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Chapter 1

ANTA01 Textbook Chapter 1 - Introductions.pdf

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Genevieve Dewar

Textbook Notes Chapter 1: Introduction to Anthropology 2012-09-03 11:17 PM Why take anthropology? We will be much better prepared for the future; because unlike our ancestors, we know about how and why past societies developed and failed. We have the opportunity to learn from their mistakes and successes, and hopefully build a more sustainable and brighter future. This philosophy was said by Jared Diamond in his book Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed Past societies lacked archaeologists and television. o Ex.) In modern day, there are many obese people. This is b ecause our bodies are developed to live our biological past physically active food gatherers whose foods tended to be low in fat, sugar, and salt; st and high in fiber. In the 21 century, lifestyles are different. The more we understand biological past, the more we can understand modern -day health. This and many other examples demonstrate that modern humans are cultural and biological beings whose present and future reflect their past. Humans also hold the ability to ask why: the ability to learn about o ur past and gaining the opportunity to profit from the experience. These qualities are VIP to the perspective of human evolution. Evolution: A change in the genetic structure of a population from one generation to the next. Also used to refer to the appearance of new species Anthropology: The field of inquiry that studies human culture and evolutionary aspects of human biology; includes cultural anthropology, archaeology, linguistics, and physical anthropology Anthropology addresses the entire scope of hum an existence and brings multiple perspectives to bear on the study of what it means to be human Includes the study of social relationships (religion, ritual, technology, economic, and political systems Includes genetics, anatomy, skeletal structure, adapta tion, growth, evolutionary process Anthropologists need to answer questions by applying the scientific method: an approach to research where a problem arises, a hypothesis is stated, and tests are run through collection and analysis of data in attempt to prove the hypothesis Also apply human qualities as love, compassion, and ethnicity The Biocultural Approach Biological evolution: the mutual, interactive evolution of human biology and culture; the concept that biology makes culture possible, and that dev eloping culture influences the direction of biological evolution; a basic concept in understanding the unique components of human evolution o This concept underlies the anthropological perspective 1 Species: A group of organisms that can interbreed to produce fertile offspring. One species is reproductively isolated from all other species (i.e. they cannot mate with different species) Culture: all aspects of human adaptation including technology, traditions, language, religion, and social rules. Culture is a set of learned behaviors transmitted from one generation to the next not through genetic means Society: A group of people who share a common culture Enculturation: The process by which individuals, generally as children, learn the values and beliefs of the family, peer groups, and society in which they are raised Adaptation: Functional response of organisms or populations to the environment. Adaptation results from evolutionary change (specifically, as a result of natural selection) Enlightenment: An 18 century philosophical movement in Western Europe that assumed knowledge and science was the primary means of identifying and explaining order Ethnographies: Detailed descriptive studies of human societies. Ethnography is traditionally the study of non - Western societies (in anthropology) Paleoanthropology: The interdisciplinary approach to the study of earlier hominins their chronology, physical structure, archaeological remains, habitats, etc. Hominin: A member of the tribe Hominini, the evolutionary group that includes modern humans and now- extinct bipedal relatives Anthropometry: Measurement of human body parts (when osteologists measure skeletal elements, the term osteometry is often used) Genetics: The study of gene structure, action, and patterns of in heritance of traits from parent to offspring. Genetics are the underlying foundation for evolutionary change Primates: Members of the mammalian order Primates which include prosimians, monkeys, apes, and humans Primatology: The study of the biology and behavior of nonhuman primates Osteology: The study of skeletal material Paleopathology: The branch of osteology that studies traces of disease and injury in human skeletal (or mummified) remains; a subfield of physical anthropology Forensic Anthropology: An applied anthropology that deals with legal matters. Work with coroners and law enforcement agencies in the recovery, analysis, and identification of human remains Artifacts: Objects/materials made or modified by hominins Material culture: Physical manifestations of human activities such as tools, arts, and structures. Material remains make up the majority of archaeology evidence Paleontologists: Scientists whose study of ancient life-forms is based on fossilized remains of extinct animals and plants Archaeology record: The material remains of the human past and the physical contexts (i.e. stratigraphic relationships, association with other remains) Stratigraphic: Depositional levels or an archaeological site 2 Sites: Locations of past human activity, often associated with artifacts and features Prehistory: Several million years between the emergence of bipedal hominins and the availability of written records Historical archaeologists: Archaeologists who study past societies written evidence (i.e. cave paintings) Ethnoarchaeologists: Archaeologists who use ethnographic methods to study modern people so they can explain patterning in the archaeological record Antiquarian: Relating to an interest in objects and texts of the past Archaeometry: Application of the methods of natural and physical science to the investigation of archaeological materials Public archaeology: A broad term that covers archaeological research for the public as part of cultural resource management and heritage management programs Science: A body of knowledge gained through observation and experimentation from Latin scientia (knowledge) Empirical: Replying on experiment/observation from Latin empiricus (experienced) Data: Facts from which conclusions can be drawn; scientific information Quantitatively: Measurements of quantity and includes size, number, and capacity Hypothesis: Provisional explaination of a phenomenon. Requires repeated testing
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