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Anthropology A103
Human Origins and Prehistory
Spring 2016, Dr. Mullins

The exam will be on WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 24.  Please do not forget the exam period or arrive late; if you are significantly late you will be required to take the makeup exam.  Plan to turn off your cell phones, beepers, and other potentially disturbing ringing devices.

There will be an in-class study session in the class immediately preceding the exam.  Please complete the study guide in as much detail as possible prior to the study session and bring the textbook to the study session.

Your syllabus includes references for all material from the course text that is included on the exam.  All remaining material comes directly from class notes; anything appearing on the Power Point lectures or within the text pages included on the syllabus may appear on the exam. 

The exam material ends immediately after SLIDE 83 in Powerpoint 4.

1. What is anthropology? What are the "four fields" in anthropology?

2. What is culture?

3. What is archaeology?  What is paleoanthropology?

4. What is material culture?

5. What are the common caricatures of archaeologists (e.g., Indiana Jones)? How is the reality different?

6. What is ideology? How are historic attitudes toward alcohol consumption and states’ ideologies about the social role of beer consumption in Britain and Sweden reflected in beer can designs? For instance, why does the British state hope to reproduce longstanding acceptance of beer consumption? Precisely what sorts of designs do British beer cans favor that reflects the broader societal attitude toward alcohol consumption, and why are these motifs favored? On the other hand, how do beer cans reflect a quite different vision of alcohol consumption in Sweden? What aesthetics do Swedish beer producers favor because of their societal perception of beer and alcohol consumption?

7. Who was Heinrich Schliemann? Why did he and similar sorts of genteel Victorians seek their Western historical and cultural roots in the late-nineteenth century? What is the name of the site where Schliemann excavated what we now consider to be Troy?

8. What is an archaeological site? Any space can be called an archaeological site provided it has integrity and significance. What do those two concepts mean?

9. What is remote sensing? Define the remote sensing techniques aerial photography, resistivity, magnetic survey, and ground-penetrating radar.

10. What is a grid? What is a datum?

11. Define stratigraphy. What are the two principles used to archaeologically analyze stratigraphy?

12. Define the two types of archaeological dating (reminder: this is NOT the same two principles used to analyze stratigraphy).

13. Define seriation and deep sea cores.

14. What is potassium-argon dating (a.k.a., radiopotassium dating); radiocarbon dating; thermoluminescence; obsidian hydration; dendrochronology? Which technique dates the oldest sites? What are the limitations of each (e.g., can only date certain types of material; are context specific and can only be used in a single region; date only objects from a particular span of time; and so on)?

15. What are lithics? What is a flake (also known as debitage)? What is flintknapping? What is percussion flaking? What is a "bulb of percussion"?  What is a core?  What is a dedicated tool?  What does it mean to say a toll is "bifacial"?

16. What is an archaeological survey? What are the purposes of a survey?

17. In what era and period were dinosaurs dominant? How often did dinosaurs and early hominids interact?

18.  Did australopithecines exhibit sexual dimorphism?  What are the main characteristics of australopithecine skeletal anatomy?

19. Was there any significant variation between different australopithecines in terms of body size and skeletal anatomy?  In what sort of environments did they live?  How many australopithecines are found outside Africa?

20. What is the most significant archaeological find from the site Laetoli?  What does this find tell us about australopithecines?  How old is this site?

21. James Deetz used seriation to analyze New England gravestones.  What three types of stone designs did he identify, when do they occur, and why do they change over time?

22. What is evolution?  What does it mean to say evolution is a fact?  What does it mean to say evolution is a "narrative"?  What have been the four main foci of evolutionary scholarship?

23. What does it mean to be bipedal?  Are all australopithecines bipedal?  Why might these animals have become bipedal?  What skeletal evidence indicates that australopithecines were bipedal?

24.  What sorts of food did australopithecines probably eat?  What skeletal evidence suggests this diet?

25.  Did australopithecines live in settled base camps?  Do they appear to have been very mobile?

26.  What is the scientific method?

27. What is a species?  What are primates?

28. What is adaptation?

29. Define osteology.

30. What are features and ecofacts?

31. What do experimental archaeologists do?

32. When was the Lower Paleolithic?


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Last updated February 16, 2016