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

The exam will be in class THURSDAY NOVEMBER 14th.   As always, remember that test material can include anything from the Powerpoints or in the assigned readings but will focus on the material included here.  Please do not email me asking for answers to numerous study guide questions, you can find all the answers in the powerpoints online.  We will have a study session in class the preceding class, so bring your study guide and answers to class with you that day.

Exam material begins with the first slide in Powerpoint 5

1. What are mitochondrial DNA?  What is the archaeological thesis "mitochondrial Eve"?  Which of the erectus-to-sapiens theories seems best supported by the Mt DNA evidence?

2. What are the two contending theories on the relationship between Homo erectus and subsequent Homo sapiens sapiens?

3.  How early did Homo erectus reach Java?  How did they reach this island?

4. What sites contain evidence for cannibalism among neandertals?  How widespread does cannibalism seem to have been?

5. Some archaeologists believe that clothing did not appear until quite recently.  What evidence suggests this relatively late appearance of clothing, and about when does this evidence suggest clothing appeared?

6. Who is Homo sapiens neandertalensis? Is neandertal a different species than Homo sapiens sapiens?  When and where did they live? What was the environment like in this region?  What is their stone tool technology called? Describe these tools.  What does archaeological evidence suggest about the extent of neandertal hunting? How about campsites? What evidence for such practices has been identified for subsequent Homo sapiens (e.g., the European variant of Homo sapiens sapiens often called "Cro-Magnon")? What is the evolutionary relationship between neandertalensis and modern Homo sapiens sapiens?  

7. Shanidar includes a series of neandertal burials, one of which has significant physical injuries.  What might this suggest about social relations among neandertals?

8. What are the main distinctions of neandertal skeletal anatomy?  What does the skeletal evidence of neandertals of La Chapelle-aux-Saints indicate about the difficulty of neandertal lives?  How old do most neandertals appear to be when they die? 

9. What is the date for the earliest archaic Homo sapiens sapiens?  What site contains this evidence?  About when do these people arrive in southeast Asia?  When do they first arrive in Europe?  Did these animals kill all the neandertals?  Why might they have prospered while neandertals died out?  What is the Aurignancian lithic technology?

10. When was the Upper Paleolithic? Was it before or after the Neolithic? What sorts of transformations occurred during the Upper Paleolithic that help explain the emergence and popularity of mural and portable art?  How did ritual such as burial change during the Upper Paleolithic?  What changes occurred in tool technology and decoration, foodways, and population during the Upper Paleolithic?

11. What are the two basic types of Upper Paleolithic art?  What is the date for the earliest cave painting?  What is the name of the site with these paintings?  What is the most common motif among the paintings on this earliest cave art site?

12. What are Venus figurines?  Does the archaeological evidence indicate that Venus figurines were used as fertility objects?  How else might they reflect the construction of gender roles during this period?

13.  Who was the first hominid to leave Africa?  When did this occur?  When did hominids migrate into Europe?

14. "Turkana Boy" is a Homo ergaster:  to when does this individual skeleton date?  How does he compare to homo sapiens sapiens?  About when did Homo ergaster emerge?  How do they differ from Homo erectus?  What do some researchers see as the difference between Homo erectusand Homo ergaster?

15. Homo erectus finds at Ngandong suggest quite different chronologies for the extinction of Homo erectus.  About when do Homo erectus disappear from Ngandong? 

16.  What is the oldest lithic technology?  How old is it?  Where is it found?  What types of tools are part of this technological tradition?

17. What distinguishes Achuelian tools?  When are they first produced?

18. The hominid known as Homo floresiensis was recently found in Indonesia.  What distinguishes this hominid?  What is the date for these hominids, and what do these finds suggest about the Homo genus' variability?

19. What is Homo antecessor?

20. What is the date on the hominid known as Homo georgicus?  What is potentially most important about this specimen?

21. What is the earliest known lithic tool technology called?  How old is it?

22.  What are the key similarities between Homo erectus and Homo sapiens sapiens?

23. Describe Homo habilis:  in what ways might it be a transitional animal between australopithecines and the Homo line? 

24.  Where did Homo habilis live?  When did they live?

25. 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?

26. What is "garbology"? Are late-twentieth century westerners the first people to have a pollution crisis?  What are some ways people like the residents of Troy, the Maya, or early residents of coastal towns dealt with trash?

27.  What methods are used in William Rathje's Garbage Project research?  What is the focus of this research?

28.  What is the most common single item in refuse and landfills?

29. Based on landfill studies, how pressing a pollution dilemma are disposable diapers? Styrofoam? What composes most of a landfill's mass?

30.  What is the "Good Provider" theory?; the "Lean Cuisine" syndrome?; the "Surrogate syndrome"?  How does refuse commonly contradict these perceptions people have of their own material consumption?

31. What is a common discard pattern during food shortages?

32.  What sort of people tend to waste the least food?  What sorts of foods get discarded the least?  What foods get discarded in large quantities, and why?

33.  How many pounds of trash does the average American discard each day?

34. What does landfill archaeology suggest about how quickly refuse actually breaks down in landfills?  Is the US running out of landfill space?


FLK North
Koobi Fora
Olduvai Gorge
Terra Amata
Mount Circeo
Moula Geurcy
Gran Dolina
Teshik Tash
Dolni Vestonici
Torralba and Ambona

Email any questions to me.

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Last updated October 28, 2013