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ANTA01 textbook notes for the entire year

Course Code
Genevieve Dewar
Study Guide

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Chapter 1: The Nature of Anthropology:
-anthropology: the study of humankind in all places and in all times
-anthropologists are interested in all aspects of humanity anatomy, physiology, humanities etc
The Development of Anthropology:
-works of anthropological sig have considerable antiquity but not until the recently has anthropology
become a distinct field
-Division of Anthropology within the Geological Survey of Canada was created in 1911 and the first
lecturer was appointed in 1925
-took so long b/c of the limits of human technology at the time and geographical restrictions ->
it couldn’t flourish until one could easily travel to observe different cultures and ppl
-it was with the encounter with hitherto unknown ppl, which came as Europeans sought to extend their
trade and political domination to all parts of the world, that focuses attention on human differences
-another reason for the slow deve of anthropology was that it took a long time for Europeans to look
past the differences and see the shared basic humanity with ppl everywhere
-Biography: Father Joseph Francois Lafitau and Sir Daniel Wilson:
-anthropological studies in Canada began in the 18th and 19th centuries
-Father Lafitau was a Jesuit missionary who lived with the Iroquois whose firsthand observations
provided valuable insight into their lives; credited with discovering wild ginseng in N.A
-Sir Daniel Wilson was the first professor of English lit at U of T and later was its first prez ; he
recognized the importance of cultural studies and founded the first anthro courses at a Canadian Uni
Canadian Anthropology:
-three main influences in the deve of Canadian anthro:
-museums, academic departments and applied research
-the National Museum of Canada in Ottawa played a major role in the direction of early Canadian anthro
where many scientists conducted studies and research into aboriginal background
-they were also advocates of aboriginal rights and this advocacy has remained an imp part of
Canadian anthro
-there were no professional archaeologists in Canada in the mid 1800s but these key events influenced
the field here:
-the collections in the Danish National Museum were organized into stone, bronze and iron ages
-geological principles in the 1830s had been elucidated
-Darwin published On the Origin of Species
-the founding if the Smithsonian, and the Canadian Institute (whom Daniel Wilson joined)
-the creation of the Division of Anthropology within the Geological Survey of Canada in 1911
-U of T than became the next centre of anthro
-in 1925 Thomas F. McIlwraith became lecturer of anthro at U of T where he est the first academic
department of anthro
-after WWII more were est at other univserities
-most anthro departments were created in the 1960s and 70s and most archaeologists were hired from
abroad where as biological anthropologists were often Canadian born

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-the formal study of biological anthropology was started in N.A by Ales Hrdlicka at the Museum of
Natural History and the Smithsonian
-he was the first to hypothesis that aboriginal ppl came from Asia
-the field was mainly descriptive through the 1930s and scholars were more concerned with reinforcing
the concept of human races ->1940s pop studies developed and scientists became interested in the
envir influences on biological variation ->1950’s primate field studies blossomed -> 1962 molecular
anthro began
-J.C.B Grant was the first physical anthropologist in Canada
-taught James Anderson who became the first biological anthropologist in the department of
anthro at U of T
Anthropology and the Other Sciences:
-anthropologists look for the broad basis of human ideas and practices without limiting themselves to
any single social or biological aspect so that they have a broad and inclusive view of the human being
-it welcomes contributions from other sciences
The Discipline of Anthropology:
-biological anthropology: the systematic study of humans as biological organisms
-archaeology: the study of material remains and cultural features, usually from the past, to describe and
explain human behaviour
-sociocultural anthropology: the branch of anthro that focuses on humans as a culture making species
-applied anthropology: applying the knowledge and methods of anthro to solve practical problems
-linguistic anthropology: the study of human languages of the past and present as a means for ppl to
relate to each other and to develop and communicate ideas
-all of these are closely related
Biological Anthropology:
-subfield of palaeoanthropology: studies fossil remains of our ancestors, in an attempt to reconstruct
the course of human biological evolution
-primatology: the study of the biological and social nature of our closest relatives, prosimians, monkeys
and apes. (ie Jane Goodall)
-biological anthropologists analyze fossils and observe living primates to reconstruct the ancestry of the
human species
-skeletal biology: is the analysis and interpretation of human bones, generally from archaeological sites
-helps to understand issues such as age and sex structure of a pop, health and diet issues etc
-forensic anthropology: a field of applied biological anthropology and archaeology that specialized in
the identification of human skeletal remains for legal purposes
-biological anthropologists study present day human variation and apply all the techniques of modern
molecular biology to achieve fuller understandings of human variation
Forensic Anthropology:
-forensic anthropologists are specialists in human osteology and archaeology
-it’s legal aspect is what separates it from other fields of biological anthro
-the connection with anthro came from the expertise biological anthropologists, esp osteologists can
bring to an investigation
-these anthropologists helped identify bodies after 9/11

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-they try to answer these questions:
-is this a human skeleton? -how many indiv are represented?
-was a crime committed in the death of this indiv? -can a biological identity be est?
-can a personal identity be est?
-in Canada, forensic anthropologists do not determine race from skeletal remains and instead look at
- in the US they determine race which is difficult b/c race is really a sociocultural concept
-Owen Beattie, a Canadian forensic anthropologist has performed over 100 forensic
-he teaches forensic and biological anthro at the uni of Alberta
-helped exhume and study the bodies of the Rwandan massacre
-most famous for his work on the 1845 Franklin expedition
-study of material remains and cultural features in order to describe and explain human behaviour
-primary goal is to explain past human behaviour
-classical archaeology is interested in Greek and Roman history which are rarely studied by
-practitioners of fine art history, medieval studies and egyptoplogy use archaeological methods but are
not found in anthro departments
-traditionally archaeologists have focused on ppl who lived before us and for material products and
traces of human practices
-different concentrations of chemicals and materials in the pieces they find indicate their uses
-prehistoric archaeologists: can find out about human behaviour in the distant past, by their
dependence on written records
-in Canada precontact is used instead of prehistoric when referring to First Nations, inuit and
metis cultures to avoid the suggestion that they did not have a history before the Europeans arrived
-historic archaeologists study those cultures with historic documents available in order to supplement
the material remains of ppl left behind.
-archaeological remains can tell a lot about a cultural group that is not apparent from written records (ie
most ppl who could write 100s of years ago would only have been elites of society)
-also look at material objects of contemporary settings such as the U of Arizona’s Garbage Project which
generates info about contemporary social issues
-has shown that ideas about human behaviour based on conventional interview survey
techniques can be flawed since ppl often are not honest -> when asked in a questionnaire how many
cans of beer they consumed a week ppl said 8, but garbage showed they drank much more
-also found through the excavation of landfills that biodegradable materials take longer to decay
when buried under landfills than expected = vital info to solve our waste disposal prob
-look at artifacts to learn about the ppl who used them
-most archaeologists that study nonliterate and some literate cultures are appointed to anthro
departments as well as classics, and egyptology departments
-outside N.A anthro is usually physicial or biological; the affiliation with archaeology is unusual from a
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