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ANTH 1102

Exam 1 Review

Anthropology basics
 Definition of culture, culture is not inherited
 Definition of holistic
 Fields and subfields of anthropology and methods
o Archaeology
o Biological - Primatology subfield; paleoanthropology subfield
o Cultural - method of ethnology
o Linguistics
o All four fields can practice applied anthropology

History and Principals of Evolution


 Evolution is a fact
 Homologies - structures that have a common ancestry but do not necessarily have the same
function (like a whale's fin and a human's hand), and can be used to understand evolutionary
trends
 Bishop James Ussher - provided the first testable hypothesis of the age of the earth when he
used the Bible to calculate its age
 Catastrophism - the earth was formed by major, sudden, periodic events such as volcanoes
and meteor impacts
 Gregor Mendel's studies and what he learned
o inheritance of acquired characteristics
 Allele - subunit of genes that can be either dominant or recessive
 Example of evolution - malaria and sickle cell
 Populations evolve, not individuals
 Four forces of evolution
o Natural selection
o Mutation - the only true source for new genetic variation
o Gene Flow
o Genetic Drift - random change of allele frequencies within 1 population cause by
either catastrophic events or the founder effect
 Punctuated equilibrium - type of macroevolution in which new species evolve dramatic
changes in spurts often associated with major events. An example is the adaptive radiation of
mammals following the extinction of dinosaurs.

Primates
 Characteristics that define primates
o High reliance on binocular/stereoscopic vision
o Decreased sense of smell
o Increased infant dependency
o Larger brains
o Opposable thumbs/toes for grasping
o Generalized dentition for a generalized diet
 Tarsiers - small, primitive, nocturnal insect eaters. They leap from branches to catch insects.
 Old World monkeys (baboons, macaques) have tails, apes (chimp, orangutan) do not
 New World monkeys (howler, capuchin) are the only primates with prehensile (grasping) tails
 Members of the superfamily Hominoids (the apes) - gibbons, gorillas, chimpanzees, humans
 Video - Primates (there will be a couple of questions)
Field Methods
 Artifact - object modified by humans (material culture)
 How we find and excavate sites
o excavation grid, provenience; once we dig a site, we can never do it again
 Relative dating techniques
o Seriation
o Index Fossils
o Stratigraphy - geologic layers and Law of Superposition
 Absolute dating techniques
o Radiocarbon
o Potassium argon

Early Human Evolution


 Hypotheses of primate origins - adaptations for living in trees
 First true primates evolved 55 million years ago during the Eocene, after the extinction of
dinosaurs
 Bipedalism is the derived trait that distinguishes our fossil hominin ancestors from apes
 Hypotheses of bipedalism evolution - carry food, carry tools, walk long distances, radiate heat
o More efficient for walking long distances than quadrapedalism
 Skeletal changes associated with the evolution of bipedalism
o bowl-shaped pelvis makes birth in humans difficult and painful
o S-shaped spine for shock absorption
o Inward angled thigh bone, bringing knees under pelvis
o spine and Foramen Magnum enter under the skull (not at the back)
 Australopithecines - first 100% fully bipedal ancestors
 Australopithecus sediba - newest human ancestor discovered, and researchers have proposed that
it is the last evolutionary link between australopithecines and the genus Homo.
 Traits of robust Australopithecines
o They went extinct
o Compared to gracile - larger, stronger facial traits and sagital crest for chewing tough
plants (more plants in diet)
 Most important trend that characterizes australopithecine evolution is bipedalism

Genus Homo
 Derived traits that separate them from australopithecines - increase in brain size, smaller face,
larger bodies
 Increase in meat in the diet
 Know characteristics of Homo habilis - skeletal, behavioral, and cultural
o Scavengers
o Odowan tools
o found by Leakeys in Olduvai Gorge
 Know characteristics of Homo erectus - skeletal, behavioral, and cultural
o As tall as modern humans, same limb proportions
o First to use fire
o First to migrate out of Africa
o Associated with the Acheulean tool complex
 Homo heidelbergensis - "muddle in the middle"
o Evolved around 400-200 thousand years ago
o Intermediate between Homo erectus and Homo sapiens