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Derive working theories
Use of scientific method
Does not have to be visible
Can be unbiast
Work with humans
Human biological diversity in all times and spaces
Emergence of hominids and the evolution of man kind
Studies past societies through their material remains
Trace and explain cultural changes
Studies the structure and history of language
Looks at the interrelations between language and culture
Studies human behavioral variation
Looks at social and cultural differences and similarities
Cultural variation and universals
How environment effects culture
Mostly concerns people alive today
The problem of people who take test and learn differently was addressed by linguists and they created standardized tests and education programs. It is applied because the anthropologists are taking what they know about society and using it to resolve problems.
Cultural relativism is when a society’s customs and ideas are viewed within the context of that society’s own opportunities and problems. The problem with this is that there is no right or wrong, and everything is considered alright. Ethnocentrism is the attitude that a society’s customs and ideas should be viewed within the context of your own society. These people believe their way is the best way and have harsh judgments towards others.
Building a rapport means that the people are getting to know and trust you. It is important to get people to trust him so they could answer his questions honestly. He did this by conversing with the locals.
Meaning is attributed to words, objects, people, behavior, emotions, and events
Example: flags, language, car, paintings
Located and transmitted in groups
Not everyone in culture us the same
Customs, beliefs and institutions are interrelated
Culture is a system
Changes in one aspect will likely generate changes in another
Acquired and transmitted through enculturation
Accede limits of our DNA (not just instincts)
Direct and indirect learning
When culture is used creatively it means that we are not robots and we can avoid, manipulate, subvert, and change the rules. Culture is both public and individual.
Humans are adapted to learn in order to store more information than could be transmitted via DNA. In a species that relies heavily on learning, I would expect to find that they live in a variable environment, have long periods of parental care, and long life spans.
This was a situation in Hartford in 1973 when three policemen giving a heart massage and oxygen to a heart attack victim were attacked by a crowd who did not realize what the policemen were doing. The Spanish speaking crowd believed they were beating the woman. This shows the significance of cultural groupings. We each belong to many different cultural groups in one society and it affects the way we think, how we see things, and our behaviors.
The Nacerima believe that their mouths and teeth are very important and tell a lot about themselves. They are very conscience of cleanliness of their mouths. They believe if rituals were not performed their teeth would fall out, gums bleed, jaws shrink, friends desert them, and loved ones reject them. Holy mouth men enlarge holes in teeth and fill them with magical materials to fix them.
Before doing her field work, Bohannan believed that the general plot and motivation of the greater tragedies, such as Hamlet, would always be clear everywhere. She believed that human nature was universal and that everyone in the world has a similar human nature. The Tiv also believe that the true meanings are universal among all groups of people and that their nature is the only correct way to think is the way they do. They both have very skewed views on human nature.
Custody of human remains- (NAGPRA law) ) it is unclear exactly whom discovered remains belong to
Informed consent-make extra effort to tell the people exactly what they are doing and the possible benefits and detriments of their work
Ownership of artifacts- looting, museums
Preservation of sights-order to excavate a sight it requires partial destruction of the site, preserving sites from comercial building
a. (either by arbitrary levels, randomly selected holes in certain places, or by strata, examining specific soil levels in many places)- Important for the actual discovery of the desired objects
Taking the excavated dirt and running it through a series of increasingly fine screens to extract any small objects. Important for the separation of small artifact bits from the rest of the dirt.
employs a number of different methods, techniques, analyses, and approaches in order to generate and test hypotheses, based upon archaeological source material, like ancient structure or artifacts. It should not be confused with primitive technology which is not concerned with any archaeological or historical evidence.
establishes a time frame in relation to other strata or materials (stratigraphy- sediment areas). Uses associated geological features, fluorine absorption analysis, and biochronology (using animal remains to come up with relative date). Example is the Piltdown man, a famous hoax in archaeology when a skull was found but the jaw was of an orangutan. Figured it out with fluorine absorption analysis.
specific time scale. Uses radiometric that measures radioactive decay or dendochronology, such as tree ring dating. Example, use of potassium- argon technique in Africa’s great Rift Valley.
A theory has to be testable, correctable, an explanation of observable phenomena, and yield new information about nature to answer problems.
Scientific explanations are different from Native American ones because only scientific theories are built on empirical evidence, can be adjusted or overturned, and science is an inherently flexible, self-correcting endeavor. Native American explanations are simply stories that are simply religious and have no real merit to them.
This caused Darwin to question, if there is competition, who survives? This developed into his idea of natural selection that only the strong would survive and pass on their traits.
important for biodiveristy, because without variability, it becomes difficult for a population to adapt to environmental changes and therefore makes it more prone to extinction.
A genotype is a particular combination of genes possessed by an organism, their DNA. A phenotype is the physical manifestation of the genotype, what we see. The genotype is passed down to the next generation through DNA. DNA and environment result in a phenotype, which means that phenotype can change with a different environment.
Genetic determinism is the belief that all behaviors are a direct result of organism’s genes. Culture determinism is the belief that culture can change an organisms behaviors, and that it is not only the genes that control behavior. The nature versus nurture debate is that genes clearly do not predict behavior. Behaviors are not heritable. What is heritable is that ability to respond to the environment. Humans can vary their behavior more than any other species.
By studying the differences between humans and a chimp, it will help pin down the genetic aspects of many diseases that we are susceptible to and chimps are not, such as AIDS, coronary heart disease, etc. It will also speed the search for genes involved in complex diseases.
large relative to size, complex, large neocortex (growth of personality)
Sociability is an adaptive feature for primates. It gives them access to resources (group hunting/ searching for food, sharing food), protects them from predators (alert calls, more eyes to watch), and increases reproduction (group raising of young, mates available).
Primates may enhance cooperation by hunting together. Some species of primates hunt together and some are assigned to be the look out and some the hunter, there may be different dynamics between species. Some species, such as the bonobos, resolve/avoid conflict by having sex instead of fighting. Grooming is also a way to avoid conflict and it also has been seen as a way to build friendships.
All primates exhibit clear dominance hierarchies --> macaques and baboons only
The most dominant group member is always the male --> found that with chimps sometimes the female can be dominant
The most dominant male in the group fathers more offspring than other males --> recently overturned with genetics, suggests females are choosing mates
Prosimians are from Southeast Asia and sub Saharan Africa and are most distantly related to humans. They are small, arboreal, nocturnal, solitary, and insectivores. Anthropoids are arboreal and also terrestrial. They are mostly diurnal, eat a more generalized diet, and can live in groups. The contemporary prosimian populations live a more primitive lifestyle and have not been able to adapt to different environments as the anthropoids have.
Bonobos are from the Congo, female- centered, patrilocal, peace-loving, and highly sexual. Chimpanzees are from west and central Africa, non-dimorphic, arboreal, knuckle-walkers, large groups, patrilocal (females leave group), and they are very violet. This shows how humans may have evolved. We are closer related to chimpanzees, so this may be the reason why we are so violent.
Paleoanthropology combines the disciplines of paleontology and physical anthropology and is the study of ancient humans as found in fossil hominid evidence. Biologist can help the paleoanthropologists by using their techniques of genetic analysis to analyze the fossils discovered.
Male baboons invest in friendships with baboon mothers and bond with their infants by increasing both the males chances of mating in the future and the likelihood that the females’ infant will survive, friendship contributes to the reproductive success of both partners. It also gave them a chance to enter the group and they avoided conflict by using the baby.
They were not surprised that the Tai chimps eat meat, what intrigued them was the degree to which they hunt cooperatively. Jane Goodall believed that the Gombe monkeys were boosting their success by hunting independently but disorganizing their prey. However, it was found that the Tai monkeys owe much of their success to hunting in small groups and being organized.
Two stages: bipedal apes with arboreal capabilities (Australopithecus), and the “Obligate” bipeds (Homo erectus and successors). The opening of the skull, the position of the foramen magnum. The humans are more forward than chimps. Also the position of the inner toe reveals upright posture. The pelvis is also a major indicator; with bipeadilisim it becomes shorter and wider with a distinct pelvic bowl and different muscle attachments
Hominids had many morphological changes. One was a larger brain case in order to hold their larger brains. Longer legs because humans now stood upright. And also they got larger chewing teeth for eating a different variety of food. A hominid species that exhibits some of these features is the Australopithecus africanus.
Exploit new food resources- can grab fruits from tall trees from the ground
Spot predators- stand tall above the grass of the savanna
More energy-efficient to walk on two legs
Less sun exposure when standing up right
The Australopithecus africanus came to be 3-2.25 million years ago. They had a rounder skull and large brains. They used simple tools and savaged for bone marrow and brain cases. They lived in southern and eastern Africa in a cooling of climate with reduced rainfall. This soon developed into the scrubland and savannah.
Another theory is that the earliest hominids may have become specialists in getting food by standing up for short spells, both in the trees or on the ground.
Modern behavior by Homo sapiens has been traced to the increase of cognitive ability. With this humans were able to establish new technology such as the very valuable bow and arrow that allowed the hunter to strike from a distance. Also exchange networks for trade were set up, shown from links of obsidian from different places. Plus humans developed economic intensification and planning, new foods such as fish came out of this.
There is a lot of evidence of Homo sapiens fossils being found in areas in Africa, Asia, and Australia. Also, they move to Europe later. The significance of this is that every time a group left Africa, each daughter population became less genetically divers than the parent. So, by leaving, Homo sapiens were losing much of their genetic diversity.
Acheulian hand axes had a standardized shape, were symmetrical, were used as a multipurpose tool, can be re-sharpened, and can be used as a source of flakes. They were used by Homo erectus and are important because it was such an inventive tool.
Homo sapiens have less genetic diversity than chimpanzee populations because Homo sapiens are overall genetically uniform. Homo sapiens also have a recent origin and many population bottle necks, which also prove to our less genetic diversity. Chimpanzees have smaller populations and are in smaller areas, but this gives them access to more traits, and when groups leave they become less genetically divers, and no groups leave.
Out of Africa 1 was the movement of Homo erectus out of Africa. This theory is supported by mtDNA evidence because Rebecca Cann was able to trace mtDNA (inherited from mother) back to Africa.
The same fossils can be used to support competing views of human evolution because evidence found from the fossil can be interpreted in different ways. Also, archeologists do not always know if the evidence they find is always true, for example the white pumice in the Mojokerto skull does not even necessarily mean that it was deposited there at that time. You can never be sure of what you find.
There is evidence that they buried their dead, they taught each other how to make tools, they respond to change in their environment by making new tools, they had some capacity for language, they ornamented and decorated their tools, and they used and made clothes.
Race is supposed to reflect shared genetic material that is inherited from a common ancestor, however humans classify race based on phenotypic traits.
There is a gradual distribution of variation (clines), not just three different colors of skin…
We have not been isolated long enough to form discreet groups and we are always interbreeding
By modifying the environment. It may lessen the likelihood of adaptations and acclimatization.
By changing the direction of natural selection.
By creating physical variations, such as head binding and circumcision.
Skin color is a balancing act because it is a complex biological trait that involves many genes and phenotypic geographic distribution is gradual. Skin color is related to geography because darker skin is selected for environments such as the tropics to protect from the sun and lighter skin is selected for outside the tropics for people who have less access to UV rays.
Plasticity refers to the ability of many organisms, including humans, to alter themselves (their behavior or biology) in response to changes in the environment. It is important for human survival and evolution because it is necessary that we are able to adapt to certain environments. Plasticity also as an effect on risk of developing disease.
Plant domestication first began in Southwest Asia. One hypothesis is the population pressure hypothesis in which population pressure forced a change in food achievement. The other is the natural habitat hypothesis in which domestication occurred in regions with wild forms of plants.
In order for an animal to become domesticated it must have a flexible diet, a speedy growth rate, and be non-aggressive. As a result of animal domestication the animal may reduce in size and/or become more stupid.
As a result of plant domestication the plant may gain larger seeds, the elimination of seed dispersal will change, and more seed per branch will appear.
Domesticated plant and animal remains
Grinding stones (for grinding cereal in to flour, etc.)
Flint blades/sickles with “sickle sheen”
Pathologies of human pones with agricultural effects
Increased stratification (classes)
Two-tier settlement hierarchy
Increased agricultural production
They took to agriculture from necessity in order to feed their constantly growing numbers. They did not farm until they had to.
Hunter-gathers have little to no stored food and must live off food they gather every day. Therefore there are no kings, no class of social parasites who grow fat on food seized from others. Only in farming populations could healthy, nonproducing, elite set itself above the disease-ridden masses. In records found from Greek tombs, it was found that the royals enjoyed a better diet than commoners since the royal skeletons were two or three inches taller and had better teeth.
More specialization (different tasks/jobs)
Centralized services (organization that provides services)
Agricultural innovation- irrigation systems, tree cultivation, raised fields
Diversification of labor- full time nonagricultural activities, skilled workers, specialization, trade systems
Centralized govern (state formation)- provided essential services, protected city, collected taxes, administered justice, protected people and property
Social stratification- emergence of social classes
City planning- streets and drainage patterns
had great plaza (flat area for rituals), occupational specialists (for all different tasks), bureaucracy, priests (helping with uncertainty of crops, tell when to plan and harvest, calendar).
goes against what people believe agricultural city needs because there was no central administration or military control. However they had stone enclosures, pastorilisim and civilization.
Writing and language is very important for a functioning city. It is key in record keeping and planning. Also, if there is to be centralized services there must be ways for the humans to communicate and work together to perform giant tasks.
Why Cahokia vanished and crumbled is unknown. Malnutrition due to a corn rich diet lacking in protein, overcrowding, a dwindling resource base, many cold years in a row that disrupted the agriculture, the raids of jealous trade partners, flooding from excessive deforestation could be reasons that may have contributed to the city’s demise
No one knows if the populace cleared out at once or if it was gradual. There is no evidence of invasion, rampant disease, overpopulation, deforestation, or any of the other hallmarks of the decline and fall of civilization.
Some consequences are that to have food surplus to trade, individuals from the Dickson area may have intensified their agricultural production while continuing to hunt and gather. The increase in degenerative conditions could have resulted from such a heavy workload. The system may have also put social stress on the community, leading to internal strife. And the accumulation of wealth in terms of ceremonial or other luxury items may have necessitated protection from outside groups.
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