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Lecture 11

ANTA01 - Lecture 11.docx
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Department
Anthropology
Course
ANTA01H3
Professor
Genevieve Dewar
Semester
Fall

Description
ANTA01 – Week 11 – November 22, 2012 Colonization of the Americas & Agriculture Outline - Holocene 10 KYA o The period of warming (Happening today, right now) o Has been warming from 20 thousand years - Archaic (North America) o Means the same thing as “Mesolithic” - Mesolithic (Europe and Asia) - Neolithic Revolution o How we think it happened, and how it led to Agriculture today - Hearths of Domestication - Nutritional Impact The Holocene – 10 000 ya - General warming of the worlds climate - Receding glaciers and raising sea levels, drowning coastlines - General environmental change, including the resolution of the seasons in northern climes - Movement of vegetation types increased diversity o Allows plants to move to different lands (grasses, new trees), results in new species Marine Isotope Stages - Gradual warming of the earth for the past 10 000 y Pleistocene/Holocene - Extinction of certain species, required a shift in subsistence strategies – hunter- gatherers - The development of localized cultures as different responses to change o Expand and broaden diet to include species previously unavailable o Narrowed diet and focus intensely on a few specific species o *Some regions had great bounty and people became more sedentary (staying in one spot) based on that food patch  Europe is called Mesolithic period  North America is called Archaic period Plain Hunters - From Alaska to the Gulf of Mexico - The Great Bison Belt - Maintained big game hunting with focus on the last of the megafauna: Bison - Bison bone bed at Head-Smashed-in near Calgary - A continuation of the Paleo-indian culture The Desert West - The Great Basin, west and southwest grasslands, very few if any Bison - Small bands using temporary sites, highly mobile, true desert adaptation, based on water - Relied heavily on vegetation, using basketry and grinding stones - Coastal groups focused on shellfish and riverine fish – Ex. The Northwestern Coast Eastern North America - Woodlands and forests, from Nova Scotia to Florida (Shell Mound Archaic) - Broad variety of resources from acorns, squirrels, white tailed deer cotton tailed rabbits, shellfish, and riverine species - As the environment continued to get better, resources were abundant - Populations grew, became more sedentary and society became more complex Inuit & Aleuts - Most recent migration into North America eventually reaching Greenland by 2000BC o Most highly specialized - Live by sea mammal exploitation mainly whales and seals - Range of artifact types, including umiaks (For hunting whales), kayaks (For hunting small whales), and various harpoon technologies Meanwhile in Africa and Middle East - Increased use of plant species - Hunting less important than it had been - Abundance of sickles and grindstones for processing grasses - The presence of carbonized wild barley, oats, wheat, and rye Neolithic Revolution - Actually a slow process, not a revolution - Shift from hunting and gathering to food production (agriculture & pastoralism) - Includes domestication of plants and animals - To ensure a constant, reliable, and expanded food supply - Allowed for increased sedentism, population growth and new social structures o First evidence of wealth (Agriculture) and someone always wants to step up to claim control of wealth Domestication – Range of Species - Did not happen in one place only but it did happen in one place o Happened in the Fertile Crescent (Iraq, Middle East) - Dogs were the first to be domesticated o Happened by accident, o There may have been interaction between humans and wolves Dogs - One of the earliest species to be domesticated, probably used as hunting companions as opposed to food - Domesticated from Wolves - Nature selects wolves with big teeth and aggressive natures but there is still variation within the population, some are timid - People may have cared for orphaned pups and the timid ones would have been artificially selected for and bred Range of Dog Breeds - Selecting for smaller individuals eventually led to the small breeds- Chihuahuas - While gigantism led to the larger breeds – Mastiffs Domestication = Artificial Selection - Domestication uses artificial selection to change an animal or plant to suit human needs - Usually not the same traits that are Naturally selected… - They survive because individual plants or animals are cared for How do we have evidence? - There is no difference between a wild species and a domesticated species in genetics Plants - Early domestication was probably not intentional - Select the berries with the largest fruit - Latrine effect, plants with large berries near to camp - Domesticated berries have larger fruit Signs of Domestication - In plants we see changes from wild to domestic forms o Seed size o Seed coat thickness o Seed dispersal mechanism Seed Size - Latrine effect - Larger seeds germinate faster and so are not weeded out, while the plants of slower germinating seeds (smaller seeds) are removed during weeding - Over numerous generations the mean size of plants get bigger Seed Coast Thickness - In nature it is advantageous to have a thick seed coat - To forestall germination until the last killing frosts are over - To prevent difestion if consumed - … Seed Dispersal Mechanisms - In nature it is advantages to have ripe seeds that are easily dispersed by the wind or passing animals - But easily detached seeds make human harvesting difficult as seeds fall to the ground - We have inadvertently selected for seeds with greater adherence to the stalk Geographic… This is a proxy not direct – If you are looking in a region where a species is not mated in the region, someone must have taken them the
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