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Anthropology An Introduction By Vicki Darwin * * * * * * * * * * * * * What is Anthropology? Anthropos - man, human Logos - study Anthropology - Study of man ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Anthropology

  • An Introduction
  • By Vicki Darwin

What is Anthropology?
  • Anthropos - man, human
  • Logos - study
  • Anthropology - Study of man
  • Anthropology is the study of humankind
    everywhere, throughout time.

The Field of Anthropology
  • Relatively new discipline
  • Study began only in late 1800s
  • Incorporates other disciplines sociology,
    psychology, political science, economics,
    history, human biology, philosophy and

What do Anthropologists Want to Understand?
  • When, where and how humans appeared on earth
  • How and why they have changed since then
  • How and why modern human populations vary in
    certain physical features
  • How and why societies, past and present, have
    varied their customary ideas and practices

Practical Applications
  • Use anthropological methods, information and
  • Solving practical problems
  • To alleviate misunderstandings between different
    cultural groups
  • To understand physical differences

  • There are 2 broad classifications of
  • Biological (physical)
  • Cultural

Physical Anthropology
  • One major field of Anthropology
  • It seeks to answer 2 distinct sets of questions
  • Questions about the emergence of humans and their
    evolution - Paleoanthropology.
  • Questions about how and why contemporary human
    populations vary biologically - Human Variation.
  • Biological anthropology is the systematic study
    of humans as biological organisms.
  • Molecular anthropology looks at genes and genetic

Cultural Anthropology
  • Is divided into 3 major subfields
  • Archaeology
  • Linguistics
  • Ethnology
  • In addition there is a cross-cutting field known
    as Applied or Practicing Anthropology.

  • It seeks to reconstruct the daily life and
    customs of peoples in the past and to trace
    cultural changes.
  • Deals with Pre-historical (before written
    history) and Historical (after recorded history)
  • Bio-archaeology looks at human skeletal remains
  • They try to understand and connect the past to
    the present

  • The study of human languages, written and
  • Historical Linguistics studies how languages
    change over time and how they are related
  • Descriptive or Structural Linguistics study how
    contemporary languages differ in construction
  • Sociolinguistics study how language is used in
    social contexts

Ethnology Aka Cultural Anthropology
  • The study of customary patterns of human behavior
  • Seeks to understand how and why people today and
    in the recent past differ in their customary ways
    of thinking and acting
  • It has two main components - ethnography and

Applied Anthropology
  • Uses anthropology in settings outside of schools
  • Forensic anthropologists, economic
    anthropologists, political anthropologists,
    psychological anthropologists, medical
    anthropologists, etc.
  • Anthropology is used in many settings and for a
    variety of purposes

Why is Anthropology Important?
  • If we want to understand humans, we need to study
    humans in all times and places
  • We need to understand the biology of humans,
    their culture and their differences
  • The world is becoming more global

In Absence of Historical Records How Do We
Discover The Past?
  • Anything made or modified by humans is an
    artifact that can be studied
  • Lithics - stone tools
  • Ceramics - pots and items made of clay
  • Wood and bone tools
  • Textiles and hides
  • Metal and glass

  • Natural objects that have been used or affected
    by humans
  • Bones, shells, seeds, pollen, insects, animal
  • These were from food eaten or stored
  • Insects or pests together at human site
  • Pollen carried there by humans from other sites

  • Are a kind of artifact that can not easily be
    moved from site
  • Hearths, pits, postholes, middens, buildings,
    stone rings, etc. are examples of features
  • They leave distinctive records behind that can be
    useful for study in-situ (on site) but normally
    can not be moved

Human Remains
  • Studied for evidence of diet, health and work
  • Examined for bone evidence of disease and
  • May be studied for a variety of reasons
  • May be uncovered on purpose or through

Finding the Evidence with No Historical Record
  • Evidence is all around us but finding it is not
    always easy nor productive
  • Sites are known or suspected as locations of
    human activity in the past can contain a record
    of that activity
  • They can be an overnight camp or a huge city
  • They can reveal many things about life in the past

How Do We Research When There is a Written Record?
  • First we study the available records of a
    potential site
  • Then we go to the site and use one of a variety
    of methods to examine and excavate the site
  • Sites can help prove, enrich or disprove known
    history of past events

How Sites are Found
  • There are multiple methods for finding sites
  • Pedestrian Survey - walking around and looking
    for sites, systematic surveying
  • Remote Sensing - using equipment to scan what is
    underneath the ground and looking for anomalies -
    geomagnetics using a magnetometer - Soil
    interface radar or Ground penetrating radar
  • Satellite Technology - using scans of earth to
    locate sites - heat, color, photo

How are Artifacts, Ecofacts and Features
  • Only one way to recover - excavation
  • 2 goals to find all evidence of the past the
    site holds and to record the horizontal and
    vertical location of that evidence with precision
  • Excavation is not simply digging holes and few
    sites are fully excavated

How Archaeologists Conduct Sampling
  • Sites are mapped out on a grid
  • Test holes or trenches are dug on a regular basis
    across the site
  • All items are recovered from each sampling and
    decisions are made whether or where to expand
  • Excavation destroys the site in the process

When is Excavation Done?
  • When a site is to be destroyed by development
  • Work is done in a systematic manner by trained
  • Archaeologists prefer undisturbed sites but
    Paleoanthropologists prefer disturbed sites

What Happens After the Excavation?
  • Once artifacts are collected they begin to
    process and read the information from that
  • Much of what is has survived is fragmented and
    very fragile
  • Only a small portion of what was once there
  • Before analysis they must conserve and
    reconstruct the materials found

What Is This Unit About?
  • We will be exploring the region known as Greater
  • We will look at the pre-history of the region and
    the historic period through 1860.
  • Our focus will be disease during these time
    periods and the causes and effects of those
    diseases and the cultural implications

How Will We Explore?
  • We will use known archaeological evidence to
    study the pre-historical period
  • We will use a variety of written resources to
    study the historical past

Unit Plan
  • Lesson 1 - Introduction
  • Lesson 2 - Exploring Illinois in the prehistoric
  • Lesson 3 - Exploring Illinois in the early
    historic period
  • Lesson 4 - Exploring Illinois in the period of
    early statehood to 1860
  • Lesson 5 - Research Day for Paper