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UMass Amherst ANTHRO 150 - Anthro Lecture (Second Half)

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Anthro Lecture 10/27/14Connections and networks and routes become most important parts in these complex civilizationsMovement of people into different areasPpl in Australia 40,000 yrs. ago etcUp until last Ice age no one in the Americas; all other continents were occupied by people except Americas- Between 13000-15000 BC see humans moving into western edge of AmericasGlacial periods – ton of ice, sea level drops, increases earth reflectivity, temp drops more, more ice, etc. - Exposes some landscapes that haven’t been exposed in very long timeo Land bridge – how ppl got to new world MAYBE Would’ve been pretty impossible to live on new land because ice means no food  Not a planned thing, just following migration and climate shift Monte VerdeSeries of different migration- 3 major new world super theories Areas of early domestication: Central America, Andes, South America, Middle Africa, fertile crescent, China, Southeast Asia, Eastern North America- E. North America: seedy, grassy plants, sunflowers, maybe gourds in main, dogs- S America: root plants like potatoes, peanuts, tobacco, cotton, camelids (llama, alpaca, guanicoe, vicugna), dogs- Central America: maize (genetic ancestor Teosinte, wild form that is genetically dominant), squash, o Earliest place we see evidence of domesticated maize Tehuacan Valley 5,000-6,000 years agoo Spread fairly quicklyo Oaxaca and the Gulf Coast- S Asia: different variety of cotton1. Population growth2. Social inequality  stratified societies3. Division of labor  craft specialization4. Permanent settlements5. Organized violenceMESOAMERICA- Central Mexico, NOT including Eastern most part of Central America- Lots of shared cultural zone (monumental architecture, games, depictions of themselves through art, language, etc.Formative (or Preclassic) Period- 1500-500 BCE- Olmec- Increased centralization- Creation of some sites that are more monumental, some that are more art based- Giant sculptural heads – all somewhat differento Think they’re actual humans (chiefs, kings, priests, something like that)o Stone from about 75 miles away, had to be carried without wheels through narrow rainforest paths  organization of labor- Stone and craft work – focus on stonework because its well preserved- Evidence of ritual behaviors – stone figures buried and put in place of dance/ritual or something- Evidence of beginning of writing?? Symbol inscriptions on rocks- Something going on that makes people want to record and communicate something- need a cultural reason- Monumental structures- massive shifting of landscapes; creation of manmademountain “La Venta”o Rainforest was cleared, massive volcano looking mountain thing builto Mosaic masks of deities put in groundo Can go high up to access godsSite being seen as classic Mesoamerican societies10/29/14Mountain ranges that run down southern coast of MesoamericaDifference of highland and lowland plays out during course of time- Think about how landscape plays out in trade and stuffOlmec—“Mother Culture” of…- Formative Period 1500BC- 250 AD- Parts of culture show up in later societies, - Stone art, monumental structures, etc- Ritual practice  identification of ritual practitioners as among elites - Stone figures of human transformed to an animal form; representations of humans wearing jaguar masks or are transforming into jaguarso Lots of depictions of jaguars in Olmec artCaves seen as entrance into realm of Earth gods- Cave drawings and carvingsComplex society developing around rituals- writing and carvings- La Venta As society became more centralized, people picked up and left and abandoned sites, maybe climate change, maybe agricultural/other changes, socialization who knowsClassic Period 250-1000AD~ Classic MayaGet a lot of info from Mayan pplWas an agricultural society- beans, squash, peppers, etc..- Swidden; slash and burn agriculture- if used correctly it’s incredibly effective especially in tropical areas (so much growth sucks nutrition out of soil)- Slash and burn: take segment of rainforest and burn it down, takes all nutrients and plant life into soil, then they farm thereo Amazon is currently being burnt down at incredible rate to feed world; not given back opportunity to grow backLowland/wetland areas: Chinampas: floating gardens- Dig channels through swampy area and put soil piled up in fenced in islands that look like they’re floating on top of the waterDifferent economies with different types of agricultureGiant monumental cores often called “cities”People who dress in elaborate costumes and perform rituals at top, below them is their family, below them are crafters and such, below them is serfsSelf piercing, blood letting rituals, blood burned on wood.. smoke..Sacrificial ritual ceremonies- slaughtering animals- didn’t have large domesticated animals in Mesoamerica so they didn’t do it, also didn’t have the same ritual impact they wantedHigh status people elaborately dressed., headdresses and feathers and thingsTrade routes- Central Yucatan down to Pacific Coast- All high status goods, traded long distances with no animals of vehicles, all carried on backs of people- Salt, greenstone, obsidian (volcanic glass), cacao pods (make cocoa, also podsmaybe used as money?), volcanic glass, cotton, feathers, basalt, ceramics, tools, animal skins, honey, feathers of quetzal bird- Ahau- “king” high status ritual practitioners with pots of cacao- Cacao pots- earliest screw pots of the world (1500yr old)- No metals (gold in silver) because there wasn’t anyo Usually comes from South America or more west societies- Aren’t trading surplus food- everyone can make their own, very different climate, DON’T HAVE PACK ANIMALS, WHEELED VEHICLES, can only carry what they can holdEnforcement mechanisms- Leadership and control- Police force or standing army- NO EVIDENCE FOR STANDING ARMIES IN MAYA CIVILIZATIONS, Completely reliant on people living around them to get food because they were involved in rituals and not farmingLong distance trade in the goods that are used in performances- for costumes and ceremonies and rituals, create landscapes in which rituals are visible to many people- courtyard surrounded by step pyramids and buildings- What are they doing to draw people in? What kind of ideology makes this make sense?Anthro 11/3/14Focus of archaeological research in Mesoamerica is in core areas, centers of sites with monumental structures- Mostly because


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