ANTH 2303 Lecture 2: 8-26-2016 Basic Concepts of Human Behavior

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8/26/2016
ANTH 2303 intro to archaeology
Widmer
Basic Concepts of Human Behavior
Four assumptions necessary for doing anthropological archaeology:
o We must use analogy culture in the past can only be understood and
conceptualized by reference to the present
o Present: artifact function
o Past: artifact function
o See diagram in notes
There is no difference in human (fully modern human) group behavioral and intellectual
capacity in the last 40,000 years
All cultural/group variability/differences has been recorded since the last 500 years
o 500 years ago was when the West (Europe in particular) began traveling around
the world and discovering/recording their findings
o So was there anything before 500 years ago? According to Widmer, no
Much of culture (though not all) is adaptive
o Our culture helps us survive because our biology isn’t enough
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