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Lecture 9

Lecture 9 Part 1 – Cultural Theories - Processual-Materiali..
Lecture 9 Part 1 – Cultural Theories - Processual-Materialists

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Western University
Anthropology 2229F/G
Christopher Ellis

Lecture 9 Part 1– Cultural Theories – Processual/Materialists  Processual/Materialist o 1. Culture is responsive to “real external world” (adaptive mechanism)  Culture central to our essence to survive o 2. Humans are rational beings: cultural acts are ones of self- preservation  Find tools, floral/faunal remains in the archaeological record; makes it easy to interpret what people were doing to survive  Assumes that people wont do something for long periods of time that will impede our survival  Search to see how this is an act of self-preservation  Can look at illogical acts and see how it is an act of preservation  E.g. Australian Aborigines give rock to another group and they get the same thing back; used to make social ties, not goods o Useful in times of food shortages, etc., mechanism of survival  E.g. Caches left by Clovis peoples in the Americas, date to 13,500 BP; caches left in case of short fall in stone needed for tools  People had to be doing these activities for long periods of time if its preserved in the archaeological records, must have been beneficial for survival  Record consists of mostly hunter-gatherers, which was a more difficult lifestyle  Know if you need to adapt your behaviour more quickly
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