Anthropology 2229G Final Exam Review – Part 1
Phases: distinct, but have continuity, e.g. technology
o Evidence of continuity called a microtradition
Horizons: widespread phenomenon over an area
o E.g. development of fluted points
Period: used to recognize time sequences, can be used for very long periods
of time and space; a bit arbitrary, often too broad/general
Stage: stage of cultural development over time; e.g. hunter-gatherers
Culture: What Was Past Life Like?
o How people articulate with their environment
o Subsistence and settlement patterns, sociological organization also a
o Sources of information:
o 1. Identification
What was eaten/hunted?
Want to identify the genus and species if possible, very difficult
to do. Why?
Natural and cultural processes, recovery techniques,
number of species possible (living and extinct), and
need large comparative collections
Did they die because of human agency?
Articulated skeletons usually indicates a natural death,
scattered means butchered
o 2. Quantify
What was the major part of the diet? What did they eat more
NISP: Number of Identified Specimens
o Some animals are larger = more bone fragments,
more resistant to weathering
o Some species have more bones than others (e.g.
MNI: Minimum Number of Individuals Count skeletal elements on a site, the most common
element represents the minimum number of individuals
Problem: different people calculate it differently
o 3. Age and Sex of Animal
Helps to understand hunting practices
e.g. Clovis hunters hunted younger or female individuals
because they were less dangerous
Domesticated forms are physically different, traits
added/removed through selective breeding
o 4. Seasonality
Most hunter-gatherers relied on natural food stuffs; required
that they move around a lot
Different resources at different times in different places
Age structures of animals: give birth in different seasons
o 5. Butchery/Processing Patterns
Killed for food or other reasons? Hides for clothing, etc.
o 6. Bone Damage
Weathering: how long was the bone exposed before it was
Smashed to get at marrow?
o 7. Physical Environment
What was the environment like at the time of occupation?
Explains why people used certain subsistence practices
Were hunting/fishing or plant foods more important?
o Plant Macrofossils
o Plant Microfossils