October 19 Lecture Notes, Anthropology
We here shift from Biological evolutions and stone developments in the PALEOLITHIC ERA
to the Cultural evolution of the MESOLITHIC and NEOLITHIC REVOLUTIONS
END OF PALEOLITHIC: Homo Sapiens begin to disperse across entire world in 100,000 years
MESOLITHIC: part of what goes on in mesolithic is modern humans spreading across the earth.
NEOLITHIC: domestication of plants and animals
one of the first CULTURAL REVOLUTIONS
- faster pace of cultural change
- more efficient and specialized tools evolve rapidly
- beginning to produce art on a much larger scale (not sized) than ever before. carvings, paintings
- this tells us there is a CHANGE IN LIFESTYLES, they are no longer fully concerned with
survival, they are spending time on art.
- in the beginning, ART IS MOSTLY UTILITARIAN
- all the famous cave art comes from MESOLITHIC
- where they painted were not just the places they lived, they went to difficult places to access,
deep in caves (would have had to bring light)
- two basic types of animals represented:
1. the animals they hunt. there are even hunting scenes.
2. the animals that hunted them. the large predators. the animals that inspire awe in humans.
they scare us but we are also awed by them. ***we often come to worship these animals
for the traits they have that we don't.
3. lots of horses. not much evidence they hunted horses and horses aren't really a predator
either. but they are fast. 4. some cave paintings even have these spirals. incredible. some have conjectured that they
- we know they brought children to these caves to show them the paintings
- we know that rituals are practiced in these caves.
- paintings perhaps have educational value
- it is a common belief that by painting an animal you capture it's spirit, so they paint the animals
and spear them and paint them being speared so when they go out there they will be able to
accomplish the task.
- THESEARE VERY MUCH HUMANS. they are questioning what they see. they are changing
- we were successful for thousands and thousands of years on just hunting and gathering. SO
WHY did they change their method?
- there were at least 7 or 8 independent discoveries of domestication
- Mesopotamia and China were first, almost at the same time.
- after we learn to domesticate plants and animals, after a few thousand years we see the first
ORIGINS OF DOMESTICATION
- we are not talking about just taming animals, we are talking about changing them
- systematic natural selection, we choose which animals or plants we want to reproduce.
- domestication is different than CULTIVATIONS
- for plants, we started CULTIVATING FIRST,
CULTIVATION: the systematic planting and harvesting of plants to support the subsistence
activities of a population
DOMESTICATION: is the systematic, artificial selection of traits in plants or animals to make them more useful to human beings.
***in various textbooks, when they give you dates for first evidence of domestication, but these
are the dates of cultivation. THE DATES PROF. LAROSE USES ARE FOR
DOMESTICATION, not just the beginnings of cultivation.
CHARACTERISTICS OF DOMESTICATED ANIMALS
- relatively few domesticated by humans, especially for those primarily for food or labour (not
dogs or cats, but relatively large numbers of animals, not one per house).
● when we domesticated animals, we needed animals at the bottom of the food chain
● we needed animals that have a quick groth rate and early sexual matu