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Anthropology A103
Human Origins and Prehistory
Fall 2013, Dr. Mullins

The exam will be on TUESDAY October 1.  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.

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 at last slide 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. How old is the recently identified hominid Sahelanthropus tchadensis?  Where was this hominid recovered?  How might Sahelanthropus change how we define the relationship between australopithecines and Homo sapiens sapiens?

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

17. What is the technique known as accelerator mass spectrometry? How has it impacted radiocarbon dating?

18. What does it mean when radiocarbon dates are expressed as "calibrated dates"?

19. 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?

20. What are the types of archaeological sites?

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

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

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

24. 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?

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

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

27.  What is the earliest confirmed dating for australopithecus ramidus?  Some remains from the site Aramis are dated earlier and classed as a subspecies:  What are the dates for this animal and what is it called?  How are the ramidus remains from Aramis different from australopithecines?  In what sort of environment did ramidus live?  Where is Aramis?

28. In what sort of environment did Orrorin tugenensis live?  How old are the Orrorin finds from Kenya?

29. Australopithecus anamensis is the oldest australopithecine:  How old is it?  Was it bipedal?  What do its teeth suggest about its diet?

30. What is the proper scientific name for the animal known as "Lucy"?  During what span of time were these animals alive?  Where are these animals found?  Did they have sexual dimorphism?  What are the physical characteristics of Lucy and the other animals in her species?  What is the difference between gracile and robust australopithecines?  Which is Lucy?

31. Where is the site Swartkrans? What is the name for the material that contains archaeological remains at Swartkrans?  What sorts of archaeological finds come the site?  What do the consistently broken sticks at the site suggest?  Why are so many of the dead at Swartkrans adolescents?  Robust australopithecines at the site have massive chewing musculature:  what does this suggest about their diet?

32.  What is a dryopithecine?  When did they live, and what is their relationship to subsequent hominids and apes?

33. What does it mean to say a site is "disturbed"?  What is bioturbation?

34.  What is faunal analysis?

35. What is a feature?

36.  What are ecofacts? 

Questions?  Email me.

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Last updated September 20, 2013