Chapter 9 vocab (book)
• Environmental Determinism: The now discredited view that the degree of challenge presented
by a particular environment determines the level of technological complexity achieved
by the people living there. Not surprisingly, Western European thinkers in the nineteenth
century viewed the environments of Western Europe and NorthAmerica as presenting
exactly the right level of challenge to produce the worlds most developed societies.
• Cultural Ecology: The study of the interrelationships between human groups and their
environments. The cultural ecological approach views culture as an adaptive system.
• Paleoenvironmental: Relating to the ancient environment of an area.Archaeologists seek to
understand the nature of the paleoenvironment to which a human group adapted.
• Palynologists: Scientist that studies pollen. They become expert in recovering pollen and
identifying the species of plants that produced it. Palynologists can reconstruct ancient
plant communities and, by inference, ancient climates by comparing the pollen profiles
derived from ancient pollen assemblages to the pollen rain falling in modern locations
with their known climates.
• Pollen Profile: The percentages, usually depicted in a graph, of the pollen of