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Anthropology 2100 lec 1.docx
Anthropology 2100 lec 1.docx

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Western University
Anthropology 2100
Peter Timmins

Anthropology 2100 – lecture 1 Introoo Slide 1: the mayan centre of tikal • Guatemala • Slide 2: archae today • Slide 3: anthropology • The study of all humanity, ancient and modern • Sub-fields: o Cultural anthro  The study of living peoples, their beliefs, practices, values, ideas, technologies, economies and more.  Study rural urban migration for ex. o Physical (biological) anthropology  Concerned with things like the evolution of humans and human population, physical variation in human population, health and disease in these populations o Linguistic anthro  Language  Evolution, structure of language  Way ppl use language o Archaeology Slide 4: Arch • The study of the human past through the traces of the past that exist in the present • Text-aided arch (or historic arch) – the study of ancient societies with the aid of written records • Prehistoric (or precontact) arch focuses on societies that lack written records o Prehistory is based on arch, while history is largely based on documentary records… Slide 5: Paleoanthro • The anthropological study of the evolution of our species • Australopithecus boisei o “Zinj”  From Olduvai Gorge • Early hominids share common human-like and ape-like features Slide 6: cultural and material culture • Culture – the invented, taught, and learned patterns of behavr of human groups o Passed on from gen to gen primarily through the use of language o Our primary way of adapting to our env’t (helps us adapt to env’t) o Sometimes seen as a system of interacting subsystems (technology, economy, etc) • Material culture – the physical objects that humans manufacture o Things we find, manufacture, alter etc.  Ex. arrow heads o Spend time analyzing, collecting in the field Slide 7 cultural eco • Cul eco – the study of culture as a means of adapting to the env’t o Is closely related to the study of cultural evolution o Early 20 century “unilinear evolution” held that all cultures developed from simple to complex – this is too simplistic o Each society follows a unique evolutionary course – “multi-linear evolution.” Slide 8: primary cultural processes th • Early 20 cent ideas about the mechanisms of culture change focused on: o Invention- developmet of a new idea or technology; innovation o Diffusion – transfer of an idea or technology from one group to another through interaction o Migration – movement of an idea or technology from 1 area to another through population movement Slide 9: other aspects of culture • Recent approaches to the study of culture emphasize knowledge, beliefs, values, and customs… • Culture is much more than envtl adaptation • Bruce Trigger: external and internal constraints: o External constraints: the natural env’t o Internal constraints: the beliefs, values and customs of a cultural tradition  Bruce trigger = Canadian theatician and archaeologist. ABrief History ofArchaeology Arch is always a product of its social and political env’t Slide 10:Antiq to AD 500 • Origin myths and oral histories o Do not provide scientific explanations of the past… o Some societies incorporated ancient artifacts or ruins into their religious practices – but this was not archaeology…ie.Aztec use of Olmec figurines • Egyptians – an interest in the past but no archaeological tradition – the gods created civilization in a perfect form and it was in decline… o Had a belief that gods created civilization in a near perfect state Slide 11:Antiq toAD 500 • Neo-Babylonian King Nabonidus (ca 538 BC) o The first archeologist? o Rebuilt ancient temples and looked for inscriptions of earlier kings o Used physical remains to investigate the past… • Greek and romans: o Relied on written records and oral history o Aheroic past of powerful kings and warriors o Collected artifacts – valued as works of art o Did not establish a tradition or archaeological research Slide 12: middle ages • The only certain knowledge of the past was that recorded in the bible and Greek and roman histories… • The world had been created around 4000-5000 BC and was in a state of decay • They had no appreciation that the past was much different than the present • Slide 13: the Renaissance (1300s and 1600s) • Development of classical archaeology in Italy • Scholars recgonized that the past was different than the present… • Continued belief that civilization had declined • Artifact collecting became trendy among the elite • Interest in classical antiquities resulted in much uncontrolled digging Slide 14: more renaissance… • Little interest in prehistoric archaeology (because no time for it) • Dr. john lightfoot – 1642 o Calc the date of the creation of the year 3928 BC based on the OT of the Bible • Archbishop James Ussher refined the date of creation to 4004 BC in 1650 – widely accepted Slide 15: exploration and colonization • Western european exploration in the 16 and 17 centuries brought about culture contact with non-western peoples • Explorers brought back clothing, tools, even people… • Michael mercati – recognized that stone tools were not “thunderstones” or “fossilized serpent’s tongues” o Incorrect. These tools were made by humans; not fossilized serpents tongue etc. Slide 16: the enlightenment (1700s) • Scientific discoveries of Newton and Galileo created increasing confidence • The world was no longer seen as being in a state of decline…progress could be made. Slide 17 more enlightenment • Scientific antiquarianism: o Gentlemen would study ancient sites or monuments and collect antiquities  Most wealthy ppl
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