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Chapter 9

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ANTH 1010H
Jocelyn Williams

Anthro Chapter 9: Complexity without the State - Research has indicated that competing leaders erected the Moai during periods of prosperity - Societies that have developed a degree of political complexity but lack a fully developed state bureaucracy often produce archeological sites that strike us as enigmatic or even mysterious. These sites are frequently characterized by elaborate and well-planned construction, yet yield little evidence of a ruling elite. Northwest Coast - Central to most hunter-gatherer societies is egalitarian social organization and an ethos of sharing - Northwest coast societies, divided into nobles, commoners, and slaves, lived in settlements of large houses built of wooden planks. Sharing was central to these societies, but took the form of competitive sharing through feasts known as potlatches - The potlatch is a competitive feast described in ethnographic accounts of Northwest Coast society - Social inequality on the northwest coast stretches over 2,000 years into the past - Fighting with property - Within a village, the various households were ranked so that the leader of the highest-ranking household was the village leader - The village was the highest level of social organization - Surplus, status, competitive feasting, and warfare were the interlocking components of social complexity in the hunter-gatherer societies of the northwest coast - Most of the artifacts made by the societies, including their houses, boats, nets, baskets, weapons, and ritual objects, were made of wood and bark - Rapid burial of the Ozette Site in Washington state led to the superb preservation of artifacts made from organic materials, including baskets, bows, and arrows - Inherited status appears to have developed on the Northwest Coast during the Marpole Phase - Labrets were large plugs placed below the lip or on the side of the mouth and were worn by people on the Northwest Coast as markers of status - Status was indicated by the size of the labret - Labret wear was found on teeth - Cranial deformation was associated with high status, indicates that an individual was born into a particular status in society - Labrets can be adopted later in life and thus may be a sign of achieved rather than inherited status - A chief’s quarters were usually located, toward the back of a house. Slaves lived toward the front - Signs of trauma are common in the skeletons recovered from burial sites (warfare) Stonehenge - A ring of massive standing stones on the Salisbury plain in England that was constructed beginning in the early Neolithic and ending in the early bronze age - Development phases: 1. The earthwork circle  Ditch  Wooden posts were erected in a ring of holes (Aubrey holes)  Animal bones (cattle jaw, ox skull) were found buried in the ditch  5,000 years ago 2. Burials and a timber structure  The ditch and the Aubrey holes were largely filled in  Human remains have been found in the fill  Structure of standing timber posts was constructed  Between 5,000 and 4,500 years ago 3. Stone monument a. Bluestones  The geological source of these stones is not in the vicinity of Stonehenge, but lies in the Preseli Mountains in Wales, over 240 kilometers away  Ring of standing stones at the center of Stonehenge b. Sarsen circle and trilithons
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