• Shuffle
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Alphabetize
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Front First
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Both Sides
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Read
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off

Card Range To Study



Play button


Play button




Click to flip

Use LEFT and RIGHT arrow keys to navigate between flashcards;

Use UP and DOWN arrow keys to flip the card;

H to show hint;

A reads text to speech;

168 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
What is Anthropology?
Anthropology is the study of human variation over space and time
About what time did anthropology become a discipline?
Who started the first anthropology department?
Franz Boas
What are the four fields of anthropology?
1. Biological
2. Archaeology
3. Anthropological Linguistics
4. Cultural
What are some common characteristics of the fields?
○ All fields tend to be comparative and compare/contrast human societies across time and space
○ All fields emphasize fieldwork to collect data rather than using secondary data
○ All recognize the importance of evolution which broadly means that variation we see today is due to change over time

All tend to be holistic and integrate understandings of human biology, behavior, and culture from across all fields
What is racial evolutionary theory?
• Early cultural evolution through race could be measured using characteristics such as skin color, head size, moral and mental capacities
• Then, races could be classified from inferior/ primitive to superior/civilized
Does race exist?
• No uniforms set of measurements can distinguish groups of people systematically

Race as set of biological groupings reflecting differences is very problematic and is mostly cultural
What is culture?
• Culture is a system of symbols, behaviors, and beliefs humans acquire as members of society
• Unlike most other organisms, humans use culture to adapt to change
• Culture is considered something unique in human societies
seeks to understand our biological evolution through the fossil record
Human biology
seeks to understand contemporary variability by looking at nutrition, disease , etc.
seeks to understand human biological and social evolution by looking at primates
Prehistoric archaeology
seeks to understand human variation through the material record
historic archaeology
seeks to understand human variation through material and written record
cultural anthropology
Seeks to understand human variation using contemporary peoples
what is cultural anthropology also called?
Also called sociocultural anthropology, ethnology, social anthropology
What is cultural anthropology similar to and how does it differ from that entity?
Similar to sociology but tends to study less industrialized or marginal groups
Linguistic Anthropology
Linguistics seeks to understand human variation through language
Sociolinguists study aspects of language and their relationship to culture such as discourse
Applied Anthropology
• Forensic anthropology schools
• Uses anthropological theory to understand contemporary human problems and assist communities
• Often for conservation, development
Medical Anthropology
• Uses anthropological theory to understand human health
• Focuses on nutrition, disease, epidemiology or other medical issues
• New and rapidly growing field of anthropology
Thinker - Geologic deep time and uniformitarianism
Sir Charles Lyell
Thinkers - Evolutionary Theory
Lamarck and Darwin
Thinker - Early genetics
Sir Charles Lyell
• Countered Cuvier's theory of Catastrophism
• Proposed instead that gradual processes that occur today acted in a similar way in the past
• Such change is always gradual and non-directional
inheritance of acquired characteristics
• Observed that animals and plants are uniquely adapted to their environments
• This relationship is dynamic - living things biologically adapt to their changing environment
• "Subtle fluids" within the body stimulate the development and growth of special organs that are passed on to offspring
• "Inheritance of acquired characteristics" based on need, use, or disuse
• Generally discarded because no evidence for traits acquired by an individual during their lifetimes are passed on t their offspring
- Lamarck
Who was the first person to develop a theory for organic evolution?
Finches study
- Darwin
• Sailed around the world for 5 years documenting species of plants and animals
• Galapagos islands - saw basic similarities and subtle differences between plants and animals on the island and those on the mainland
• The beaks of finches revealed how different types of the same bird had adapted to local environments over generations
○ All finches evolved from a common mainland species
○ Over time and space, finch populations evolved different characteristics suited to their environment
Evolutionary theory - Darwin
Natural selection, survival of the fittest
-• Thus, those individuals who survive must be better fitted to their environment than those who do not
• Any variation that allowed these survivors to produce fertile offspring would likely be preserved and passed on to future generations
• Variation that did not would be eliminated
• “ Individuals best adapted to the environment contribute more offspring to succeeding generations than others do. As more of such individuals’ characteristics are incorporated into the gene pool, the characteristics of the population evolve” (Campbell and Loy 2000:15).
Blending Inheritance
• Part of folk wisdom that parental traits combined
• This ultimately leads to a loss of variation within a population
• The opposite occurs in sexually reproducing populations, variation is maintained and actually increases
Gregor Mendel
• Augustinian monk in the Czech Republic
• Contemporary of Darwin
Mendel's Studies
• Experimented with hybrids of the common garden pea
○ Crossed specific traits" color, pod flowers, etc
§ Focused on round and wrinkle peas
□ Crosses wrinkled-pea and round-pea plants biological evolution

(look at notes for generations)
Dominant trait
the trait that is expressed in the phenotype even when the organism is carrying only one copy of the underlying gene responsible
the hereditary unit that codes for a particular trait. Underlying gene responsible.
the observable hereditary characteristics
Recessive trait
the trait expressed only when the organism carries two copies of the underlying gene responsible
Modern Synthetic theory of evolution
• MST (neodarwinism)
○ Random mutations produce genes that may be adaptive, as these genes increase the fitness of a population, they become more prevalent and lead to a population evolving
postulates of MST
○ As a result of mutation creating new alleles and segregation and independent assortment shuffling alleles into new combinations, individuals within a population are variable for nearly all traits
○ Individuals pass their genes on to their offspring intact and independently of other genes
○ In most generations, more offspring are produced than can survive
○ The individuals that survive and go onto reproduce or who reproduce the most, are those with the alleles and allelic combinations that best adapt them to their environment
Population thinking
• Evolution works by altering the frequencies of certain genes within a population over time as a result of changes in the environment
• Population - a local group of interbreeding individuals in which any two individuals can potentially mate
Multilevel Perspective
• Think in terms of populations, individuals, and genes
• Competition among individuals
○ Leads to alterations in the frequencies of genes
§ Population evolves
hereditary material that codes for phenotypic traits
Gene pool
the sum of all genes of a population at a given point in time
Genotype + environment =
the building blocks of life which carry the genetic code
coiled threadlike structures of DNA
units of heredity occur in pairs. These pairs separate during reproduction. Only one unit from each parent is passed onto the next generation.
Gene flow
the movement of genes among groups due to a sudden expansion or migration
Genetic drift
random changes in gene frequencies from one generation to the next through isolation or sudden reduction in size
With mutation, variation in populations _______ and variation between populations __________
increases, increases
With Gene flow, variation in populations _______ and variation between populations __________
increases, decreases
With Genetic drift, in populations _______ and variation between populations __________
decreases, increases
With Natural selection, variation in populations _______ and variation between populations __________
increases or decreases, increases or decreases
uniform process, eventual outcome of microevolution given enough time
the gradual transformation of one species into another species
in terms of taxonomy humans are...
primate characteristics - Morphology
• Five digits
• Clavicle (collar bone) that allows for the flexibility in the shoulder
• Opposable thumbs and great toes for grasping
• Nails rather than claws
• Pads at the tips of digits with a plethora of nerve endings

Dermal ridges (friction skin) on digits, soles, palms, and tails
Primate characteristics - biological
• Increased period of infant dependence
• Increased dependence on learned behavior
• Increased dependence on sight - stereoscopic vision
The physical shape and size of an organism or its body parts
A group of organisms possessing a set of shared and derived traits that constitutes a natural group.
The formation of one or more new species from an older species.
Taxonomic system based on evolutionary relatedness alone.
Cladistic taxonomy is explained by
evolutionary relationships
Anthropoids include....
new world monkeys, old world monkeys, apes and humans
What are the infraorders of anthropoids?
platyrrhini and catarrhini
new world anthropoids infraorder with ceboidea superfamily of new world monkeys
old world anthropoids infraorder with cercopithecoidea superfamily and family
Phenetic classification
based entirely on physical characteristics - I.E. morphology
Cladistic classification
based on evolutionary branching and all traits are treated equally
Genetic Classification
• Classifying species based on shared genes and evolution
○ Common ancestor
○ We are most closely related to chimpanzees
• We descend from African apes
Species name: Humans
• Genus is Homo
• Species is sapiens
Homo sapien
how similar are chimpanzees to us in DNA?
98.4% of human chimpanzee base sequences are identical
What is a Chimps species name?
Pan troglodytes
when were the earliest anthropoidea fossils found?
Earliest fossils 45 to 50 mya
what are the hominoids?
apes, superfamily of primates, includes humans
What distinguishes hominoids apes from Cercopithecoides old world monkeys?
hominoids do not have tails
teeth differences
○ Panidae - family
○ Gorilla - genus
○ Panidae - family
○ Pan - genus
pan trogladytes
Hominids are distinguished from other primates by...
bipedal locomotion
Hominids appear in the fossil record around...
3-7 mya
what is likely the last common ancestor of all subsequent hominids?
Australopithecus afarensis
Australopithecines persisted for nearly...
3 million years
Homo appeared about ___ and was contemporaneous with several species of _____________
2.4 mya, Australopithecus
Homosapiens appeared only ________ years ago
A. afarensis ranged from ________ mya
What is Lucy?
Lucy belongs to A. afarensis and is the most complete skeleton found 40% of the skeleton
Foramen magnum
the hole through which the spinal cord passes
○ Apes, back of the skull
○ A. afarensis is beneath it, indicating upright locomotion
What is some of the other evidence of bipedalism in A. afarensis?
○ Knock kneed legs
○ Basin saped pelvis
○ Footprints dated back to same time - Laetoli footprints
Why did we evolve bipedal locomotion?
○ Arboreal areas turned into grasslands
○ Can carry things
○ We were the hunted - look beyond the grass
(small and lightly built faces) such as A. Africanus
(rugged Jaws, flat faces) such as A. Boisei and A. Robustus
Robust australopithecines appear to have controlled fire and cooked mean in southern Africa
What did A. afarensis evolve into?
Gracile and robust australopithecines
What's so special about Homo habilis?
the "handy man" with first evidence of tool making
○ Tools represent the "oldowan tradition"
Homo erectus
○ H. erectus showed extensive tool-making, possibly hunting
○ First hominid to migrate out of Africa and into Asia, Southeast Asia and Europe
○ Large brain - 1250 cm3
Tools are unique to which genus?
"Homo" and chimps "pan"
With what species is the oldowan tradition identified with?
Associated with first known tools of Homo - H. habilis
Oldowan tools date to ____ mya and found in _________
2.5-2, southern and eastern africa
Oldowan tradition (general description)
○ Consist of mostly cores or cobbles with some flakes removes - crude
○ Used to cut meat off of bones
§ Probably not used to kill animals
□ Scavenging off of other carnivores
how do oldowan tools differ from chimp's tools?
made with more intention and to make other tools
Homo erectus
(1.8-.3 mya)
• Large brain and large body
• Migrated out of africa into europe and adia
• Evidence of hunting behavior
did homo erectus control fire?
yes, evidence in the form of hearths
Turkana Boy
Oldest known Homo erectus fossil is "Turkana boy" (1.7 mya)
○ Nearly complete skeleton found in 1984
○ Would have been about 6' tall
did Homo erectus involve into Homo sapiens?
No! They became extinct
Acheulean Tradition
• Acheulean tools are "biface" or hand axes
• Typically associated with H. erectus but possibly used by later species of homo as well. H. erectus could have used Oldowan, too.
• Much more sophisticated than Oldowan tools
• Used for hunting and other purposes…specialized
When did Neanderthals show up?
First appeared 130,000 and lasted until 35,000 years ago
What did neanderthals look like?
Very robust and shorter than modern H. Sapiens
○ Advantageous in cold climates
What was the first hominid fossil discovered?
Neanderthal fossils
○ We kind of started backwards
• Found in the Neander Tal (valley) of Germany in 1856
Where were neanderthals found?
Found in Europe, eastern Asia, and Africa
What tools did neanderthals use?
• Associated with Mousterian tools
○ Use levallois technique of core preparation
○ Very sophisticated and found with early modern humans too
What size were neanderthals crania?
• Large crania (1520cm3), larger than H.Sapiens (1400)
What was neanderthals social structure like?
• Took care of each other, care associated with Neanderthals
○ Family type structure
Who did neanderthals coexist with and who replaced them?
Anatomically modern humans
Homo sapiens
Anatomically Modern Humans
• Appeared about 100,000 years ago
• Domed foreheads round brain cases
• Spread to N. America and S. America - first to new worlds
• Possibility that Neanderthals interbred with modern humans
• Clear evidence of art, ritual and other examples of culture
What is Archaeology?
Archaeology is the study of the human past, focusing on material culture
What time scale does archaeology focus on?
○ Focuses on fully modern humans
○ Time scales of 100-25,000 years; whereas paleoanthropology works on 10,000 to 10 million year time scales
Hominids evolved using ______ whereas humans evolved using ______
Hominids evolved using biology whereas humans evolved using culture
Archaeologists are much more concerned with _______ evolution and its processes than _______ evolution
Archaeologists are much more concerned with cultural evolution and its processes than biological evolution
Archaeological record
consists of all material made by humans or near-humans revealed by archaeology
Historical record
more recent than archaeological record and consists of time periods where we have written texts
Traditional approaches of archaeology
focused on reconstructing the material remains of the past by re-assembling pots, statues or buildings
processual archaeology
sought to explain the cultural processes behind these cultures such as the development of social complexity - bands, tribes, chiefdoms, and states
post-processual archaeology
stresses the symbolic and cognitive aspects of social structures and social relations
a precise geographical location of the material remains of past human activities
objects that have been deliberately and intelligently created by human activities
non-portable material remains of the past such as structures, pits, etc
depositional environment (sand, clay, silt) in which artifacts and features are found
provenience or provenance
the precise three-dimensional context of a find within the matrix
consists of the artifacts and structures from a particular site from the same time and place
a physical examination of a geographical area in which promising sites may be found - usually a preliminary step
the systematic uncovering of archaeological remains by removing soil, dirt, and other debris
a strategy of statistically selecting portions of a site for excavation
Why would an archaeologist choose to just sample a site?
Logistical issues, labor, finances etc.
Survey and excavation are accompanied by _________
tons and tons and tons of analysis and painstaking recording of artifacts and features
• Recording and analysis are followed up by even more time dedicated t write-up for reports, articles, and presentations
Subsistence strategies
different ways people in different times and cultures procured food to meet their basic needs
A small, predominantly foraging society of 50 or fewer members that divides labor by age and sex only and provides relatively equal access for all adults to wealth, power, and prestige
A farming or herding society, usually larger than a band, that relies on kinship as the framework for social and political life; provides relatively egalitarian social relations but may have a chief who has more prestige (but not more power or wealth) than others. Sometimes called a rank society
Forms when one state conquers another
An economic, political. An ideological entity invented by stratified societies; possesses specialized government institutions to administer services and collect taxes and tributes; monopolizes use of force with armies and police; possesses high level and quality of craft production. Often developed writing (particularly in early states)
A socially stratified society, generally larger than a tribe, in which a chief and close relatives enjoy privileged access to wealth, power, and prestige and which has greater craft production but few full time specialists
Feminist Archaeology
addresses the exclusion of women's roles in archaeological analysis and seeks to include gender
Historical archaeology
study of archaeological sites associated with written records - mostly of post-European contact
Heritage archaeology
concerned with re-connecting indigenous or Native American groups to their archaeological past
Cultural resource management
a field of archaeology that conducts Environmental impact statements of state-funded projects to record archaeological data
When and where did domestication develop?
Domestication occurred independently in seven different parts of the world between 4,000 and 10,000 years ago
What does domestication mark?
Domestication marks the beginning of the Neolithic or "New Stone Age," beginning about 10,300 years ago
What preceded the Neolithic era and how was it characterized?
The Pleistocene (2.5 mya to 11,000 years ago) preceded the Neolithic and was a period characterized by colder temperatures and glacial ice sheets that covered much of the world
What happened to the climate at the end of the Pleistocene?
As the Pleistocene ended, glaciers retreated, temperatures rose and environments changed
geologic period which corresponds to the Paleolithic, "Old Stone Age," in Archaeology
The Holocene
followed the Pleistocene and is also a geologic period, which corresponds to the beginning of the Neolithic in Archaeology
Geologically, we are still in the _______ but NOT in the ______!
Geologically, we are still in the Holocene but NOT in the Neolithic!
refers to human interference with the reproduction of plant or animal species so that they become more useful to people and also dependent on them
How do we detect the domestication of plants and animals in material - i.e. archaeology?
We can look at the assemblage and compare the ratio of female to male animal bones
If there are more male bones than females, we can assume that...

people were preferentially harvesting males, which is hard to do if you are just hunting
If you are domesticating females, you want to keep females because they are important for...
milk and reproduction
What happened to mega fauna at the end of the Pleistocene?
At the end of the Pleistocene, large mega-fauna died out and were replaced by smaller species
How did people adjust to the disappearance of mega fauna?
People changed their diet from large game to broad spectrum foraging - a subsistence strategy based on a wide range of plants and animals using hunting, fishing, and gathering
broad spectrum foraging
a subsistence strategy based on a wide range of plants and animals using hunting, fishing, and gathering
What did broad spectrum foraging lead to?
• This led to a more stable resource base and sedentism - long term occupation of specific sites, which caused population to increase and need more reliable food
Domestication in SW Asia began _____ years ago among _____ foragers
Domestication in SW Asia began 12,500 years ago among Natufian foragers
After the climate change...what size of hamlets did Natufians reside in?
• At the end of the Pleistocene, climate change altered the environment of Natufian foragers and allowed them to aggregate into hamlets of 40 - 150 people
What was special about natufian structures?
Natufian structures had relatively elaborate walls and roofs, indicating that they were for year-round use
• Natufians also constructed plaster-lines storage pits in houses for storing grain
What other interesting artifacts did archaeologists find in Natufian communities?
• Archaeologists found massive mortars for grinding seeds
• Found sophisticated artistic artifacts, which indicate sedentary lifeways and identity
What did Natufian burials show?
Natufian burials show signs of social stratification - a form of social organization in which people have unequal access to power, wealth, prestige, and resources
What happened as natufians became sedentary?
As they gave up mobility, climate change disrupted Natufian intensive foraging
• In the core area, Natufians attempted to maintain wild cereal plants that led to domestication
Around what time were domesticated plants found in Natufian communities?
• By 10,300 (years ago) domesticated wheat and barely appear in archaeological sites
Natufian trade
• Archaeologist fid rare obsidian in contexts far away from the source
○ People probably did not travel 700 km to get it and bring it back
• Villages traded goods across a large area and obsidian was one of these traded goods
What are some advantages to agriculture?
○ More efficient food supply
○ Less land .1km2 - .5 k2

Dry farmer needs 20 times less land than a forager
irrigation farmer needs 100 times less
more dependability
What does domestication lead to?
Domestication led to occupational specialization - such as classes of people as leaders, tool-makers, and farmers/herders
What contributes to occupational specialization?
surplus production - societies produce food beyond that necessary for subsistence
What does occupational specialization lead to?
§ This leads to control and hierarchies of power
§ But it also leads to the ability to dedicate time beyond subsistence to make pottery, develop art, build monumental architecture, etc.