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Human Antiquity Textbook Notes

Course Code
Genevieve Dewar

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ANTA01 – Chapters 1-7 Key Terms
Chapter 1
myth: a story usually invoking the supernatural, to account for some aspect of the world
past used this to answer where we come from – every culture has its own myth
highly variable, differs from culture to culture – based on imagination and creativity
may also not be based on observation from the real world
not even testable information or collected data
science: the method of inquiry that attempts to explain phenomena through observation and the development of
creation myths: A myth that explains the origin of the world and its inhabitants
has several functions:
1. it provides an account of the orgin of the world
2. it tells the story of a people's beginnings + their early history
3. it lays out the society's worldview and belief system
4. it explains the origin and meaning of people's rules of social behaviour
*tries to set up a social system – with some supernatural power – to maintain social order
- also reflects the environment, history + cultural system of the society
- affects how Western people studied the past
evolution: the systematic change over of organisms or social systems
- tries to study the origin and development of the human species with the basis of “E”
scientific method: the process by which phenomena are through observation and the development and testing of
two types of explanations:
1. induction: developing a general explanation from specific observations(of how things work)
2. deduction: the process of suggesting specific data that would be found if a hypothesis were true
try to falsify the information – when trying to test the observations – critical testing+refining
after a hypothesis is tested and holds up as true – becomes a theory – a hypothesis that has been weel
supported by evidence and experimental testing
Anthropology: the holistic and integrative scientific study of the human species
science that focuses on humanity
usually studies the humanity's origin + biological&cultural development
focus on the past and present nature of the human ...
species – a group of organisms that can produce fertile offspring among themselves but not with any other
look for connections between the past and present history of that species
- believe that all human life is interrelated and can only be understood in those interrelationships
it is also the holistic (a study that views its subject as a whole made up of integrated parts) study of people
It is also divided into subfields, due it broad contents: examples:
1. cultural anthropology – the branch of anthropology that focuses on cultural behavior
- tries to study the nature of culture and its variety among different societies
- studies both living and past cultures – usually try to study with ancient texts
- basically is culture: the nongenetic means of adaptation, that people develop + pass down
- extrasomatic(nonphysical, beyond the body) means of adaptation
- use this to produce their own means of survival
- processes that account for change over time
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