GGR329 PAST EXAM QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
12. What were the main advantages of horses over llamas? What are the main
qualities that Spaniards were looking for in a sword? How were these qualities
• The horse was fundamental to the farming success of Eurasian societies provided
not only food and fertilizer but also, crucial, load-bearing power and transport
transforming the productivity of the land.
• The Inca relied on llamas for meat, wool and fertilizer but the llama was not a
load-bearing animal. Llamas can't pull a plow, nor can they transport human
• The main qualities that Spaniards were looking for were stronger, longer, sharper
swords, toughness, hardness; sword to have certain pliability: an ability to bend
and spring back into shape.
• qualities were achieved via metal-working technology which had evolved from
the simplest ore-extraction of the first Neolithic villages, to the highly-
sophisticated forging of steel, in cities like Toledo and Milan plunging it into cold
water, immense amount of experimentation,. Geography had endowed Europe
with rich sources of iron and wood, and a climate conducive to high-temperature
16. Why did Diamond once argued that agriculture was bad for human health (at
least compared to the type of food collected by hunter-gatherers)? What are the
main counter-arguments used by people who argue that the hunting-gathering
lifestyle was not superior to farming? According to these latter people, why would
hunting-gathering people remain stable over time?
Why agriculture is bad for health? (14:00 mins)
1. Diet (cheap calories but poor nutrition)
a. H-G: varied diet = better nutrition
b. Early farmers: 1 or few starchy crops
2. Greater risk of starvation if crop failure
3. Crowding: living with large animals spread of parasites and infectious diseases
- Very low birthrate
- High death rate (40% children died < 15)
- Infanticide and senicide
- Very high homicide rate GGR329 PAST EXAM QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
- Life expectancy (20 < X < 29)
H-G populations stable because
- Low meagerness of resources
- Low fat intakes
Might have resulted in
- Low birth rate
- Spontaneous abortions because not enough food to support baby
25. In Diamond's opinion, why is an east-west continental axis preferable to a north-south
Advantages of East-West Axis
- Same day length
- Seasonal variations
(To a lesser degree) Similar
- Regimes of temperature and rainfall
- Habitats or biomes (types of vegetation)
18. Draw Jared Diamond's schematic overview of the chains of causation leading up
to proximate historical factors from ultimate historical factors (or, in other words,
the factors underlying the broadest patterns of history). GGR329 PAST EXAM QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS GGR329 PAST EXAM QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
27) Why does H. F. Dobyns argue that the first Europeans who moved inland into
the Americas encountered recently depopulated landscapes? Why are some scholars
critical of the high numbers of then recently diseased people put forward by
Dobyns Key arguments:-
• Diseases swept from coastlines to inland areas.
• First Europeans would often have encountered depopulated areas.
• Disease preceded European explorers into Americas; therefore disease had
already eliminated most inhabitants a few decades before.
Some scholars critical b/c:
• Smallpox spreads very slowly and not very far, given that the victim is unable to
• There are different strains of smallpox in Americas perhaps it wasn’t the
• Early accounts not written by first hand witnesses.
• There were local American disease cocolitzlie plague.
28. What are the diverse ways by which microbes spread from one person to
another, and from animals to people? Why should a germ evolve the apparently
self-defeating strategy of killing its host?
1) Wait for their hosts to be eaten by other hosts (e.g. Salmonella bacteria in meat)
2) Hitchhiking, insects to humans, In saliva of insect that bites the host and flies off to
find a new host (Malaria, plague, Typhus, Sleeping sickness) From mother to
fetus(syphilis, rubella, Aids.)
3) Modify habits of hosts to facilitate transmission, Genital sores –Syphilis, Skin Lesions
– smallpox(through blankets), Cough sneezing- influenza and common cold, Diarrhea –
Cholera, Biting Frenzy – Rabies.
4) Attack the host directly, Hookworms, and schistosomes.
Germs evolve the self defeating strategy the answer is that it is an unintended by product
of host symptoms promote efficient transmission of microbes.
29. How do humans physiologically cope with germs?
1) Fever, an attempt to bake germs to death.
2) Immune system, white blood cells and other cells some immune effects are temporary
or permanent (Vaccinations) the problem is that some germs evolve not to be recognized
by immune systems through their antigens.
3) Natural selection, some people more resistant than others voluntary effect on people
repeatedly exposed to a particular pathogen.
30. What are the main characteristics of infectious diseases that visit us as
epidemics? What is the reason why these characteristics tend to make a disease run
in epidemics? GGR329 PAST EXAM QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
• They spread quickly and efficiently,
• acute illness (Individual either dies or recovers quickly),
• People who recover are often immune for life…
• Tend to be restricted to humans.
31. according to Diamond, why did agriculture launch the evolution of infectious
1) sustains much higher population densities,
2) Good breeding ground (Use of sewage in agriculture, Fish ponds, Farmers surrounded
by disease transmitting rodents)
3) Development of trade routes (Good for carrying diseases in people, fur, etc)
4) Diseases among animals similarly require large and dense populations of animals.
33. What are the stages in the evolution of a specialized human disease from an
1) Diseases picked up directly from pets(domesticated animals) and skinning wild
animals (typically not contagious between humans) 2) Animal pathogens (transmitted
directly between people and causes epidemics 3) Farmer animals pathogens that did
establish themselves in humans and have not died out and may or may not still become
major killers of humanity. 4) Major long established epidemic diseases confined to
humans (Evolutionary survives of far more pathogens that tried to make the hump to us
from animals and mostly failed)
32. According to Rodolfo Acuña-Soto, what was "cocolitzli" (and what was it not)?
According to Bruce Stutz, what is Acuña-Soto's explanation of what happened in
Mexico during the epidemics of 1545 and 1576?
• Coclitzli was a local hemorrhagic fever rather than old world disease
• it laid dormant in most likely rodents, Drought increased the concentration of
rodents which started spreading the infection
• Rains ~ >>> rodents spread virus to humans, humans transmitted virus to other
• The Epidemics of 1545 and 1576 seemed to be another disease other than
smallpox and was not related to it. The Aztecs called those outbreaks by a
separate name Cocolitzli.
• Acuña-Soto says. "Cocolitzli brought incomparable devastation that passed
readily from one region to the next and killed quickly." Acuña-Soto has come to
agree with the Aztecs: The cocolitzli plagues of the mid-16th century probably
had nothing to do with smallpox. In fact, they probably had little to do with the
33. According to Heather Pringle, what did the Chinchorro mummies taught us
about the vital statistics of these people?
• Despite healthy conditions 25% children perished in less than 1 year
• 33% infections eroded leg bones,
• 20% women vertebrae so porous splintered from weight of own flesh GGR329 PAST EXAM QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
• Average life expectancy of 25 years.
34. What is Charles Kay's "keystone species" theory and what are its implication
for the observed number of American bisons and other species in the second half of
the nineteenth century?
• Native Americans were the ultimate keystone predator who once structured entire
• Native hunting controlled the distribution and number of bison on the northern
• The only place Lewis and Clark saw bison, and especially large numbers, was in
the center of aboriginal buffer zones between warring tribes. If it had not been for
warring tribes and buffer zones, there would have been few bison anywhere in
• Thus, optimal-foraging theory would predict that when native people entered
aboriginal buffer zones, they should have concentrated their hunting on the larger
species, such as bison and elk
35. According to Robert Nelson, how did the rinderpest epidemics affect Southeast
Africa's ecosystems a century ago? How does it still affect our current perception of
- Late 19 C Rinderpest plague (1889-early 1900’s)
- Killed 90% to 95% of cattle (also affected sheep and goats)
- Population dependent on cattle decimated (66% of Maasai in Tanzania might
- Many areas, rinderpest also virtually wiped out and negatively affected lives of:
o Small antelopes
Africa? GGR329 PAST EXAM QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
- Entire populations lost sustenance
- Whole ecosystems transformed
- >>> Tsetse flies by reversal of grasslands into dense fields and thickets.
- Hordes of tsetse flies X00 000 victims…
(For Centuries, Africans transformed environment to control flies)
- More immune to tsetse fly than domestic cattle
o Bounced back early 20 Century
o A lot more abundant than before
- Images of “wild” Africa
36. According to Michael Coe, what are the traditional and currently controversial
view of the past inhabitants of the Amazon and Orinoco basins? What is the main
evidence put forward by the revisionists to support their argument? What do other
authors similarly argue regarding the Pre-Columbian history of the Caribbean
• The inhabitants of the Amazon and Orinoco basin did not always live in only
small groups, because the very first Europeans to explore the Amazon saw
extensive towns along the river systems, with very large populations.
• Centuries later, the agriculturalists and hunters in the Amazon and Orinoco
described by anthropologists are only the tattered survivors of the great
demographic disaster that struck all of the hemisphere's indigenous peoples with
the introduction of European epidemic diseases such as smallpox and measles.
• Testifying to their vanished complexity are the extensive raised-field patterns that
can be seen from the air in the now-denuded Beni region of eastern Bolivia and in
the densely occupied towns of the Marajoara culture, which flourished for almost
a millennium on a huge island in the mouth of the Amazon.
• As Mann argues, we can now view the early Indians of the Americas not as
prisoners of their environment but as managers of it.
37. What is terra preta? How much of the Amazonian basin is it thought by some
researchers to cover? What are its main characteristics according to some
researchers? GGR329 PAST EXAM QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
• Terra Preta: 10% Amazonia, size of France
• Black earth-like anthropogenic soil with enhanced fertility due to
- High levels of soil organic matter (SOM)
- Nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and calcium
Embedded in a landscape of infertile soils
38. What use did Charles Kay make of the Lewis and Clark journals? What was his
main conclusion regarding the areas in which wildlife thrived at the time of the
• Kay used the journals to identify what was lost and what did the two explorers
find. Kay constructed a timeline of their journal using their wildlife observations
to see what they found and reported as they moved west to the Pacific from the
Mississippi River and St. Louis and then returned.
• As Lewis and Clark approached areas inhabited by Native Americans, the
wildlife numbers would drop off. As they left the inhabited areas, wildlife
numbers would increase.
• Kay said the greatest wildlife numbers appeared to be in buffer zones between
warring tribes. If it had not been for buffer zones, Lewis and Clark would have
found little wildlife anywhere in the West.
• Kay's research demonstrates that humans were the apex predator in the pre-
39. According to Clark Erickson, what is the "myth of the pristine environment"?
How does it relate to biodiversity? According to William Cronon, what is the "myth
of wilderness"? In his opinion, how natural is wilderness (and what does he mean by
• “The myth of wilderness”, is that we can somehow leave nature untouched by our
passage. In his opinion “Wilderness hides its unnaturalness behind a mask that is
all the more beguiling because it seems so natural,” he says. By glorifying pristine
landscapes, which exist only in the imagination of romantics, Western
conservationists divert attention from the places where people live and the choices
they make every day that do true damage to the natural world of which they are
42. What are the three (3) basic strategies underlying writing systems? What were
the two (2) main ways by which writing was diffused?
The 3 basic strategies underlying writing systems 1) Alphabet single basic sound, Unique
sign, 2) Logograms(one written sign stands for a whole word) 3) Syllabaries(use a sign GGR329 PAST EXAM QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
for each syllabil. The 2 main ways by which writing was diffused 1) blueprint copying
(copy/modify available detailed print) 2) Idea diffusion (Basic Idea; reinvent details)
40. According to Diamond, what are the four (4) main factors influencing the
acceptance of new technologies? What does he mean when he says that the history of
technology was an autocatalytic process? What were the two (2) main ways by
which writing was diffused?
1) Advantage over alternatives
2) Social value and prestige
3) Compatibility with vested interests
4) Ease of seeing advantages.
• Technology's history exemplifies what is termed an autocatalytic process: that is,
one that speeds up at a rate that increases with time, because the process catalyzes
itself advances depend upon previous mastery of simpler problems, New
technologies and materials make it possible to generate still other new
technologies by recombination. TECHNOLOGY BEGETS more technology; the
importance of an invention's diffusion potentially exceeds the importance of the
• The 2 main ways by which writing was diffused
1) blueprint copying (copy/modify available detailed print)
2) Idea diffusion (Basic Idea; reinvent details)
41. According to Diamond, what are the factors involving economics or the
organization of society that explain differences in receptivity to new ideas and
technologies among societies? Explain each briefly.
1) Cheap slave labor (No need for technology if you have slave labor what would the
2) Patents and property laws
3) Opportunities and technical training
4) Financial rewards to invention
5) Individualism financial rewards not divided among all relatives.
42. According to Diamond, how does life expectancy affect the differences in
receptivity to new ideas and technologies among societies? What ideological reasons
also play a role in this respect?
Life expectancy – Life experience and time to embark on adventures.
Ideological reasons: Risk taking behavior, scientific outlook, tolerance of diverse views,
43. According to your professor, what are the main processes through which
"collective creativity" actually occurs?
1) Multidisciplinary teams within a firm
2) Employees adding to, or switching, product line
3) Individuals moving between different lines of work GGR329 PAST EXAM QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
4) Individuals observing a product/process in another setting and incorporating it into
their main activity
5) Individuals possessing different skill and working for different firm collaborating
with each other
46. According to Diamond, what are the four (4) factors that sometimes stimulate
technological advances, and sometimes inhibit them?
1) Axis 2) Time and onset of food production 3) Barriers to diffusion 4) human
44. How does Diamond distinguish bands, tribes, chiefdoms and states in terms of
Number of people: dozens
Settlement pattern: nomadic
Basis of relationships: kin
Ethnicities and languages: 1
Number of people: hundreds
Settlement pattern: fixed: 1 village
Basis of relationship: kin-b