ANTH 201 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Nazi Germany, Edward Burnett Tylor, Archaeological Culture

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8 Aug 2016
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Lecture Notes#2-September 9th 2014-
-Archaeology as Culture History:
-Early 19th century- culture history is an approach developed to reject early
evolutionary theories. Darwins biological theory of evolution believed in a unilinear
biological evolution which was taken up by archaeologists. They applied it to
cultures and societysx. Unilinear evolution of culture.
-A series of developments from simple to most complex. Every society moves from
primitive to more developed to developed. This happens progressively till today,
working to civilization.
-IRON/BRONZE/STONE- 19th century three-age system
-Culture history is a critic of evolutionary theory. A back and forth, ideas are often
drawn on earlier models or critised.
-Environmental conditions determining how cultures develop:
-Environmental factors were either encouraging or discouraging cultural
development. Harsh climatic conditions impeded cultural development. It was too
strainious. Less demanding tropical climates did not have to make an effort to
develop culturally and Favourable conditions encouraged cultural development.
This is why it mostly took placed in Europe.
-These environmental ideas did not claim cultural variability- cultures that
developed during the stage cultural conditions were sometimes different.
-Some cultures that they considered static did change, they couldn’t explain it
through environmental factors.
-Culture change can occur in primitive society but not as a result of innovativeness
inside the culture, they believed it was motivated by outside-migration of culture.
-If we explain every cultural change as a result of external stimuliit means we do not
consider them innative or imaginative. Incoherent creativity.
-If societys only changed by migration, then Europe also only changed by this. This
showed a contradiction in this model. Despite these problems, diffusionism became
the core of cultural model. This was due to a dissatisfaction with environmental
theories.
-The political context and social contexts shape the archaeological theories.
-The political context – Late 19th century Europe- the time of imperialism and
colonization- Nationalism was growing and rascist ideas- the result of
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industrialization- More competition between nation states(as they competed for
resources)
-Nationalism=shared identity based o:
1)Lingustic unity
2)Cultural unity
3)Racial unity
4)Shared history
-Sense of group identity, it soon became cultural identity. In 19th century Europe
national identity soon became ethnic identity. It is a broader term than cultural
identity. The notion that people share a language, are of the same race and share a
history. This binds people together in a nation.They feel solidarity towards
eachother, they share a historical origin.
-Task of archaeology: Search for common historical origin/shared ethnic heritage.
They looked for proof for common nation heritage. They searched for deep cultural
roots that were the basis for national unity.
-The notion of nationalism could transgress everything else like social class. It was
the most important. No difference was strong enough to break the national unity.
The nation overcomes all differences. Shaped archaeology in the 19th century.
-Different forms of how national heritage can be expressed ex. Germany trying to
trace their racial affinitys back to shared common heritage.(existence of the harians)
-They didn’t think it was the result of cultural evolution but of migration-ESSENTIAL
to culture history.
-In the UK, British culture was traced back to Norman groups. In the UK different
classes identify with different cultural heritages. This gave them one big culture and
unified them. Transcending this idea of class to this Norman identity.
-Continental Archaeology(?)-Find a shared origin of all European people, came the
idea that European cultures were better than all other origins.
-This was the bases for diffusionary cultural ideas.
-This is part of the experience of a crisis in 19th century Europe- Sharp class conflict-
social unrest-economic unrest-poverty- These experiences fuelled nationalism and
racsist ideas that nations were in competition- these were different in races- The
notion of a biological difference is enscribed in nationalist ideas.
-People were united by shared racial heritages and shared cultures during this time.
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