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Chapter 6

ANTH 100 Chapter Notes - Chapter 6: Neolithic, Paleo-Indians, Plants And Animals

Course Code
ANTH 100
Mc Guire Erin- Lee

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Principle Cultural Periods:
North American periods:
1) PalaeoIndian: 14,000-9,000 YA
the period in which people first arrived & settled, to the end of time
when they were hunting large animals
2) Archaic: 9,000-5,000 YA
on going foraging adaptations
European periods:
1) Upper Palaeolithic: 40,000-12,000 YA
the arrival of Homo sapiens
2) Mesolithic: ~15,000-10,000 YA
Middle Stone Age
correlated with climate change in Europe
advances in stone-tool technology
changes in diet
3) Neolithic: 10,000-5,000 YA
New Stone Age
shift to farming in Europe
first signs of domestication
permanent settlements
development of villages & states
increased trade
Bronze Age
Iron Age
Major Cultural Developments:
20,000-15,000 years ago
domestication of dogs
initial settlement & colonizing in what is now known as the Americas
continued expansion & population growth
15,000-10,000 years ago
transition to food production rather than food foraging
megafauna (mammoth & mastodon) hunting in NA
10,000-5,000 years ago
more people adopt food production
population growth
new forms of social & political organizations
civilization & writing emerge
Settling in America:
occurred between ~20,000-15,000 years ago
indications that ancestry of contemporary indigenous people in the
Americas lies in Asia
climate change removed barriers, allowing people to migrate
Beringia: a large, ice-free land mass connecting North America and Asia
during the last ice age
possible routes to America:
-Coastal migration route: theory that people came down the coast
of what is now Alaska & B.C. using boats or walking along the
-Ice-free corridor route: space between 2 ice sheets covering most
of Canada during the last ice age, providing a possible route from
Beringia to the areas south
-Solutrean hypothesis: third possible entry route from Europe to
east Canada via boat travel across the North Atlantic ocean
-Kelp highway
population remain relatively low for the first few thousand years
fluted point: a new kind of projectile point created ~12,000 years ago &
used until ~9,000 YA
-triggered population explosion
-enabled people to effectively kill large animals
-used to hun mastodon & mammoth
-may have led to more blood loss
-may have facilitated easier & quicker hafting to spear points
significant archeological site
Kennewick man - discovered by accident on Columbia River
found on military property, which was traditionally native land
was the oldest human remains found at the time ~9300 years old
assumed to be a settler
had an arrowhead in his hip
fight between scientist & first nations - science vs. oral tradition over who
he belonged to
Adaptive Strategies:
adaptive strategies: describes a society’s system of economic production
gender-based division of labour among all human societies
foraging: utilizing food resources in the environment
-hunting (men) & gathering (women)
-all humans foragers until ~10,000 BP
-modern forgers at least partially depend on food production/food
producers & survive mainly in marginal environments
food production: transforming the environment for the goal of
producing food using farming &/or animal methods
cultivation: people began to cultivate food, rather than simply relying on
local foraging
-ways of obtaining food started to change significantly between
~15,000-12,000 years ago
-horticulture: land cultivation in small-scale farms or gardens
-agriculture: a farming technique that can support large populations,
using advanced tools & irrigation, requiring more preparation &
maintenance of the soil
extensive agriculture: cultivation that does not make
intensive use of land, labour, capital or machinery
many people around the world became food producers: people who
transform the environment with the goal of food production, using
farming &/or animals
domestication: shaping the evolution of a species for human use, taking
plants & animals into human control
-first developed in the Middle East & Asia, quickly spreading to
Europe & Africa
-developed independently in areas of America
-early plant domestication included rice, wheat, potatoes & corn
-early animal domestication included sheep, goats & cattle
pastoralism: a way of life that revolves around domesticating animals &
herding them to pasture
-direct use of animals for food
-symbiotic relationship between humans & animals
-supplement diet by hunting, gathering, fishing, cultivating or trade
horticulturalists: food producers who cultivate land into small-scale
farms or gardens
industrialism: mechanized equipment became involved in farming
advantages of food production:
-produced a food surplus
-increased carrying capacity: the # of people that can be sustained
in a given area allowed people to accumulate permeant
settlements first cities & states
-increase wealth & status
-make alcohol
-more trade
dis-advantages of food production:
-worse nutrition
-reduced mobility
-less leisure time
-easier spread of diseases
-more internal conflict
-people had become dependant on domesticated species
-risk of focusing on just one/two specific crops/animals
-keeping up with the population & demand
identifying domesticated plants:
-the part that people use is usually larger & more clustered
-may have lost its mechanism for natural dispersal
-higher yield per unit of area
-loss of dormancy
-ripen simultaneously
-less self-protection, such as thorns & toxins
-garden pots & irrigation ditches
identifying domesticated animals:
-smaller in size
-found outside of their natural range
-find more complete skeletons
-high % of young males & old females
-large amounts of dung
-evidence of fencing
what makes an animal suitable for domestication:
-flexible diet
-fast growth rate
-breeds in captivity
-non-aggressive, calm
-modifiable social hierarchy
Anthropology Chapter 6 - Human Cultural Evolution - 20,000 to 5,000 Years Ago
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