UMass Amherst ANTHRO 150 - Midterm short essay questions (2 pages)

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Midterm short essay questions



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Midterm short essay questions

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School:
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Course:
Anthro 150 - Ancient Civilizations
Ancient Civilizations Documents
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1 What are the key characteristics of civilizations as outlined in lecture Large sedentary communities Agricultural intensification Diversification of labor Symbiotic economy Centralized government Social stratification 2 What was the social function s of monumental architecture in ancient Egypt To send out a powerful message whoever built that has a lot of power 3 Describe three of the theories that have been put forth to explain the origins of civilizations Which do you find the most convincing and why Environmental Change lots of food went extinct at end of last Ice Age didn t have anything else doesn t explain shift from collecting to cultivating Population Growth As populations grew resources got stressed and food less readily available Cultural Revolution People learned enough about plants and suddenly decided to manipulate them took 4 million years OUR THEORY combination Environmental change population growth caused reliance on food sources and caused less mobility farming was last choice by hunter gatherers because population growth 4 Discuss the origins and functions of writing in Mesopotamia Who was literate What were written documents used for in different periods Originated in Sumer with cuneiform The primary functions of writing in Mesopotamia were to keep track of records with the growing economy and to be used as an administrative tool for those higher on the social ladder such as nobles or kings Keep track of goods that were bought and sold Written documents were used to keep track of goods bought and sold record labor production land use keep track of how much something was produced recorded to be referenced at a later date and then later on used for poetry mathematics writing down stories and myths etc 5 Why did some cultures choose NOT to adopt the technology of writing even after they had come into contact with literate cultures Writing cannot be adopted outside of the context in which it exists aka one must adopt the social context in which writing exists in order to adopt writing Wherever writing exists it does so in a very specific cultural context you have to adopt the culture that had writing in order to have writing need to change entire culture didn t want to do that in order to have writing can t have writing without that culture The sign does not exist outside the context which gave rise to it 6 How do religious organizations and ideas play a role in the emergence of complex society in Mesopotamia and in Egypt Be sure to cite specific archaeological and cultural examples Pharaohs human connection to the afterlife Narmer creates Old Kingdom Meopotamian and Egyptians citizens believe that if they were good citizens they have a better chance of getting into the afterlife Religious figures were a part of high authority Tombs built to bring elites closer to good afterlife 7 What structured the relationship between Egypt and Nubia How did this relationship change over time What is some of the archaeological evidence for this relationship and its changes It changed over time due to imperialism Egypt took over Nubia for their resources such as land and goods and food sources As Egypt evolved Nubia stayed as hunter gatherers traded together in the beginning Archaeological evidence is that Nubian products were found in Egyptian lands and Egyptian tombs were found on Nubian land evidence of imperialism 8 What were some of the implications and outcomes of the invention of domestication Think about social structure health economics etc Populations growth domestication caused food supplies to become more stable and reliable more food per acre of land so can support larger population Health and nutrition not necessarily improve quality of life closer contact with people so easier spread of disease same unvarying diet poorer nutrition Increasing mental cultural complexity and social stratification increase in quantity and types of artifacts trade sophisticated material culture innovations in transportation wheel more durable buildings shift from Egalitarian to stratified societies full time craft specialists religious elite Raising domesticated plants and animals requires more labor than foraging have to clear the land plant the seeds tend the young plants and animals milk goats etc


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