anthro notes 2

anthro notes 2 - Methods of Studying the Human Past -What...

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Methods of Studying the Human Past -What are fossil localities and archaeological sites, and how are they found? -How are these localities and sites investigated? -How are fossil remains and archaeological remains dated? Artifacts -A portable object made or modified by humans; something you can carry. -E.g., tools, art objects, etc. Feature -A non-portable object made or modified by humans; something you can’t carry with you. -E.g., hearth, living floor, storage pit, cemetery, etc. Ecofact -Natural objects that have been used by humans and are incorporated in an archaeological -E.g., bones, seeds, wood, antler, shell, etc. Ecofacts: Evidence of Domestication -Selective breeding can be seen in plant remains at sites: -E.g., wild cereal grasses (barley, wheat, corn, etc.) have a very fragile stem -Tough-stemmed grasses indicates domestication (easier to harvest) -Domesticated plants usually larger than wild forms. Ecofacts: Fossils -Trace or impression of an ancient organism preserved in rock, or actual mineralized remains. -Involves the hard parts of an organism: bones, teeth, shells, horns, and the woody tissues of plants. How Organisms are Preserved
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-Frozen in ice like mammoths in Siberia. -Enclosed in a fossil resin such as amber. -Preserved in lake bottoms and sea basins where accumulated chemicals create an antiseptic environment. -Mummified in tar pits, peat, oil, or asphalt bogs. Locating Sites: Clues -Irregularities of the ground surface. -Unusual soil discoloration. -Unexpected variations in vegetation type/coloring -Ethnohistorical data – maps, documents, and folklore Methods for Dating Remains -Relative dating – determines the age of objects relative to one another. -Chronometric (absolute) dating – determines the absolute age of an object. Cultivation and Domestication -When and where did the change from food foraging to food production begin? -Why did the change take place? -What were the consequences of the change to food production? Domestication -A plant or animal is genetically modified as a consequence of human manipulation -Analysis of plant and animal remains at a site will indicate whether the occupants were food producers Effects of Domestication -Edible parts of domesticated plants are usually larger than those of their wild counterparts. -Domestication produces skeletal changes in some animals. Foraging to Food Production
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-Food production: not result of new discoveries about planting – people were very knowledgeable about plants and animals. -The switch to food production did not free people from hard work. -Food production is not necessarily a more secure means of subsistence than foraging. Consequences of Domestication -Crops become more productive…and more vulnerable. -Periodically: population outstrips food supplies and people move into new regions.
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anthro notes 2 - Methods of Studying the Human Past -What...

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