles are subject to the temperature that s outside so when really cool they move really slow Warming up curl into a ball Cooling down sweating or openingexpanding limbs Early Societies The earliest Americans 0 Early societies that had come into the New World 0 Come in by way of Siberia into Alaska by land bridge Probably moving due to following of big game the hunt Biggame bison mastodon mammoth O o How long ago did people come into the Americas What was the tool kit they brought with them to survive What is the ultimate ancestry of Native Americans Are they related to Paleolndians o Problematic questions 0 Most well dated sites date to about 15000 years ago 0 Two hypotheses o holds that the Americas were colonized by modern humans perhaps as early as 40000 years ago 0 holds that people come into the New World about 15000 years ago o Is it possible that people were here before that 0 Dr Valdez says quotSure but the data is not quite there Whenever we get a site that s dated 15000 years ago there s always an issue with the dating Clovis hypothesis is a strong one though Only issue is we get is that dates in Alaska all the way to Chile match so how did they move so fastquot 0 Did all of the Native Americans come from the Bering Strait or could they have come by boat Yes that remains a good possibility 0 Looking at the ancestry of Native Americans 0 Trying to gure out a biological connection 0 Noted that there are certain dental features that occur in Native Americans that also occur in northeastern Asians o Labeled these predental features as sinodonty 0 Estimated that people were arriving into the new world about 1400015000 years ago 0 refers to dental features that tend to be more stable evolutionary traits 0 Created by turner o Examined thousands and thousands of individuals 0 Shovel shaped incisors central and lateral incisors that look like a shovel o Shovelshaped incisors are supposedly stronger waterlogged site so preservation is terri c 0 Wood leather plants are still preserved 0 14000 years ago 0 Around 11500 years ago Clovis culture appeared 0 Big game hunters 0 Fine Clovis points are found with the bones of large animals 0 Clovis people rst identi ed in the high plains o Clovis points rst found in Clovis New Mexico 0 Clovis points are primarily known for kill sites 0 Besides being big game hunters they also hunted and consumed small animals and vegetable material 0 Today one of the popular diets is the quotPaleodietquot and refers to Paleolndians 0 But has very little to do with that a true Paleodiet would have been like 0 The large animals mammoths mastodons bison all become extinct during the time of Paleolndians 0 So Clovis people are no longer around either 0 Smaller groups appear 0 Global phenomenon of extinction September 23 2015 M 0 With the end of cultures that we can identify as being Paleo lndian also is the extinction of mega fauna o Mammoth mastodon bison Why did this mega fauna become extinct all around the globe o Overkill Hypothesis Paleolndian bands overkill or kill off the oversized mammals Reduced to a population size that is unable to reproduce Especially coming into the new world where there were relatively few predators of these large animals Problem much mega fauna went into extinction a little before the Paleolndian period so were already dying off 0 Climate change hypothesis between PaleoIndian period and Archaic large changes in the climate and in the environment Start to see formation of deserts forest areas swampy regions great lakes etc Change in climate leads to creation of different microenvironments If you have a shrinking environment it may not be able to sustain these large animals Leads to extinction because no where to support them Areas can become desert like and have no food Problem These large animals had survived dramatic changes in the climate before Hypothesis Looks at variation in mean temperature lce sheets reduced and climate change Time of seasonal contrast Seasonal changes may have been difficult on the young so litters are having trouble surviving 0 As we transition from Paleo period to Archaic lce sheets shrinking Other environments forming Interesting coastal zones Deserts Forests Paces where rivers or lakes are formed 0 8000 years ago 0 Generally speaking in North America climate sea levels seems to have stabilized 0 We have more or less what we see of coast lines now 0 50006000 years ago 0 Populations grow more rapidly 0 Double the population than that of PaleoIndians o More sites with Archaic populations than there were of PaleoIndians Archaic populations adapt to their local environment 0 Start to see an increase in proliferation an increase in the kinds of artifacts that are used 0 Different tools used in desert than in coastal areas 0 O O O O O More tools for Archaic than that of Paleolndian This archaic period is a phenomenally important period 0 One of the most important periods of human development all around the world o A time period that is not particularly understood 0 Has been given relatively little attention In these different environments you have small groups of hunter gatherers o What you hunt in dessert is different than what you will hunt in other areas Collecting a lot of plants and thing that they are using for housing and tools and things they are consuming berry nuts tree sap These huntergatherering groups are scattered across the landscape 0 Lets say you have groups that are in different places across this landscape 0 Then you will have times of the year where they will be moving among their zones 0 In one area over the summer then next zone in the fall etc o Referred to as a Seasonal route 0 Sites that are occupied and then reoccupied for thousands of years During certain times of the year you have what s known as the peak of harvest 0 ln central Texas you might come to an area that s close to UT along creeks etc where pecans are available during a certain time of the year 0 Smaller groups come together to make one large groups 0 Men meet younger women 0 Activities of status and position take place during this great harvest 0 Once that resource dwindles down they go back to their primary territories There can be con icts during big harvests where two of these groups overlap and resources are strained o Leads to con icts which have to be resolved When looking at tools utilized because there are creeks and rivers because there is some stable tool supplies people tend to stay put for a month or two 0 Not like Paleolndians following gains all the time o Able to stay place for long periods of time 0 Certain tools come into use that were not available for Paleo Indians 0 These tools are speci cally for people who stay for a while 0 Mano and metate o Pestle and mortar o Mano is handheld lobe shaped device that is used on a metate o Metate is a big slab of stone 0 Mano is moved across the surface of metate to grind up seeds 0 Metate is usually very processed 0 Although we know it s an agricultural tool it may be multi func onal Rodentsquirrel grindup story O 0000 O O O Pestle is made of wood or stone relatively small and quite worn Pestle is used on a mortar Mortar may be independent might be a big bowl shape Pestle pounds and leave material in mortar down to a pulp Used by pharmacists to grind up materials and pills Moved away from mega fauna Archaic hunters focused on smaller animals white tailed dear and rabbits Also turned to wild vegetable foods birds mollusks shell sh and sh Seems like wild vegetable foods in particular are incredibly focused and favored in the diet Towards less mobility Semipermanent camps become base camps for hunting expeditions Move towards permanent settlement Occurs towards middle Archaic and later Occupying the same place yeararound or at least most of the year If you have a permanent settlement you now are able to de ne a restricted territory Their lands their vegetables their animals which are enough to sustain that society yeararound 0 One region that maintain this sort of mobile lifestyle 0 O Grasslands that extend from Alaska into center of Great Plains to Texas to the Coast Great Bison Belt O Bison and buffalo run up and down this region 0 At that location we still have groups that are mobile and following the big game 0 Kill sites are evident Hunters round a group of bison or buffalo near a cliff stampede animals off the cliff collect dead animals at bottom and process them Processing means removal meant skin etc Archaeologists end up with a layer of bones that have butcher marks which give an idea of how they were processed Enough layers of sediment and bone that there is evidence for how long this took place 0 In terms of being mobile hunter gatherers they are processing deer rabbit those kinds of things o It is those populations that mobile places happen for a very long time some until colonial times 0 But then you nd some societies that become sedentary o This leads to the greater societies that we know of 0 When we get to place like the America Southwest we always talk about some of the foods they have 0 The primary food that they have gives evidence 0 This is knowledge from the Archaic 0 People who learned how to best use the environment learned it from the Archaic people o It is the archaic people who start the process of domestication Discussion Section 0 Excavation units 0 What we set up before we start digging in the eld 0 Very precise 0 Always worked in the metric system 0 Archaeology uses centimeters Important to know in what direction all features and artifacts are in 0 Need to know where North is Units are usually 1x1 but can become bigger First thing to decide is how big does your unit need to be Excavating is a very destructive process 0 Important to both limit what you excavate and be extremely precise 0 Don t always excavate in perfect squares but de nitely in rectangles Hypotenuse of 1x1 1414 meters Keep elevation equal on all ends 0 Plan Map bird s eye view of the excavation 0 Make sure to have a key measurements north arrow 0 Taking pictures of sites is never good enough making a map is important too
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