ANTH 210 Study Guide - Nammu, Cultural Ecology, Human Nature
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ANTH 210 STUDY GUIDE
1. Edward Tylor, 19th century evolutionism.
An advocate of physical and psychological unity of all persons. Primitive Culture – most important work;
developed a theory of progression/evolution from primitive to modern world. He defined culture as a
complex whole of art, law, ethics, etc. that an individual acquires in society. Tylor believed there was a
universal basis for development of society and religion. Culture develops in a uniform progressive
manner; its getting more complex with time. +implications. Sum civilizations stuck in development due
to other factors, etc.
2. Gordon Chide.
Used Marxist theory in his work. International, materialist, and comparative approach to studying
culture. One of the first to disuss transition from hunter/gatherer to agricultural societies. Step away
from evolutionism. Defined agricultural revolution. Coined the term “urban revolution”.
3. Lewis Henry Morgan
Founder of American anthropology. Societies evolve thru changes in food production: savagery ->>>
barbarian ->>>> civilization (technological achievements assigned to each). Somewhat Marxist in his
views; influenced many Marxist afterwards. Emphasized te importance of family and property relations.
Tied together technology, property, and family. Matrillinearity into patrillinarity (clans led by mothers ->
monogamous familys led by fathers).
Change as adaptation, not progress. Evolutionism – linear. Discarded many assumptions of evolutionism:
in particular its deterministic nature; introduces probability. Leslie White: culture as a means to capture
and transform energy. The more efficient -> the more advanced. C = E(per capita) x T(efficience of tools).
Steward: cultural ecology; study of processes thru which societies adopt to environment; analysis of
tools and resources, etc. Multilinnear evolution theory studied how societies adapted to their
5. Tendencies that herald a neolithic mode of production.
Demography: increased population and pop. Density; decrease in group migration and territory per
Subsistence practices: diversification of subs.practices; intensification of fishing, vegetable collect.,
unsual risky foods(mollusks) , etc; increasing importace of storage; more productive, yet less efficient
use of land per capita.
Technology: specialization of the toolkit; innovation in hunting technology(bow n arrow); development
of food processing technologies; decreased mobility -> more rational use of resources, esp.high quality
6. Primary and Secondary states
The primary Society is genetically coded society, and it is based on our genetics. Human nature and
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instinct are enough to keep a primary society harmonious and functional. The primary society is the basic
social organization of man immediately above families. The ideal number of people in this primary
society is believed to be around 150. Bands and tribes are regarded as primary societies. Chiefdoms and
states are not .The culture of primary societies is close to basic human nature, and has no power to modify
human nature. Overextension of peripheral potentials of human nature is rarely institutionalized in the
The secondary society is man-made society. Since it is man-made, it has its purpose, namely the ideology
or the value system, and the social structure to support the purpose. A secondary society is usually far
larger than the primary society. The introduction of social stratification and other institutions that are
against human nature is often necessary to keep a secondary society stable. The secondary society is
created by human culture, and therefore, it has limitless possibilities with different value systems, and
different directions while the primary society, dictated by human genetics, has only one type.
7. Brestead’s Fertile Crescant
Fertile land -> intensive agriculture ->surplus of grain -> trade/state ???
The Fertile Crescent is a term first coined by James Breasted to refer to the area around the Tigris and
Euphrates rivers in Mesopotamia and the Nile Delta region of Egypt. Breasted argued in his hypothesis
that the flooding of these rivers created a region rich in fertile soil which enabled the early development
of agriculture in Mesopotamia. Agriculture then led to the development of the first complex societies or
civilizations. Other scholars such as Julian Steward built on Breasts hypothesis by arguing that it was the
organization necessary to create canals using river water and expand the area of farmable land which led
to the development of the state.
In short, Breasted's hypothesis is that it was the natural fertility of the Mesopotamian region which
facilitated it being among the first regions to develop civilization.
8. Carneiro’s hypothesis of origin of state
In areas of circumscribed agricultural land, population pressure led to warfare that resulted in
the evolution of the state.
Circumscribed land: no other available land around.
9.Components of social power
10. Tiwanaku chronology
Archaic – increased sedentism, Domestication
Formative Period – village life, farming/herding
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