ANTH 111 EXAM 2 Study Guide

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ANTH 111
Sebastien Lacombe

EXAM 2 Intro to Anthropology Archaeology Professor Lacombe Introduction History  First Excavations o Pompeii (1743) o Troy (1872-1873) o Valley of the Kings (1922) Discipline  Excavating the Past o Chronology o Stratigraphy  Depth o Matrix Concept Understanding the Past  Must put aside personal opinions o Look at the facts  Artifacts only make sense in their context  Try to replicate what is found Reconstructing the Past  This is the ultimate responsibility of archaeologists  Archaeology is not about buildings or artifacts o It is about PEOPLE, in SOCIETIES Material Culture  A recurring assemblage of artifacts from a specific time and place Transformation of Material Culture  Transformation to something more “organized,” more standardized o Diversity o Complexity  Examples: o Stone tools evolving  Being able to do finer and finer work o Sewing needles  Bone  Steel  Going beyond the strictly functional aspect o SYMBOLIC  It is harder and harder to distinguish between functional and symbolic  What’s important is the people behind it Why is Context Important?  Need to understand the purpose of things o Understand how each artifact was used in everyday life  There are MANY artifacts, and each was made for a specific purpose  It’s not HOW, but WHY people did something  Example: o Scythian Culture  Very poorly understood  Known exclusively for its burials  Beautifully created jewelry  Setting can be also be important o Example:  Soldiers buried with their horses *Things are preserved when they are frozen in the ground* Conclusion  Material Culture by itself will not tell you anything o You need the people behind it  For this reason, archaeology isn’t that easy Subsistence  Why is it interesting? o It is well-documented in archaeological record Multiple Techniques of Recovery  Faunal Analysis o Studying what they ate o Use bones at the site  These are identified in the lab  Can see food evidence on teeth sometimes o Looks at traces on the bones  How people cut up the animals  Archaeology of Tools o Looking at (mostly stone) tools o Looking at traces  Shape, Marks  Can infer different uses o Looking at residue  On tools and in pottery  Examples: o Spears engraved with animals o Grinding stones o Sickle blades o Fish hooks  Paleoethnobotany o Study of plant remains  Analysis of Coprolites & Stomach Contents o Content of stomach = last meal  Not necessary accurate of everyday meals o Looks at isotopes of carbon  Indicative of certain types of plants  Other Sources? o Cave Art Subsistence Strategies Reflect Social Practices  There is very often a ritual component o Burials, cave paintings  Subsistence = food + everything else about it o The ritual component  All choices were made by the people War and Conflicts Origin of Interpersonal Violence  There is some ambiguity amongst anthropologists o Continuation of biological instinct?  biological o Outcome of competition  cultural o CONFLICT  archaeological Recognizing Violence  (INDIVIDUAL) skeletal evidence is ambiguous o MULTIPLE bodies help  Injury  Force beyond necessary  Location & nature of wounds  Maybe absence of grave goods o COMPLETE CONTEXT IS NECESSARY! Evidence of Interpersonal Violence  No true evidence before the Mesolithic o Accidents? o Isolated examples of violence are not compelling  Increasing & compelling evidence during & after the Neolithic  Enormous regional variation  Examples: o Jebel Sahaba, Sudan  13,000 years ago  24 projectiles embedded in bodies (out of 59 total bodies)  Most compelling evidence of systematic violence Mesolithic Evidence  Ofnet Cave, Germany o 8,500 BP o Mostly women and children  Denmark sites  Very shady because it is spread out  *Beginning to become convincing* Neolithic Evidence  It is difficult to NOT see the evidence  Examples: o Passy-Veron, Bucheres, France  Piles of bones  Arrowheads embedded (in backs especially)  ALL show signs of violent death o Talheim, Germany  34 skeletons  3 groups  Locals – men & children only  Cattle herders  1 Family  Domestic tools used o Herxheim, Germany  2 Trenches  Filled with human & animal (mostly dog) remains  Estimated 1,000 individuals o Bones have been crushed and cut  NOT the dogs, though  Evidence of defleshing & gnawing o Tongliao, China  Entire population killed  ALL show signs of violence  Can also look at settlements o Examples:  Fortifications, gates  These settlements show signs that something has changed Bronze Age & Iron Age  Example: o Biskupin, Poland  Peat did not deplete as quickly  Resulted in preservation o Roads, buildings, and plows o Over 100 houses  Evidence of weapons, not domestic tools o Professional tools Cultural Aspect  This began with the emergence of “states”
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