4 Subfields of Anthropology
Archaeology (Past cultures)
Cultural (Living cultures
Biological or Physical (reading bones)
Linguistics (Sometimes not counted)
-Father of American Anthropology
Looking at a culture w/out putting your cultural perspectives on it.
Rebecca Storey- Studied Kopan, physical anthropologist
From Houston with Dave Whitmer
Kopan had egalitarian burials, and likely the whole society
WilliamSanders- Papua New Guinea
Look at living cultures to understand past ones- Ethnographic Analogy
Onka- Big man. Rima- Rival. Moka- gift, usually of pigs
(CU Archaeologist) -CEREN
Diagnostics of Preclassic Maya
E Group architecture
Mammiform Tetrapod pottery (4 legs, boob shaped)
Basal Flange Lidded Vessels (2D to 3D) Usually human head inside
Cache Vessels (Held Bones)
Stucco Masks on buildings
Hero Twins (Highlands ONLY)
600 BC- 1695 AD
Lived in Mesoamerica
No large draft animals were domesticated.
All transportation of goods was done on foot or boat.
Chihuahuas and turkeys were only domesticated protein source.
Stone Age Civilization
Greenstone was most valuable mineral
Symbolizes wealth, power, and agricultural fertility.
“Yax” means both blue and green, color of growth
reciprocity (You do something for me, I’ll do something for you)
Believed that humans used to be made from dirt, then wood, then corn, then the gods gave them blood. Giving blood back was the highest honor.
Used reservoirs and aqueducts.
Environments and Resources
Southern (Pacific Coast)
Very swampy and humid
Full of Saurians (Hides worn as sign of power, also represented the world.)
Endangered Green Sea Turtle (Used to meat, shell used as instrument.)
Egrets (Prized for their feathers)
Mangrove (Canoes) and Amate (made into paper) trees.
Cacao (luxury good)
Volcanoes (Believed the gods lived inside them)
Flint and chert (Used for knives, arrowheads, and eccentric flint)
Obsidian (Used for blades, sharpest in existence)
Can be sourced to certain volcano(Chemical makeup) and dated (Obsidian hydration,
thickness of rind.)
Basalt (Used for mano, handstone, and metate, corn grindstone.
-ground corn after soaking in limestone to get more nutrition out of it.
Motagua jade (most valued)
Rio Usumacinta(fast) and Rio Motagua(slow) Used to move stone and as trade routes.
Quetzal (Symbol of Guatemala, tail feathers used in headdresses)
Macaw (Used for military outfits)
Believed that animals are born with you, embody your personality, bonded, if
things happen to you they happen to the animal
Harpy eagle, mountain lion, hummingbird (fierce)
Bats- powerful, believed to travel to supernatural world.
Deer- Willing sacrifice, deerskin worn by sacrificial volunteers.
Southern Maya Lowlands
Limestone hills, Very thin layer of soil on top.
Bajos (Swamps) turned into artificial gardens or aguadas (reservoirs) due to lack of
Harvest like maple sap, used to make rubber things or to line reservoirs
Chicle, similar to rubber tree
High in protein and calories, but very bitter. “Famine Food”
Ceiba Tree Largest tree in rainforest
Spiritually significant, spiritually center of city
Roots reached into underworld, canopy in heavens, trunk in our world.
Ocellated Turkey(Partially domesticated for food.
Toucan (Used for feathers and beak used for container)
Spider monkey and howler monkey
Pizote- tropical racoon, very smart
Jaguar: king of jungle, spiritual animal of kings, they would wear pelt
Symbol for sun, Black ones were jaguars of the night
Rattlesnake, Boa, Fer-de-lance
Water Lilies, can be hallucinogenic
Bufo Marinus (Toad) oozes hallucinogenic goo.
Northern Maya Lowlands
Flat limestone shelf
Underground Rivers, Limestone would collapse creating “Cenotes”
In droughts, sacrifices would be thrown into Cenotes
Scrub brush, few trees
Cotton and Henequen (Yucca plant, used for sandals, rope, baskets)
Stingray (Spine used for sacrifice)
-Center of cities were clusters of important buildings (Temples, rich homes)
Modest (see: poor) homes scattered in between and around
Smaller centers of lesser important buildings scattered around
Homes: Huts with raised floors to get off forest soil, five 5-10 people
-In clusters facing each other, small family like community
Used variety; different crops and different planting techniques to suit the varied forest soil.
Slash and Burn (Swidden Farming): Chop down forest and burn, ash provides fertile soil,
but must be left
alone after a few years and left fallow for 4-7 years (Disadvantage).
Terracing: Piling stones to create terraces that prevent erosion. High yield and labor cost
Raised Fields (Chinampas): Parts of swamps raised with canals in between. Very fertile,
fishing in canals. Required high labor costs. Produced Arthrospira algae
Garden Plots Beekeeping
Beringia- Land bridge between Siberia and Alaska.
People migrated down the west coast, others migrated down east.
5 major migrations
Clovis Points- Spearpoints attached to end of pole
Pleistocene Megafauna 25,000- 10,000 years ago
Mammoths, Giant sloths, Giant bears, Mastodon, Sabre-toothed cats, Glyptodon
Bison Antiquus Antiquus (Ancestor of Ralphie)
FolsomPoint- Smaller than clovis, aerodynamic and put on end of atlatl to be thrown
tribes would chase bison off cliffs, only harvested parts they wanted.
20 or so people
Egalitarian, everyone had equal access to resources
9000-4000 BC, gradual transition to...
Chiefdoms or Small Communities
200 or so people
Gatherers brought in most food
-Nopal and Agave
Agave turns into Nexcal when rotted, which is made into tequila
Domesticated, people got rid of smaller plants, the bigger ones thrived and turned into
Intercropping- Planting many crops in one field
Planted squash and beans with corn to keep nutrients in soil
Domesticated and Native to Mesoamerica: Maize, Agave,Chili, Avocado, Tomato
States can demand taxes, They have rules and laws
In tribes you have blood feuds, in states you go to jail.
States have a standing military.
When states control multi-ethnic, multi-cultural groups they become empires.
Soconusco, Chiapas was the first shift to state
5500 BC, Cerro de las Conchas
Clam bake, layers of clam shells
OptimumForaging Strategy- Planned moving around to take advantage of foraging area. 1700 BC, Sedentism(Staying put)
-Due to agriculture
Began to increase in population
-Began making more complex art
-PrettyLadies- fertility figurines
-Barra Phase Ceramics
1600 BC (Early for such sophisticated work)
First pottery on coast, yet flawless
Someone must have introduced pottery
1400 BC- Paso de la Amada
First communal building (Basketball Court)
Mound 6- Largest building on the coast at the time
72 ft long
Burials underneath house
Reinforces ownership of house
Mold babies’ heads with planks
Mostly for wealthy, signals high social status
Proves ascribed leadership since it was done to infants, before achieving
***ASSOCIATED WITH PEOPLE WITH BETTER DIETS, SHOWS STATUS**
The Olmec of Veracruz and Tabasco
Mesoamerica’s first state
Land of Mud
Olmec= Rubber people
Oil Rich land, slow moving rivers
Abundant with Bitumen(Asphalt)
-Valuable for it’s adhesive and water sealing properties
Olmec believed that the Earth was a giant crocodile, the spines were hills etc
Animism- Belief that everything is alive and has a soul
Manioc, also known as yuca or cassava.
Highly nutritious tuber
San Lorenzo, Veracruz 1300-900 BC
Stone architecture, had to be imported to site from the tuxtla mountains
Saurian drainage spouts, means the city was the center of the world.
Giant Stone Heads
-Depict Kings, all have cranial deformation
Head of an entire state, a polity
People from all over the state came and paid taxes in labor
Cached Objects (Intentionally buried as gifts to gods)
El Manatee Springs First rubber ball found, 25 lbs
Sacred Numbers: 3, 4 (Corners of universe), 5 (4 Corners plus center), 9, 13
La Venta Tabasco 900-400 BC
Earliest site with a true pyramid.
Oriented along a single axis
Hierophany- Construction of Sacred place to conform to celestial phenomena.
Either Equinox (Sun in Center of Sky, Mar and Sep 21)
Or Solstice (Longest day/night, Dec and June 21)
4 Stone heads
100 tons of greenstone buried in the ground in 5 different sites in Quincunx formation
-Quincunx- 4 corners and center
Monument 7 (Tomb A)
2 young men inside surrounded by elite offerings
Concave Hematite Mirror around necks
Makes thing upside down and backwards, likely used to ‘look into other world’
Greenstone scepter at groin, shows they were bloodletters.
6 Greenstone celts standing up with 15 greenstone and one basalt figurines.
30 Feet down
Someone dug down and reburied them, evidenced by different sand.
Dug exactly where they were, suggests a map of offerings exists
La Venta, Tabasco
Carved limestone bench for kings
Cave entrance from booklet
Carving in cliffside, from booklet
Upon king’s death, his throne is made into a giant head of him.
Ch’ulel - Soul
-Upright stone (4-20 feet) with images or words carved into them
Expanded trade routes to gather materials, spread Olmec culture in process
Las Bocas, Pueblo
Olmec influences, dragons on artwork
Chalchuapa, El Salvador
Southernmost Omec influence
Ballgame paraphernalia Copan, Honduras
Stone heads found ONLY in heartlands
Preclassic Highlands Maya
900 BC (Time of first Olmec State) Caused a ripple effect and cities began to pop up
La Blanca, Guatemala
Biggest city of the time
Monument 3 6 ft clay object, Quincunx Shape in plaza of high class area
Forms troughs that lead to center
Sacrifices’ blood would flow and pool in center, making massive ‘portal’
Takalik Abaj, Guatemala 800-300 BC
10 Terraces of city, 50,000 people
Many Stelae and Altars
Recorded historyof RULERS and KINGS
Poor pottery, TONS on manos and metates
Terraces may be defensive, indicates warfare
Buildings made out of river boulders and painted with hematite.
Royal Burial in pyramid. Man of 45 found surrounded by obsidian and shells
Trade with shore villages
Glyph “Agaw” on his clothes, means “lord”
Signs of Olmec Interaction
Saurian carving, niche w/ person coming out, like altar 4
Potbellies- big bellied statues, vague appearances.
Fat God- fat stone figures, not rulers
More stelae and altars than any other Preclassic Maya site
Emphasizes the Hero Twins stories rather than rulers
Story on D2L
Popal Vuh- written 1550 AD by K’iche’ Maya (Dominant group)
Written in Spanish, sent to Spain to prove ownership of land
AV. Kidder- Carnegie Institute
William Sanders- Pennsylvania State
Marion Popenoe de Hatch- Universidad de Valle
All made of adobe
Contrary to limestone
El Chayal Obsidian
From nearby volcano, exported it and grew wealthy.
Stirrup Spout Vessels
Used for drinking Cacao Monuments 9 &10
Popal Vuh Imagery
Emphasizes the Rulers AS the Hero Twins
Rulers are now divine beings
First seen in Chalchuapa
Wax is applied in a design before being dipped in pigment
Ilopango Volcano erupts 300AD
Cuts off highland trade routes, cities wither.
Preclassic Maya Lowlands
Cuello, Belize 1000-4000 BC
Houses arranged around a plaza
Buried dead in Buildings, still interacted with them and made offerings to them
Patrilineal and Patrilocal
-Lineage from father’s side, bride moved in with husband and his family.
Extended families all lived together
Stucco mask Facade
El Mirador, Guatemala
-Largest Maya City Ever
Buildings made of Limestone covered with plaster and painted red with hematite
-Largest pyramid, Half a mile from side to side
Triadic Group on top
3 pyramids in triangle
Sacbe- White roads, connected cities miles away
Kaan- serpent glyph, marked El Mirador as the serpent state.
Evidence of Cranial modifications and dental implants
-Holes drilled into teeth and filled with Jade
Radial Pyramid- Perfect square, stairs on all 4 sides. Dennis Puleston
Reflects private ownership of crops, filled with ramone nuts
Royal Necropolis (City of the Dead)
Maya Corbel Vault
Very thick walls with very narrow spaces in between.
Stucco Masks, Apron molding.
-Little ‘Skirt” in buildings
Tikal and El Mirador surrounded by ‘Moat and Palisade system”
Evidence of War
Ajaw- means speaker (to gods), a leader
E Group Architecture
From Structure E-VII Sub
Three buildings across from pyramid, King “raised” sun
More in Blue Packet
Access to Pachuca Obsidian (Diagnostic)
-Only green obsidian
First empire in Mesoamerica
Abandoned by 700AD
Aztec moved in 1300 AD. saw empty buildings and assumed gods lived there
Leopold Batres, WilliamSanders, S. Sugiyama, R. Cabrera
Street of the Dead
Pyramids and site oriented to street
15.5degrees east of north-allignment
Pyramid of the Sun
Architecturally designed to make people feel small and insignificant
Located over a 5-lobed cave
“Cave of Emergence” Myth
June 21- Sun rises directly over the pyramid, no shadows in town
Largest hierophany in existence
Pleiader- 7 brightest stars rise over temple
Temple of the Feathered Serpent
Talud-Tablero (DIAGNOSTIC) style
Offering on each corner
Trenches on sides containing 9 sacrifices each
Young men dressed as warriors, back bustle mirrors
Necklaces made from human and canine maxillae
StrontiumIsotope Analysis Can tell where someone grew up and died.
Half of sacrifices from valley, half from guatemala
Maxillae from old men from valley who refused to move.
Mass grave(20) in center of temple rather than a king.
Obsidian, greenstone, and sea shells
Cuidadela- Enclosure around temple, 38 acres
350 AD- Tunneled in antiquity, tunnel collapsed and entrance sealed.
Also at this time, building put in front of temple and temple covered in dirt
May have been to check contents
Workshops built next to temple
Mass produce “Mold Made adornos”
Assembled into Incenarios
Host Figures- Hollow figures with people inside
Pyramid of the Moon
Cerro Gordo- Giant hill behind pyramid, would get covered up as you walk
Massive burials for each stage of construction
Burial 2- Wild animals along with a human, buried alive.
Burial 5- Guatemalan Kings, 3 each swaddled and on jaguar pillow
Next to largest obsidian distribution center.
Extended families, would have to move away when family got too big
Broke up family bond, created neighborhood bond
Imagery on walls has to do with warfare
Tlaloc- Storm God (Diagnostic of Teo.)
Thin Orange Potteryand Slab footed stucco cov