Archeology Notes 2010 - Welcome by fjzhangxiaoquan


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I. Introduction: The Study of the Human Past

A. Archeology

- study of past cultures
- archeologists study past humans and their societies primarily through their material culture
(their buildings, tools and other artifacts)
- archeology is a multisciplinary science, utlizing concepts of the social sciences (especially
anthropology, the study of humanity) and the methods, concepts and techniques of the natural
- archeology is often divided into Prehistoric Archeology (Prehistory is the period before written
records) and Historic Archeology

B. Objectives of Archeology

 1. Reconstruct ancient lives

 2. Compile cultural histories

 3. Analyze cultural processes (including the origins of agriculture, cities, warfare, religion, etc.)

C. Research Methodologies

  1. Ecological/Environmental approach (Cultural Ecology)
- study relationship between culture and environment
- the cultural-ecological approach views culture as an adaptive system; the “adaptations” allowed
the ancient peoples to survive the challenges of the particular ecosystem that they lived in

  2. Agency Theory
- states that individuals in ancient societies were the “agents” of change

  3. Ethnoarcheology
- comparing prehistoric societies with living peoples (Ethnography is the study of living groups
of people by living among them, observing their behavior, and where ethnographers participate in
the daily activities of the people they are studying)
- ethnoarcheology assists in determining the use and origin of particular artifacts or architectural
remains in ancient cultures, and tests theories concerning the relationship between material
remains and the human culture that produced them

Direct Historical Approach - a research methodology in which the culture of a group that
represents the descendants of the people whose archeological remains are being investigated are
utilized as a source for models or analogies to explain the lifeways of the ancient group

Experimental Archeology - archeologists replicate tasks or artifacts and compare them with the
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archeological record

  4. Processual Archeology
- archeologists concentrate on discovering "causes" rather than only describing ancient cultures
- processual archeology states that archeology is a mathematical, evolutionary and ecological
science of complex systems

  5. Postprocessual Archeology (Interpretive Archeology)
- questions the rigid scientific methods of processual archeology in favor of a variety of
approaches and multiple interpretations
- postprocessual archeologists are interested in the symbolic and cognitive aspects of ancient
societies, including interpretation of ancient ideas, gender roles, power relations, ritualism and
other social concepts

Cognitive Archeology - the study of past ways of thought and symbolic structures from material

 D. Cultural Resource Management (CRM)
- the study, preservation and protection of archeological sites
- in CRM, the archeological record is viewed as a non-renewable cultural or historical resource
that is worthy of conservation
- much of the archeology currently conducted in the United States is funded by federally-
mandated CRM

E. Culture

- learned patterns of thought and behavior characteristic of a population or society

- humans “adapt” to their environment by means of their culture

 1. Cultural Concepts

  a. Tradition
- cultural trait or pattern which persists through time
- often describes long-lasting artifact types, tool assemblages, economic practices, art styles, or
behavior that last much longer than one archeological phase or horizon

  b. Culture Area
- a major geographic province which develops similar cultural traditions due to similar
environmental and historical conditions

  c. Cultural Evolution
- concept that human societies evolve from simple hunter-gatherers to complex civilization
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Cultural Stage - level of cultural development

 d. Stages of Societal Complexity

- These classification categories are "Labels of Convenience" and vary considerably in their

   d1. Pre-State Societies
- small-scale societies based on the band, village or community
- pre-state societies lack a highly-stratified class stucture and other features of state-organized

Pre-State Societies Include:

Mobile Hunter-Gatherer Groups (often termed “Bands”) - self-sufficient groups of less than 25-
60 people, usually consisting of a few families; highly adapted for a hunting-gathering lifestyle;
constantly on the move and band size varies considerably; bands are egalitarian (with social
equality), with leadership based on personal qualities rather than political power

Segmentary Societies (often termed “Tribes”) - egalitarian societies, but with greater social and
cultural complexity than bands; with mechanisms to accomodate more sedentary living,
redistribution of food, and organization of community services; often with some village farming;
often clusters of bands linked by clans, with "kinship ties" that provide effective mechanisms for
social control; most decision-making is based on public opinion

Chiefdoms - clan groups develop a social ranking; headed by important individuals with unusual
ritual, political or entrepreneurial skill; power based in hands of powerful kin leaders responsible
for resource redistribution; with higher population densities and more material possessions; vary
widely in elaboration and are often difficult to distinguish from tribes

   d2. State-Organized Societies
- with a ruling class and a hierarchy of social classes below them; with centralized social and
political organizations, class stratification, and intensive agriculture; with complex political
structures, permanent government institutions and social inequality

  e. Hunter-Gatherer Theory
- prior to the 1960's hunter-gatherers were depicted as primitive societies, unable to rely on
predictable food supplies and constantly in danger of starvation; as a result they were
underdeveloped in their cultural and social institutions; these notions of hunter-gatherers have
been proven false
- all hunter-gatherer societies are based on an underlying logic; that is, to sustain long-term
internal group equilibrium

The following models have been used for hunter-gatherer societies:
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  e1. Forager-Collector Model of Hunter-Gatherer Societies

Forager - in warmer climates with no serious seasons of food shortage; with few incentives for
resource storage; when local resources are exhausted, the hunter-gatherers move to a new
location; defines the concept of "Foraging Systems"

Collector - found in areas with sharp seasonal contrasts; people obtain food in bulk and
accumulate a surplus for use during the "lean" seasons; requires an efficient, portable technology
and involves a more structured social relationship; defines the concept of "Collector Systems"

   e2. Optimal Foraging Model
- hunter-gatherer societies select a combination of resource items that maximize the net energy
intake per unit of foraging time; decisions revolve around the diet or breadth of diet, where to
forage, amount of time spent on different activities, settlement location, and group size
- as food resources decline in abundance, the time required to search for them increases; typically
the breadth of the hunter-gatherer diet widens to compensate for this decline

 2. Primary Cultural Processes

  a. Invention (Innovation)
- create a new concept or technology

   b. Migration
- whole peoples and their cultures move
- migration is difficult to establish archeologically
- if a "foreign" culture is found in an area, it is often termed a “Site-Unit Intrusion”

   c. Cultural Diffusion
- introduction of single traits or trait complexes

Trait intrusion - introduction of a trait or object from another culture

Stimulus diffusion - introduction of an idea from another culture

 F. Archeological Data
- include all indications of human activity

   1. Site Constituents
- the things that make up the archeological record, including artifacts, ecofacts and features

Typical Items found in Archeological Sites Include (and they are often in this order of

  a. Food remains
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- they are often found in Middens, which are accumulations of residue resulting from food

Food Remains May Be Preserved as:

  a1. Floral Remains

Paleoethnobotany (Archeobotany; Floral Analyses) - study of recovered plant remains from
archeological sites; these are used to reconstruct past environments and human economies

- Floral Remains from Archeological Sites Include:

Macrobotanical Remains (seeds, fruits, wood or charcoal found in the archeological sites), often
recovered by screening (sieving) or by flotation techniques

Microbotanical Remains, including Pollen (the study of pollen is termed palynology) and
Phytoliths (microscopic inorganic mineral particles produced by plants, that can often be
identified to species)

  a2. Faunal Remains

Zooarcheology (Archeozoology; Faunal Analyses) is the identification and analysis of animal
remains from archeological sites; this analysis aids in reconstructing ancient human diets and
provides information on the ancient environment

   a3. Coprolites (Paleofeces) - feces recovered from archeological sites; they provide data for
reconstructing ancient diets

   b. Structural Remains
- the remains of structures built by humans (see discussion under “habitation sites” below)

   c. Ceramics
- pottery remains
- most pottery recovered from archeological sites consists of broken pieces, termed “sherds” or

   d. Lithic artifacts
- stone tools
- microscopic study of the patterns of wear or damage on the edge of stone tools (termed
Microwear Analysis) may provide valuable information on the way a tool was used
- besides tools, other lithic remains include debitage (waste material due to toolmaking, such as

  e. Perishable items, such as organic remains
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Organic Remains are typically only preserved in 1)cold environments 2)dry environments
3)waterlogged environments

  2. Typology
- classification of artifacts

Artifact - any portable object made by humans

   a. Artifact Type
- group of artifacts that resemble each other and that can be differentiated from other groups
- artifact types are "artificial classifications", that may be subject to different interpretation by
- artifact types are defined by their Attributes (the characteristic features of the artifacts)

   b. Artifact classes
- larger categories of artifacts based on similarities in form or function
- artifact classes are used in sorting and comparing artifacts

  c. Technology
- determine manufacturing processes and sequences

  d. Analytical Techniques
- uses a variety of optical, x-ray and nuclear methods to establish the identity and geographic
source of raw materials, techniques of manufacture, etc.

Chemical Signature - the chemical makeup of a particular raw material (such as flint, obsidian,
copper or iron ore, or clay) may indicate its source; chemical signatures may often be obtained by
utilizing Trace Element Analysis; certain analytical techniques, such as Neutron Activation
Analysis (NAA) may be used to determine the source of archeological materials

3. Archeological Sites

- places with traces (usually artifacts) of ancient occupation or activity

Site Formation Processes - the processes by which material objects become a part of the
archeological record; site processes include both Cultural Formation Processes [such as loss,
discard, caching (hoarding) of artifacts or site abandonment] OR Natural Formation Processes
(including natural and environmental events that affect the burial and survival of archeological

- Sites Based on Activity Include:

  a. Habitation Sites
- houses (the most common structures in archeological sites), caves, rock shelters or open areas
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- Types of Structures (based on types of building materials used) include Pithouses (semi-
subterranean structures), Masonry Structures (made from stone), Wood Structures, Thatch
Structures (made from grass or some other plant fibers) and Jacal ("wattle and daub" structures,
made by weaving branches, sticks or cane between vertical posts, and then plastering the
structure with mud)

   b. Trading Centers
- trading centers may be identified by the presence of a variety of “foreign” trade items

  c. Quarry Sites
- where minerals were mined

  d. Kill sites
- kill sites should contain bones of animals that indicate meat processing, projectile points,
butchering tools, and sometimes hearths ("fireplaces")

  e. Ceremonial Sites
- ceremonial sites usually contain few, if any, dwellings (except for the houses of political and/or
religious officials)

  f. Burial sites
- often help determine social ranking in a culture and social practices

  g. Surface (Lithic) Scatters
- with geological or geographical context but no archeological association

   h. Petroglyphs and Pictographs
- pecked pictures (petroglyphs) or painted pictures (pictographs) of animals, men, mythical
beings or geometric designs
- these are usually found on cliffs or in caves

 4. Ecofacts
- non-artifact environmental items preserved in a site
- usually food remains; also soil, charcoal, rock fragments, etc.
- ecofacts help determine climate and cultural practices

 5. Features
- cultural manifestations that are neither artifacts nor structures (an example would be a charcoal-
stained area in an archeological site)
- features are locations where human activities took place, and result in the presence of artifacts
and ecofacts

 G. Genetic Archeology
- almost all molecular archeology studies have been performed using DNA from mitochondria
(mtDNA), cell structures that supply energy for metabolism; mammalian mtDNA is inherited
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only through the maternal lineage
- researchers extract DNA from tissue samples, use Polymerase Chain Reactions (PCR) to copy
part of it, and then compare the resulting DNA to other DNA sequences (from a relative, a
particular population, or a species) to identify an individual or the population the sample came

H. Archeological Chronology

- dating techniques used in archeology

  1. Relative Dating Techniques
- date events in chronologic order of occurrence rather than in years

   a. Stratigraphy
- study of sedimentary layers (termed strata; singular stratum)
- layers in sites are due to both geologic and cultural activity
- stratigraphy is based on the “Law of Superposition” (in undisturbed sites, the lowermost layer is
the oldest)

  b. Seriation
- sequence dating based on artifact types
- seriation is based on the "Index Fossil" concept [artifacts (such as pottery or points) useful for
dating are of a distinctive form, widespread distribution and are in existence for a short time]

 c. Intracomponent Associations

Component - culturally homogeneous stratigraphic unit within a single site (a settlement
occupied one time has one component; if occupied four times with four components); regional
chronologies are produced by synthesizing components from different sites

Law of Association - artifacts and ecofacts should be the same age in the same level at the same

  d. Biological Associations
- use stratigraphic ranges of fossil animals and pollen frequencies to date sites

Palynology - the study of pollen; palynologists construct “pollen profiles”, which show the
percentages of pollen types through time

Faunal Dating - zooarcheologists or paleontologists use the stratigraphic “ranges” of animals to
date archeological and paleontological sites

2. Actual (Absolute, Chronometric) Dating Techniques
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- dates in calendar years

 a. Methods that Depend on Radioactive Decay of one element to another

   a1. Radioactive Dating (Radiometric Dating)
- dates are based on the regular decay of an unstable (radioactive) isotope (isotopes are forms of
an element with the same number of protons, different numbers of neutrons)
- radioactive decay is measured in Half Lives (the time required for half of the “parent” nuclei in
a sample of an element to decay to the “daughter” isotope)

The Major Types of Radiometric Dating Techniques used in Archeology are:

Carbon 14 - with half life of 5,730 years; this is the most-used dating technique in archeology;
standard laboratory methods can be used on objects as old as 50,000 years [using Accelerator
Mass Spectrometry, or AMS, smaller samples can be analyzed, it gives better dates, and older
samples can be dated (up to approximately 70,000 years)]; calibration curves are used to correct
carbon dates to tree ring dates or calendar dates

Potassium- Argon = with half life of 1.25 billion years; K-Ar typically dates volcanic ash falls; it
is especially used for early hominid sites (another technique, Argon-Argon dating, is also used)

These notations, and their abbreviations, are used in radiometric dating:

Kiloannum (plural = Kiloanna; kilo an) = Ka = thousands of years in the radioisotopic time scale

Megannum (plural = Meganna; mega an) = Ma = millions of years in the radioisotopic time
scale; M.Y. (or m.y) = millions of years, without reference to the radioisotopic time scale

   a2. Fission Track Dating
- high energy radioactive particles (especially uranium-238) damage the surrounding rock
- for fission track dating, the scientist determines the track density (the more fission tracks, the
older the date)
- fission track dating is typically used for sites older than 100,000 years

 b. Methods that require calibration by radioactive or chemical means

   b1. Paleomagnetic and Archeomagnetic Dating
- the Earth‟s magnetic field is constantly changing in direction and intensity; these changes are
preserved in iron-rich sediments and rocks
- paleomagnetic dating is based on the fact that the Earth's magnetic poles reverse; these reversals
may be calibrated with other absolute dating techniques, such as potassium-argon dates
- the orientation of a cultural deposit versus magnetic north may be fixed in a cultural deposit; in
archeomagnetic dating this orientation is compared with that of a “master curve” to determine the
date of the deposit
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   b2. Luminescence Dating
- this dating is based on the fact that commonly-occuring crystalline materials such as quartz and
feldspar capture electrons in defects in the crystal structure; luminescence techniques measure the
time elapsed since electrons were last "drained" from the "traps" (by burning, exposure to
sunlight, etc.)

- in Thermoluminescence (TL), pottery or stones heated in the past release energy (in the form of
light particles, or photons) when reheated; there is more light released in older materials

- Optically-Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) is similar to TL, but uses one wavelength of light to
release light of another wavelength

  b3. Electron Spin Resonance (ESR)
- similar to luminescence dating in that the number of trapped electrons in measured, but in ESR
ancient teeth or other materials are placed in a magnetic field, and the interaction between the
objects and the magnetic field is measured

   c. Dendrochronology (Tree Ring dating)
- in this technique, annular growth rings in trees are counted
- the best trees to use are long-living types (such as bristlecone pine); a “master sequence” is
produced by overlapping the rings of a living tree with a series of successively older trees
- in the southwestern United States, tree ring dates extend back to 8,000 BC

  d. Calendars and Historical Records
- typically limited to civilizations

3. Temporal (Time) Units

  a. Phase
- basic unit of archeological chronology; similar components from more than one site are
- a phase has a specific cultural content, is found in a specific region, and represents a relatively
brief time interval
- distinctive cultural traits distinguish one phase from another
- phases may be divided into subphases

  b. Horizon
- complex of traits occurring together
- a horizon links a number of phases in neighboring areas that contain some general cultural
patterns in common (some religious cults may transcend cultural boundaries and spread over
large areas, such as the Chavín art style of ancient Peru)
- horizons may be used for chronological correlation

I. Archeological Reconnaissance
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- finding archeological sites

  1. Ground Reconnaissance
- evaluate a potential archeological site by systematically walking back and forth, or across in
sweeps using a team of archeologists

  2. Remote Sensing
- involves techniques in which the observer is not in direct contact with the archeological

  a. Aerial Photography
- use a small airplane to take vertical or oblique air photos to use in preliminary analyses of the
local environment and determine site location
- aerial photography may use black-and-white photos, color or false color infrared photography,
or digital sensors

   b. Thermography
- thermal imaging involving the infrared portion of the electromagnetic spectrum
- detects heat emitted from the object being examined
- buried objects may affect vegetational growth which may, though not visible to the naked eye,
be detectable by analysis of infrared radiation
- thermography is often used to locate buried ditches, prehistoric fields, etc.

  c. Ground-Penetrating Radar
- electromagnetic pulses are passed through the soil; the pulses encounter objects in the soil and
is reflected back to the receiver; the radar operator then interprets the nature of the objects (such
as buried walls or the foundations of structures)

  d. Satellite Imagery
- uses multispectral scanners that record the intensity of reflected light and infrared radiation;
typically used for regional or interregional studies

   e. Magnetometry
- use a magnetometer to measure the intensity of the magnetic field
- iron tools, ceramic kilns, and burned areas can be detected

  f. Electrical Resistivity Surveys
- measure localized differences in conductivity of an electrical current passed between probes
placed in the ground
- passage of electricity may be impeded by buried walls or similar solid features

  3. Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
- a collection of computer hardware and software that manages and manipulates geographic data;
it is one of the primary tools that archeologists use to map archeological sites
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J. Excavation Techniques

Archeological Excavation - the careful and methodical exposure of subsurface archeological

Provenience - determine the exact location of an artifact, ecofact or feature; when an artifact or
ecofact is encountered, it is left in place so its location can be measured

  1. Test Pits
- preliminary excavations carried out in search of subsurface archeological evidence
- test pits are dug during the initial surveys for sites yet to be discovered, and in the preliminary
examinations of known sites to determine their size and function

Shovel Test Pits (STPs) - holes of variable size and shape (usually 0.5 to 1 meter), to determine
archeological content

- the sediments from test pits are passed through screens to determine content

  2. Excavation Units (“Squares”)
- the individual analytical unit of an archeological site
- these are often two meters on each side, but may be one meter squares or other sizes

 3. Types of Excavations

  a. Area (Horizontal) Excavation
- uncovers large areas
- area excavation is often used to uncover houses, determine settlement patterns, etc.

   b. Vertical Excavation and Trenching
- reveals stratigraphic information or determines the sequence of occupation on a small scale

II. African Origins

A. Geologic Periods in Human Prehistory

  1. Pliocene Epoch
- the uppermost epoch of the Tertiary Period, approximately 5.3 to 1.8 Ma

 2. "Quaternary" Period

  a. Pleistocene Epoch
- approximately 1.8 Ma to approximately 10 Ka
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- the Pleistocene is the epoch of the "Great Ice Age"

  b. Recent (Holocene) Epoch
- 10 Ka to present

 B. Primate Characteristics
- usually small- to medium-sized, forest-dwelling, climbing herbivores (eat plants) or omnivores
(eat plants and animals)

  1. Skeleton
- locomotion generally quadrupedal ("4-footed")
- five fingers and toes
- there is increased mobility of thumb and "big toe"
- primates have an orthograde (upright) posture

  2. Skull
- the facial part of the skull and nasal apparatus is generally reduced in advanced types
- the eyes face forward
- the brain is relatively large
- there is a reduced number of teeth

- the features of primates are good "preadaptations" for living in savannahs (grasslands with
scattered clumps of trees) and adopting hunter-gatherer lifestyles

C. Man Differs from Other Apes in:

 1. Use symbols at an abstract level

 2. Pass knowledge from generation to generation

  3. Bipedality
- humans walk upright on their hind legs

 4. Increase in male (and female) parental investment

  5. Change in life history
- humans have an extended lifespan
- there is increased altriciality (the young remain in the care of their parents longer than in other

 6. Increased hunting and meat consumption, food-sharing with other members of the group, and
a division of labor between males and females

 7. Expansion of ecozones/environments occupied
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- humans originally lived in tropical forests and savannahs, but eventually adapted to almost all
terrestrial ecosystems

 8. Humans lost most of their body hair; females have concealed ovulation (the male cannot
determine when the female can become pregnant), there is continuous sexual receptivity (females
allow sex during periods other than ovulation), there is exaggeration of sexual characteristics
(such as enlarged breast and buttock size in females), and humans maintain pair bonds more than
other primates; canine teeth in humans are smaller than in other primate species (males in other
primate species utilize their large canines in competing for mates)

 D. Human Origins
- the timing of human origins is based primarily on DNA evidence
- it has been theorized that at approximately 5-6 Ma gorillas, chimps and hominids (man's
family) diverged when climate became cooler, drier and more seasonal (this has been termed the
Messinian Climate Crisis)
- However, recovery of a 6-7 Ma year old skull with a human-like face from northern Chad,
Africa (Sahelanthropus tchadensis) may indicate that the divergence of humans from other apes
occurred at 8 to 10 Ma

E. Why Bipedality?

 1. Traveling between food trees in savannah

 2. Free hands to gather and manipulate food (feed on grass seeds, feed high in bushes, and
scavenge carcasses of animals)

 3. Free hands to carry and manipulate weapons and tools

 4. Carry vegetable foods, water and infants

 5. Carrying food and other essentials back to family groups

 6. Bipedal displays (as seen in chimps) allow peaceful resolution of conflicts, and may assist in
attracting mates

 7. Lift body higher off hot ground and dissipate heat better

 8. Although bipedality is slower form of movement, it is more energy efficient for travelling
long distances (especially good in savannahs)

F. Australopithecines

  1. Ardipithecus
- the earliest known australopithecines, including Ardipithecus kadabba (ca. 5.7 Ma?) and
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Ardipithecus ramidus (ca. 4.5-4.3 Ma) from the Middle Awash region, Ethiopia, Africa
- paleobotanical, pollen, and isotope evidence indicates that this region consisted of dense
- consist of gracile (lightly-built) australopithecines with chimp-sized brains
- Ardipithecus was bipedal (as indicated by the pelvis and leg structure) and the structure of the
hand indicates that Ardipithecus was not a knuckle-walker
- the “big toe” on the foot was divergent (the foot could be used for “grasping”), suggesting
Ardipithecus may have nested and fed in trees
- smaller canines in males suggest changes in social behavior, in which females are choosing
mates based more on supplying food; this is the first indication of “pair bonding” in humans

  2. Australopithecus
- named Australopithecus species include Australopithecus afarensis from East Africa,
Australopithecus africanus from South Africa, Australopithecus garhi from Ethiopia and
Australopithecus bahrelghazali from Chad (central Africa); Australopithecus fossils range from
ca. 4 to 2 Ma.
- Australopithecus was fully bipedal (determined by hips, thigh bones and fossil footprints at
Laetoli); they are very apelike in most of their skeleton with long arms and fingers; the brain size
is a chimp-like 400-500 milliliters; there is moderate to marked sexual dimorphism (males were
larger than females); they are lightly build with a height from 1.0 to 1.5 meters (3' 3" to 4' 11")
and weight from 30 to 70 kilograms (66 to 154 pounds) and averaging 50 kilograms (110
pounds); Australopithecus had high-placed vocal cords (there was little or no speech)
 - a "gracile" australopithecine probably lead to Homo

 3. Paranthropus

   a. Characteristics
- robust (heavily-built) australopithecines (2.6 - 1.2 Ma)
- includes Paranthropus boisei from Eastern Africa and P. robustus from Southern Africa
- heavy build; relatively long arms; height 1.1 to 1.4 meters (3' 7" to 4' 7") and weight 40 to 80
kilograms (88 to 176 pounds); there is marked sexual dimorphism
- Paranthropus species have prominent crests on the top and back of the skull; there is a very
long, broad, flattish face with strong facial buttressing; very thick jaws; small incisors and
canines; large, molar-like premolars; very large molars; brain size is a chimp-like 410 to 530

   b. Paranthropus did not make the first (Oldowan) tools?
- their sagittal crests and big teeth allowed them to process tough food efficiently, so there was no
need for tools (or did they use tools to dig up roots, tubers, etc.?)
- carbon isotopes in bones of Paranthropus robustus indicate plant food-rich diet, although low
strontium levels in bones may indicate substantial carnivory
- however, Paranthropus went extinct, and Oldowan tools continued (which suggests that they
were not the maker of these tools)

 4. Kenyanthropus
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- Kenyanthropus platyops, from 3.3-3.5 Ma year-old beds from near Lake Turkana, Ethiopia has
a flat, human-looking face, small brain and small teeth
- Kenyanthropus was possibly ancestral to Homo rudolfensis .(although some
paleoanthropologists say that Kenyanthropus is actually a variant of either Australopithecus
afarensis or Homo rudolfensis).

 G. Homo rudolfensis
- approximately 2.5 to 1.9 Ma; from Koobi Fora, northern Kenya
- Homo rudolfensis had a flat face with a blunt and wide palate (as in Australopithecus), but
probably with large cheek teeth
- the brain size of H. rudolfensis was approximately 750 milliliters and the braincase had a more
human shape than in australopithecines
- fragmentary bones suggest some were large-bodied at 1.5 meters (5 ft) and 52 kilograms (115
lbs) and were similar to later species of Homo in hip and leg anatomy

 H. Homo habilis
- approximately 2.1 - 1.5 Ma; in eastern and southern Africa
- very similar to Australopithecus in body proportions and sexual dimorphism
- small-bodied with a height of 1 meter (3'3") and weighed approximately 32 kilograms (70 lbs);
they had a more human face but more primitive skeleton and smaller brain (650 ml) than H.

 I. The Oldowan Culture
- could have been produced by Homo rudolfensis, H. habilis, H. ergaster, Australopithecus
garhi or Paranthropus (but increased brain size and decreased tooth size suggests that early
Homo species may have produced most of the tools)
- first found at Olduvai Gorge (Tanzania, Africa); dates at 2.5 - 1.5 Ma

  1. Social Organization
- “Oldowan” hominids may have lived in multi-male and multi-female groups; males competed
for access to females
- there is no evidence of intentional burials, grave goods, art, etc.; there is no clear evidence of
architectural features

  2. Diet
- ate mostly plants (especially Paranthropus); also processed large mammal carcasses (probably
mostly scavenged from carnivores)

  3. Technology
- used tools for "expanding their niche"; they manufactured tools for cutting, crushing, digging,
and for projectiles
- probably most tools were made of perishable or unmodified materials; early worked stone tools
were made of volcanic basalt or metamorphic quartzite rocks (these are hard, fine-grained rocks
that fractures in many directions)
- the Oldowan Culture was originally considered to be a "pebble tool" culture, but they also
                                                     ARCHEOLOGY NOTES, PAGE 17

manufactured crude bifacial tools (with cores flaked on both sides) and flakes were important
(for cutting meat, wood or plant fibers)
- Oldowan hominids had no preconceived shape of the tools they were manufacturing (i.e., there
was no "mental template")
- introduction of stone tools may indicate development of symbolic communication systems

III. Hominin Dispersal in the Old World

- although I separate the following into a couple of species, some physical anthropologists
classify almost all Asian, African and European hominids dating between 1.9 and 0.5 million
years as Homo erectus

 A. Homo ergaster
- approximately 1.9 to 1.5 Ma in eastern Africa
- more advanced than H. rudolfensis; and may be ancestral to all subsequent Homo species
- H. ergaster is more primitive than H. erectus (H. ergaster has a higher-domed, thinner-walled
skull with a less-massive face and brow ridges), and therefore is included here as a separate
- best represented by the "Turkana Boy" skeleton from Kenya; he was slender-bodied and long-
legged; the skeleton was essentially modern and with a highly efficient striding structure; adults
were probably 1.8 meters tall (6') or more; Homo ergaster was the first human species adapted to
dry, seasonal climates
- skeleton differs from modern humans in the upward-tapering rib cage (therefore shoulders
closer together); narrow hips; the head of the femur (thighbone) is large and the femoral neck is
long (this probably stabilized the hip structure and was efficient for “striding walk”); there is not
much sexual dimorphism between males and females
- long and low skull with broad base; prominent brow ridges; face less projecting than H. habilis,
with more prominent nose; Turkana Boy brain at 800-900 ml; another skull from Olduvai Gorge
has a 1050 ml brain size
- the oldest H. ergaster probably made Oldowan tools; at approximately 1.65 Ma they may have
developed the Acheulian industry
- Homo ergaster may have also been the first hominid to use fire, at 1.7 million years (as
indicated by burned clay deposits in Kenya)

- approximately 1.8 Ma year-old skulls from Dmanisi, Republic of Georgia, Europe are Homo
ergaster- or Homo habilis- like (they have been named Homo georgicus); stone tools from this
site are similar to the Oldowan Industry; this discovery may indicate that the origin and
distribution of early Homo species is more complex than originally thought (also considering that
Oldowan-like “chopper tools” have been found in 1.7 Ma year-old sediments at Majuangou,

 B. The Development of Speech
- speech involves the development of Broca‟s and Wernicke‟s areas in the brain
                                                      ARCHEOLOGY NOTES, PAGE 18

- the larynx (voicebox) is situated low in the throat, and is connected to the oral cavity above by a
long section of tubing (the pharynx); throat muscles manipulate the pharynx to modulate
vibrations produced by the larynx
- space for a long pharynx was created by bending the skull base downward; australopithecines
have no flexion, H. ergaster with slight flexion (but Turkana Boy's rib cage indicates less breath
control than needed for "true speech"?)

 C. Homo erectus
- in our classification, this includes only Asiatic forms; the oldest are from Indonesia at 1.5 to 1.1
Ma (?; controversial); oldest Chinese Homo erectus at 800 to 400 Ka with artifacts suggesting
presence in China as early as 1.7 Ma (persisted in China to approximately 225 Ka)
- Homo erectus had robust limbs, relatively large brain (850 -1150 ml), flat skulls, large brow
ridges, sloped forehead, a nuchal crest on the back of skull, and almost no chin
- differed from H. ergaster in that Homo erectus skulls were more strongly buttressed with ridges
of bone, and the walls of the skull were greatly thickened (this strengthened the skull)
- with distinct regional patterns of evolution(?); Homo erectus probably did not give rise to later
Homo species
- there is no absolute evidence that Homo erectus was a great hunter; but they appear to have
scavenged meat from carnivore kills, and probably collected plant foods
- they may have practiced cannibalism

  C. Fire
- burned animal bones at Zhoukoudian, China at 0.7-1.0 Ma probably indicate fire use
- fire provides warmth, is used in hunting, as protection against predators, and removes toxins
from food

  D. Acheulian Tools
- Acheulian tools were probably first produced by Homo ergaster in Africa and Europe; these
tools were made from approximately 250 Ka to 1.65 Ma, representing the longest-lasting tool
tradition in human history; the similarity in manufacture probably indicates the tool-makers had
specific "mental templates", which indicates improved cognitive abilities
- the dominant Acheulian tool is a bifacial "hand ax" (the sides and one end of a flat core were
flaked with a hammerstone and billet); they also made "cleavers" (with a sharp bit at one end; the
hand ax and cleaver may have been for butchering); they also made unifacial or bifacial elongate
"picks" that were used possibly for digging, woodworking or as weapons

Movius Line - a line of demarcation that separates hand ax-containing sites in Europe and Africa
from Asian sites, that lack Acheulian-type artifacts

IV. The Rise of Modern Humans

A. Origin of Homo sapiens
                                                     ARCHEOLOGY NOTES, PAGE 19

- probably evolved from a Homo ergaster-like species

- by 500 - 200 Ka there were forms intermediate between H. ergaster/"erectus" and H. sapiens

 1. Most Popular Origin Theories for Modern Humans Include:

  a. Multi-Regional Hypothesis (also referred to as the “Continuity” or “Candelabra” Model)

- states that modern humans evolved from several "stocks" of Homo ergaster / "erectus" that
migrated from Africa

  b. Out of Africa Hypothesis (also referred to as the “African Origins”, “Total Replacement”,
“Noah‟s Ark” or “Eve” Model)

- states that humans evolved from a single stock of H. ergaster / "erectus" from Africa, that later
migrated and replaced older groups; this is the most popular theory
- evidence for the “Out of Africa” Hypothesis primarily includes data from mitochondrial DNA
(mtDNA), which may indicate the origin of humans at about 200 Ka (although others say the
origin was at about 800 Ka, which fits bettter with the archeological and fossil records)
- there may have been an early dispersal of anatomically modern-looking Homo sapiens from
Africa at about 100 Ka; there may have been a substantial “bottleneck” of population after that,
with numbers dropping to as low as 10,000 individuals (although this theory is controversial)

Archeological evidence supporting the “Out of Africa” Hypothesis includes:

- there are several hominid skulls from Ethiopia dated at about 154-160 Ka that have features
intermediate between “Archaic” Homo and modern humans
- there are sophisticated bone tools, including barbed points for fishing, from Zaire dated at 90

 2. But new fossils can mess up theories!

- Homo floresiensis, a tiny (adults 42 inches high!) island species from Indonesia, is similar to
Homo ergaster and the Dmanisi specimens; it may have lived as late as 18,000 years ago (if true,
this greatly changes our ideas of the diversity and distribution of ancient hominids)

  3. "Archaic Homo sapiens"
- approximately 850 to 500 Ka; may include at least one new species (several species have been
described, including Homo heidelbergensis, Homo antecessor, and Homo rhodesiensis)
- similar fossils are found in Africa, Europe and probably China
- the skulls of "Archaic Homo sapiens" had some neanderthal-like features; the skull was long
with a retreating forehead behind large brow ridges, with the skull angled at the back; prominent
face and nose; the cranium was more inflated than H. erectus with brain size at approximately
1100-1300 ml; "Archaic Homo sapiens" had changes in the base of the skull that may indicate
larynx development(?)
                                                      ARCHEOLOGY NOTES, PAGE 20

- skeleton poorly known, but may have been robust and muscular as in H. erectus
- stone tools begin to decrease in size but some older forms preserved; small handaxes made on
flakes rather than on cores; other flake tools may have been hafted onto handles or spears
- a skull from Bodo, Ethiopia may have cut marks on the forehead and in the orbit of the eye; this
may indicate the skull was defleshed, indicating cannibalism?; there is also evidence of
butchering marks and possible cannibalism on 400 Ka-old Homo antecessor bones from Gran
Dolina, Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain

 4. Human Evolution during the Middle to Upper Paleolithic, 300 to 40 Ka

Important changes occurred during this interval, including:

   a. Increased Brain Size
- from about 1,100ml to 1,450 ml (for comparison, modern human brain size ranges from 1,000
to 2,000 ml)

   b. Changes in Physical Form
- the skeleton becomes less robust, the chin often more prominent, with small (or lacking) brow
ridges, smaller teeth, and a high rounded skull

 c. Increased Population numbers and densities

   d. Many Technological Innovations
- invention of the atlatl (spear-thrower), bone and wood tools of diverse types, and techniques for
extracting a large amount of cutting edge from a single stone

  e. Increased aesthetic expression with manufacture of figurines (usually in bone or stone),
production of wall paintings and rock carvings, burials, and production of objects for personal

  f. Shift from generalized hunting-gathering to concentrating (in some areas) on herd animals
such as deer, reindeer and horses

   g. Appearance of many artifact styles and trade in exotic items, with the first manifestation of
regional “ethnic identities”
- this changes may indicate the total restructuring of social relationships during the Middle and
Upper Paleolithic

 B. Homo neanderthalensis
- neandertals were mostly a European and western Asian species
- “early pre-Neandertals” are dated at 400 Ka; early Homo neanderthalensis by 150 Ka; “classic
neandertals” by 70 Ka; the last neandertals are dated at approximately 27 Ka
- Homo neanderthalensis differs from modern humans in the virtual absence of a “chin”; they
had large cheekbones, prominent brow ridges, a “bun”-shaped skull; prognathism (protruding
                                                     ARCHEOLOGY NOTES, PAGE 21

lower face), strong jaw apparatus with large front teeth; neandertals were short (average 5 ft.) but
with a powerful stature with thick and slightly-curved longbones; the cranial capacity of
neandertals falls within the range of modern humans, but brain size is actually larger on average
for the “classic western-type” neandertals versus modern humans
- the reconstruction of the vocal apparatus in neandertals may indicate that they had less
linguistic ability versus modern humans (they may not have been able to make certain vowel and
consonant sounds)
 - neandertals were probably not ancestral to Homo sapiens (they have too many distinctive
features, and DNA recovered from several neandertal skeletons probably indicate that they are a
distinct species)
- However, some paleoanthropologists believe that a child buried at Largo Velho in Portugal at
27 Ka is a hybrid between a neandertal and a modern human

 1. Mousterian Tradition
- attributed to neandertals, and dates from approximately 100 to 40 Ka
- during neandertal times, hand axes declined and the “flake tradition” became dominant
- the Mousterian Tradition involved striking a flake from the underside of a prepared "tortoise-
shell" core (the Levallois Technique) to produce many tools from one core; later Mousterian
traditions removed many flakes from the edges of a core (the Discoidal Core/Disk Core
- these techniques allowed for the production of many types of tools (hand axes, side scrapers,
denticulates and notched); many of these were Composite Tools (the artifacts were made with
more than 1 component, with the stone tools “hafted” onto a shaft of wood or bone)

Why different tool groups? - Different cultures?, Different activities? or Different ages?

 2. Habitation Sites
- neandertals had low population densities
- they often lived in caves and rock shelters (especially during winter)
- some open sites are known, with evidence that some neandertals lived in tents

 3. Food
- neandertals were skilled hunters; they ate a wide variety of animal species, including large game
- many injuries (especially healed fractures to the upper part of the body) may indicate that they
hunted large herbivores

 4. Burials
- believed to have had ceremonial burials with grave goods (therefore there was probably a belief
in an afterlife, although some archeologists claim that there were no intentional neandertal
- there is some evidence of cannibalism at Krapina, Croatia, with 20 neandertal men, women and
children with smashed skulls and longbones

  5. Art
- neandertals do not appear to have made art objects, except for a few in the Chatelperonian (the
                                                      ARCHEOLOGY NOTES, PAGE 22

latest period of neandertal history)

C. Upper Paleolithic

- approximately 35 - 9 Ka
- during most of the period there were cool summers and mild winters
- Upper Paleolithic industries were evidently produced by Homo sapiens sapiens (modern

  1. Upper Paleolithic Tool Industries
- lithic industries are often typified by "punch-struck" blades (Blades are long and narrow flakes
produced from specialized cores with a prismatic form)
- blades could serves as blanks for producing many standard and specialized tools such as burins
(engraving tools for grooving bone and antler to make tools), scrapers, piercing and boring tools
- atlatls (spear throwers) were common
- from 13 to 11 Ka with the production of beautiful bone and antler objects such as harpoons and
spearthrowers that were widely traded (indicate establishment of social networks)
- Upper Paleolithic peoples produced Composite Tools (tools made from more than one
component, with blades or points hafted to a shaft)

  2. Upper Paleolithic Economies
- with generalized economies; often hunted herd animals, with “big game” such as mammoths,
deer and horses important (some French sites contain up to 99% reindeer remains)
- some hunting involved “drives”, with groups coming together to stampede herd animals over
cliffs or into bogs
- site densities are high (especially in France), with sites usually found around water and with
good views of the landscape
- many skeletons have evidence of rickets, malnutrition and other diseases and deformities (in
one study of 76 skeletons from Europe and Asia, less than half reached the age of 21, only 12%
were over 40, and no females lived past the age of 30!)
- in western Europe with caves and rock shelters; northern and eastern Europe with skin tents (on
the steppe and tundra)

  4. Religion and Upper Paleolithic Art
- earliest undisputed “art” consists of Middle Paleolithic (67-75 Ka) engravings and ornaments

  a. Burials
- with ceremonial burials and abundant and distinctive grave goods (ornaments may establish
"personal" and "corporate" identity of the individual)

   b. Upper Paleolithic Art
- largest sites contain the most art objects (were bands coming together for hunting, rituals, etc.?)

 Mobilary art - small engraved, sculptured or carved objects
                                                    ARCHEOLOGY NOTES, PAGE 23

  Cave Art - consist primarily of engravings, paintings and carvings of animals hunted; mostly by
Magdalenian "reindeer hunters"; "sanctuary" caves possibly painted in a specific order for
religious purposes(?)
- the purposes of cave art may have been for 1)Sympathetic Magic (to insure success in hunting
or other activities) 2)Cosmological Significance (how Upper Paleolithic peoples viewed the
universe; many cave art figures are superposed on each other, suggesting rituals) 3)Calendars (as
suggested by some line marks) 4)At least some of the art appears to be due to people in an
“entopic” state (the makers of the art were in altered states of consciousness, due to
hallucinogens or trances)

 D. Paleoindians

- the earliest Americans were Homo sapiens sapiens (fully-modern humans)

 1. North American Pleistocene Climate

   a. Wisconsin Glaciation
- final glacial period approximately 70 -10 Ka; maximum Wisconsin Glaciation at about 18-14
- with extensive development of the Cordilleran Ice Sheet and with cooler (and wetter) climates
in western North America
- in eastern North America with Laurentide Ice Sheet in Great Lakes area; south of this with 40-
60 mile-wide tundra belt; boreal forests (the taiga) extending about 1100 miles south of present
boundary, and warm-temperate oak-hickory-southern pine forests in the Gulf and lower Atlantic
Coastal Plain area

   b. Bering Land Bridge (Beringia)
- lower sea levels (greater than 300 feet lower at 18 Ka) caused by the Pleistocene glaciation
exposed the Bering Strait between Asia and North America
- during some periods Beringia supported grasses, with herbivores (bison, caribou, mammoth,
horse, 2 types of musk ox, wild sheep), arctic predators, and man crossing the land bridge
- Paleoindians moved southward into North America; they may have moved between the
Laurentide and Cordilleran Ice Sheets down the “ice-free corridor” between 30 -14 Ka(?)
- there were also unglaciated coastal areas, with shellfish, marine fish, seals and other sea
mammals utilized by paleoindians (this may represent an alternate route for colonizing the

   c. Siberian Cultures
- probably gave rise to Paleo-Indian Cultures (Native Americans have similar DNA to
populations in the Altai Region of Siberia)
- the Mal'ta (25-13 Ka) and Dyukhtai (or Diuktai; 18-12 Ka) Cultures include mammoth and
musk ox hunters with well-made bifacial (flaked on both sides) projectile points and knives; the
Uptar region of northeastern Siberia has finely-worked spear points dated at 8.5-8 Ka
                                                      ARCHEOLOGY NOTES, PAGE 24

  d. Many archeologists/anthropologists state that there were at least three "waves" of Native
American immigration [#1 = Amerind, #2 = Na-Dene (Athabaskan), # 3 = Aleut-Eskimo], but
the number and timing of migrations is controversial
- data for migrations is based on incisor tooth "shoveling", blood proteins, DNA and languages;
DNA studies indicate there are 5 main genetic groups of native Americans, but probably one
migration event was most important
- However, the discovery of "Kennewick Man" (a 9.3 Ka-old skeleton from Washington state,
which may have caucasoid features and with similarities to peoples from southeast Asia and the
Pacific Islands), as well as further DNA and language studies indicate that immigration patterns
are probably more complex than previously believed

2. "Pre - Llano Cultures"

- sites much older than 15 Ka often not accepted because of problems of:

  a. Artifacts versus Geofacts
- geofacts are “natural stone objects”, which may sometimes be confused for human-made

  b. Recognition of Bone Tools
- some believe that at the earliest tool-making stage paleoindians could not manufacture thin,
biface points (had large, heavy stone tools made by percussion and "bone splinter" tools); bone
tools are often not preserved in the archeological record
- also, bone modified by natural processes may sometimes resemble human-worked bone

  c. Identification of "Features"
- it is sometimes difficult to differentiate “natural features” from those produced by humans

 d. Correlating Artifacts, Bone Beds etc. with Dates

  e. Accepting Dates as Valid
- but dates at Meadocroft Rockshelter, Pennsylvania (ca. 17-14 Ka) and Monte Verde, Chile (ca.
15.5-15 Ka) are relatively secure

 3. Clovis (Llano) Culture
- sites with calibrated Carbon-14 dates at 13.1-12.9 Ka; in unglaciated parts of North America;
often found in dry grassland areas, but also other varied environments
- with Clovis points [large, fluted, lanceolate spear points (or knives?)]; also a few blades, burins,
long bone points and shaft wrenches
- in Plains and southwestern U.S. points usually found with mammoth and extinct bison; also
camels, horses, deer and (in northeastern North America) with caribou; also probably ate a wide
variety of small game (rabbits, etc.) and plant foods
- Eastern North America with more variation in size, shape and technique of manufacture of
fluted points than is seen in western North America; woodland areas often with 12-30 cm-long,
                                                     ARCHEOLOGY NOTES, PAGE 25

unfluted points

4. Monte Verde
- a wetland site in south-central Chile, South America dated from 15 to 15.5 Ka
- this is a very unusual "paleoindian" site, where 20 to 30 people lived a semi-sedentary
existence, utilizing a wide variety of resources within three miles of their settlement
- recovery of perishable remains indicate that the Monte Verde people lived in tent-like wood-
frame houses covered with hide, ate considerable plant foods, and utilized medicinal plants
- an older (controversial) layer of possible cultural origin at Monte Verde has been dated at 32.8
to 33.9 Ka

V. The World Transformed: From Foragers and Farmers to States and Empires

 A. “The Mesolithic”
- the hunting-gathering stage following the Upper Paleolithic and preceding the Neolithic, with
shift to a more varied economy
- the term “Mesolithic” is primarily European terminology (it is approximately equivalent to
“Epipaleolithic” in Southwest Asia and “Archaic” in North America)
- after 16 Ka with warming trend and melting of ice sheets in many regions; Pleistocene tundra
(which supported herds of large ice age mammals) disappears and is replaced by forests, etc.

The Shift to a More Varied Mesolithic Economy Results in:

  1. Greater nutritional security (?)

   2. Elaboration of cultural inventory
- different foods require different tools; extensive use of composite tools, microliths (small flakes
inserted into wooden or bone to make “composite tools”); bow and arrow important)

   3. Specific knowledge of food resources
- intentional management of selected plant species

  4. Some areas with sedentary settlement and greater social complexity

   5. Trade Expands
- amber and first polished stone axes

  6. Burials more complex

B. Origins of Agriculture

- for 99% of man's time on Earth he was a hunter-gatherer; farming originated during the
Neolithic ("New Stone Age"); there was an evolution from a food-gathering to a food-producing
                                                     ARCHEOLOGY NOTES, PAGE 26


1. Definition of the Neolithic

 a. "Classic" definition with:

 a1. polished stone axes

 a2. domesticated animals

 a3. pottery

- but problems as some pottery and polished stone axes are pre-Neolithic, and earliest
domesticates are hard to recognize

 2. Neolithic Economic Changes

  a. Humans modify and utilize environment more efficiently
- with smaller territories and heavier toolkits (grinding stones, axes, hoes) and houses

  b. Food surpluses, increased population and changes in society
- with ownership and inheritance of resources
- food storage technology developed (storage jars, grain bins, etc.); transport technology
developed (for food harvesting and carrying water); tool technology develops (first wood and
stone; later bronze and iron)
- bad news! = with initial decrease in health of farmers (poorer nutrition than hunter-gatherers,
famine, communicable diseases resulting from higher population densities)

3. Theoretical Considerations

 a. Descriptive Approaches

When, where and what steps led to domestication?

Stages include:

Foraging and Unintentional Tending of Plants - foraging for wild vegetable foods, gathering nuts,
harvesting wild grasses, digging tubers and using fire to encourage regeneration of grasses and
edible plants; the influence of humans leads to accidental seed dispersal and genetic changes in

Cultivation - deliberate care afforded the propagation of a species (but cultivation does not imply
full domestication); cultivation influences the life cycle of plants to produce larger quantities of
food or to obtain plant products with greater ease; cultivation includes tending (remove
competing species, weed soil; impossible to identify in the archeological record), tilling (use
                                                     ARCHEOLOGY NOTES, PAGE 27

digging sticks or hoes to encourage seed germination, increase moisture retention and aerates
soil), transplantation (dig plants up and move to new location; cultivation may lead to new
genetic characteristics and hybridization), sowing seeds (disperse seeds, store seeds, clear plots,
select useful genetic traits)

Plant Domestication - with cultural selection of useful traits; domestication produces "new
species" that depend upon humans for their existence; farmers increase production by clearing
natural habitats and creating a favorable environment for plant growth; this results in "field
agriculture" where only a few species are grown in carefully chosen combinations (Ex. = maize,
beans and squash in North America)

 b. Explanatory Approaches

How and why did domestication occur?

  b1. Oasis Theory
- Climate change caused concentration of humans, animals and plants in "biotic refuges" (?)
- but there is no evidence of more arid climates at the end of the Pleistocene as proposed by
- "Push Theories" state that climate changes and population increases "pushed" hunter-gatherers
into farming

 b2. Presence of potential domesticates and "Cultural Receptiveness" in a single area(?)

  b3. Demographic Theories
- Demography is the study of processes which contribute to population structure and their
temporal and spatial dynamics
- During the Neolithic there was a gradual change in population structure with "Positive
Feedback" increasing plant productivity, therefore more people, therefore population pressure,
therefore more experimentation in attempt to increase productivity, therefore increase in plant
productivity, therefore more population, etc., etc. (?)
- "Pull Theories" state that attractive resources (grain, herd animals) "pulled" hunter-gatherers
into taking advantage of these resources

   b4. Social Model
- increasing demand for trade goods forced the increase in the production of surplus goods (so
that "luxury items" could be "purchased")

Feasting Hypothesis - food and feasting are important in social competition among individuals
and groups

 4. Nuclear Center
- region with a natural environment which includes a variety of wild plants and animals both
possible and ready for domestication; initially there were few domesticates
- Nuclear Centers include China, India, the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, eastern United
                                                     ARCHEOLOGY NOTES, PAGE 28

States, Mexico, Peru and the New Guinea highlands

5. Biological Aspects of Plant and Animal Domestication

 a. Plant Domestication

- carbohydrate-rich cereals are most important

  a1. Problems and Solutions in Plant Domestication
- Brittle rachis holds seeds in heads and therefore must select for tough rachis
- Wild cereal grains have tough coverings (husks), and therefore must select for less tough husks
- Wild grains are native to hilly slopes, and therefore the farmers had to introduce to river
floodplains where productivity could increase

 a2. Plant Domesticates

- all major civilizations have been based on cultivation of one or more of following: wheat,
barley, millet, rice, maize and potatoes

- Emmer and einkorn wheat and barley were first domesticated in the Fertile Crescent by 9.8 Ka

- Chinese millet domesticated by 7.5 Ka, African millet by 3 Ka

- Rice first domesticated in Yangtze Valley, China at 8.5 Ka; rice now provides 21% of the
calories consumed by humans worldwide

- Maize (corn) domesticated from teosinte grass in Mexico by 4.7 Ka

- Potatoes were domesticated in Peru by 5 to 4 Ka , with some data indicating domestication as
early as 7.5 Ka

 b. Animal Domestication

  b1. Why herd?
- Herding provides a regular supply of meat, milk, cheese, and butter; skins for clothes, tents,
leather shields and armor; later domesticates used as pack animals and for plowing; also for
riding, pulling wagons, etc.

  b2. Wild versus Domesticated Characteristics
- Domesticated animals are typically herd animals (gregarious); probably first domesticates were
captured young of wild animals (tough to determine in the archeological record)
- Early herders typically selected for features that are not preserved in the archeological record
(more milk, meat, egg or wool production, etc.)
- domesticated animals are smaller; the skull shortens; the teeth are smaller (these features are
preserved); farmers prefer to slaughter non-breeding (usually young) animals, and do not
                                                      ARCHEOLOGY NOTES, PAGE 29

slaughter their “breeding stock”

 b3. Types of Animals

Dogs - domesticated from wolves independently in Eurasia (by 12 Ka), the Americas (by 10Ka)
and Australia (by 6 Ka); dogs have been used for hunting, hauling, herding and eating

Pigs - probably domesticated independently in the Fertile Crescent (by 8 Ka), China (8.5 Ka), the
islands of southeast Asia, and in Europe

Sheep - domesticated from mouflon (red) sheep in the Fertile Crescent by 8.7 Ka

Goats - domesticated from the Persian wild goat (the bezoar) in the Fertile Crescent by 9 Ka

Cattle - domesticated from the huge wild cattle (aurochs) of the western Fertile Crescent and
Anatolia by 7.8 Ka (Zebu and Taurine Cattle had separate domestications); cattle have been used
for food, hides, draft animals, and for religious purposes

Horses - used as food in the late Neolithic; the domestic ass appears in Egypt and the Syro-
Arabian region during the 4th millennium BC (most common equid during ancient times; used
for plowing and as a beast of burden); horses began to be used as draft animals about 4.3 Ka in
southern Russia and western Asia, and about 4 Ka in Europe (horses are often associated with the
elite classes, and were used to draw light chariots)

New World domesticated animals are not as common as Old World; the llama (derived from the
wild guanaco) and guinea pigs were domesticated in Peru from 5 to 4 Ka

C. Consequences of Agriculture

  1. Sedentary Societies
- with development of farming communites, construction of permanent structures
- eventual development of Urbanized Societies (cities are defined as having more than 5,000

  2. Agricultural Intensification
- use draft animals in plowing, transport, etc.
- rise of irrigation agriculture (with eventual development of “hydraulic states”)

  3. Social Complexity
- with differences in social status as reflected by difference in grave goods, houses, etc.

- Marxian Models stress that wealth differentials arise and the “elites” control land and/or luxury
good distribution
- ruling classes develop state, laws and church to justify, protect and perpetuate their economic
and political privileges
                                                     ARCHEOLOGY NOTES, PAGE 30

- grains store well and can be used to control the masses
- Marxian models are tough to prove archeologically

  4. Material Culture
- adoption of pottery, polished stone axes and items of personal adornment
- eventual development of Craft Specialization and widespread exchange of goods
- from here a centralized economy may develop, with accumulation of capital and social status
through tribute and taxation (with priesthood and bureaucrats, record keeping, monumental
architecture, etc.)

  5. Warfare
- warfare may be associated with population growth and environmental circumscription
(productive areas are surrounded by non-productive areas); bureaucracy develops to administer
taxes and slaves; leads to more social complexity
- indicated in the archeological records by burials exhibiting violent deaths, mass graves, etc.

VI. From Foragers to Complex Societies in Southwest Asia

A. Epipaleolithic Hunters-Gatherers
- approximately 22-10.5 Ka; used a broad range of plant and animal resources for food;
development of hunting techniques utilizing microliths, or small stone tools (the classification of
Epipaleolithic cultures is partly based on the types of microliths used)

1. Early Epipaleolithic
- includes the Kebara Cultures, dated at approximately 22 to 14.5 Ka (these cultures produced
non-geometric microliths)
- best-known Kebaran site is Ohalo II (dated to 19 Ka), on ancient Lake Lisan (an inland sea that
now includes the Sea of Galilee, Dead Sea and Jordan Valley); people lived in oval brush huts;
gathered wide variety of plants (used over 100 plant species including acorns, emmer wheat,
barley and legumes), hunted gazelles and ate a wide variety of other mammals and fish

2. Late Epipaleolithic in the Levant (approximately 14.5-10.5 Ka)
- increased sedentism with development of larger communities; intensification of food storage
with heavy grinding and pounding implements (with processing and storage of wild grain and
other seeds)

  a. Natufian Culture
- in Palestine
- with intensification of sedentary settlements, larger occupational sites, ground stone implements
for pounding and grinding, and increased population
- people collected wild plants (with microlith sickles; especially used crescent-shaped “lunate”
microliths, probably used to cut wild cereal grains), stored and roasted plants in pits; and hunted
- larger communities, in which people probably lived half a year or more; with low stone walls
                                                      ARCHEOLOGY NOTES, PAGE 31

built in caves or with round houses
- increase in use of personal adornment and with long-distance trade
- development of cemeteries with differential mortuary practices (therefore with the probable
development of social classes)
- in the Zagros Mountains, sheep and goat domestication may have been established by 9 Ka
(although this early date is somewhat controversial and not accepted by many archeologists)

 3. Aceramic Neolithic (approximately 11.6 to 8.9 Ka)
- no pottery; includes the "Pre-Pottery Neolithic A or PPNA" and "Pre-Pottery Neolithic B or
PPNB" cultures of the Levant and Syria
- domesticated barley, wheat, lentils, sheep, goats; hunted gazelles using “kite enclosures”
- replacement of microliths by one-piece arrowheads; with increase in warfare
- probable development of female and male divinities (with “goddess” and bull figurines)
- late aceramic sites with production of blades from naviform cores (these are bidirectional cores
with alternate removal of blades from each end)
- in later aceramic sites there is indication that each household became more self-sufficient (each
had its own storage and food-processing equipment)
- during late aceramic with many sites abandoned (environmental degradation and

  a. Jericho, Israel
- with some of the earliest evidence of large-scale communal construction and social statification;
probable a chieftain society; built a substantial settlement (population probably about 450
people) with substantial stone walls at about 7000 BC; traded in obsidian, turquoise, cowrie
shells; with differential burials indicating probable social stratification; with ancestor worship (as
indicated by the "plastered skulls" of Jericho)

   b. Çatal Hüyük (Catalhöyük)
- largest and best known Neolithic site in the Near East; probably had a population of 4,000 to
- on the Anatolian Plateau (Peninsular Turkey); the region had low rainfall (8-10 inches) with
sites developed upon an alluvial fan
- at Çatal Hüyük, there are 12 levels dated at 9.3 to 8.2 Ka
- rectangular houses (mud brick; with storerooms; roof entries); many plants were utilized; cattle
especially important (but also with hunting); obsidian trade possibly controlled by "Big Men";
pottery at approximately 7.9 Ka
- religious shrines with depictions of fertility goddess, with women giving birth to bulls and
riding leopards; stylized bull heads with arrangements of cattle skulls and horns; images of
vultures ripping apart headless human corpses
- corpses appear to have been taken outside the settlement until the flesh was gone, then the
bones of the dead were buried under a few “special” houses; most graves had no grave goods,
but a few women and children were buried with ornaments and some men were buried with
                                                     ARCHEOLOGY NOTES, PAGE 32

VII. East Asian Agriculture and Its Impact

A. Origin of Millet Cultivation

- millet agriculture developed along the Huanghe River (or Hwang Ho, the Yellow River Valley)
of northern China; Northern China has relatively cold and arid plains with rich loess soils (loess
also requires little plowing, and retains water)
- millet is quick-maturing and drought-resistant; the seeds are eaten, and the stems can be used
for food, fuel and fodder
- farming in northern China was based on cereals and seeded plants (besides millet, they also
grew sorghum, hemp, and mulberry; used rapeseed and soybean oil for cooking), and pigs for

  1. Hunter-Gatherer sites before c. 7500 B.C.
- harvested green foxtail Millet (used denticulate tools for cutting grass and grinding stones for
processing seeds)
- possible remains of domestic dog and pig at c. 10,500 to 7,500 B.C.

  2. Agricultural Sites after 6,000 B.C.
- with cultivation of millet
- by 6,000 B.C. with evidence for sedentary Neolithic villages, with semi-subterranean houses
(“pithouses”) and storage pits
- with microlithic industries; production of spades, axes, cord-marked pottery and ceramic
spindle whorls
- by 6,500 B.C. with use of turtle shells with incised symbols (for divination); dead buried in

 3. Neolithic Cultures

   a. Yangshao Culture (approximately 5200 to 3000 BC)
- a Neolithic culture developed over much of the Huanghe (Huang Ho, or "Yellow") River Basin
- villages were built on terraces overlooking fertile floodplains; with semi-subterranean houses
and millet storage pits (some above-ground houses also present)
- villages were often abandoned, due to the need for movement involved in “slash-and-burn”
- used hoes and digging sticks to farm foxtail millet; also raised pigs, ducks, cattle, sheep and
- made cooking pots for steaming food; kiln-fired ceramic vessels produced have a distinctive,
naturalistic/geometric art style
- with inhumation cemeteries with differentiation of grave goods (probably due to increased
social stratification); evidence of shamanistic ritualism
- increase in defensive ditches around settlements

B. Origins of Rice Cultivation (The Yangzi River Valley)
                                                     ARCHEOLOGY NOTES, PAGE 33

- Southern and Eastern China is relatively warm and wet, forming wetland environments with
many lakes; domesticated animals include water buffalo and pigs

  1. Gathering Wild Rice
- approximately 10,000 to 6000 BC with cultivation of wild rice (probably by shell knives)
- production of pottery indicated by poorly-fired sherds

  2. Transition from Wild to Cultivated Rice
- by 8000 to 6000 BC remains (phytoliths) from rice seed heads dominate, indicating grain
harvesting (but both wild and domesticated rice are found at sites)
- with pottery sherds and spindle whorls (indicates making yarn for weaving)

  3. Development of Permanent Villages (the Chinese Early Neolithic)
- approximately 7000 to 6000 BC with houses, ceramics tempered with rice husks and straw,
inhumation cemeteries

  4. Later Neolithic Cultures
- by approximately 4500-3300 BC; used wetlands for rice cultivation; multi-roomed rectangular
houses in walled towns; with irrigation ditches and ridged rice fields; hunted, fished, raised pigs
and domesticated cattle; indication of social stratification in grave goods

C. Expansion of Rice Farmers into Southeast Asia

- accompanied by spread of Austroasiatic languages (it is believed that Austroasiatic and
Austronesian languages originated in the Yangzi Valley)

  1. Southern China (3500 BC), Vietnam (2000BC), Khorat Plateau (Thailand; 2300 BC),
Mekong Delta and Bangkok Plain (2500 to 2000 BC)
- presence of Chinese-style pottery, spindle whorls, jade working and burial styles indicates
spread of rice agriculture and Chinese influence down the rivers into southeast Asia (but these
Chinese cultures mixed with the indigenous hunter-gatherers)

  2. Korea
- early Korean cultures stressed maritime hunting and gathering; presence of millet and slate hoes
in Chulmun Culture (6000 to 4500 BC) indicate agricultural origins from northeastern China
- rice cultivation was not until 2000 BC (due to colder temperatures on the Korean Peninsula);
economic surplus associated with rice agriculture led to the rise of the Korean elite (with dolmen
tombs containing fine ceramics and jade grave goods)

 3. Japan

  a. Jomon Culture
- hunter-gatherers (10,500 to 300 BC) with sedentary settlements, cord-marked pottery (oldest
pottery dated to 14,000 BC)
                                                     ARCHEOLOGY NOTES, PAGE 34

- relied heavily on marine resources and wild plants and (later) with rice agriculture
- probably ancestral to the modern Ainu peoples

  b. Yayoi Culture
- approximately 300 BC to 300 AD; with intrusion of people from southern Korea (based on
skeletal evidence); types of rice fields, burials and tools indicate contact with Korea and/or China
- grew rice, wheat, barley, millet, fruits and nuts; lived in moated villages near fields; with
female shaman leaders interred in large mounded graves

VIII. Australia and the Austronesians

A. Australian Prehistory

  1. Climate
- humid coastal areas
- the arid interior, or "Outback", now constitutes approximately two-fifths of Australia

  2. First Settlement
- may have been first settled approximately 50-70 Ka, but certainly by 40 Ka
- may have been settled from "accidental" sea voyages by rafts or logs, but the early settlers
would have been floating against the currents and one open-water crossing was more than 50
- by 10 Ka had settled in all major environmental zones

  3. Cultures
- Australia/Tasmania/New Guinea cultures are very conservative
- earliest sites with adzes, bone points, human incisor teeth knocked out by a sharp blow (very
similar to "modern" aboriginal cultural traits); art possibly as old as European Upper Paleolithic
- with steep-edged scrapers (for woodworking?) and crude flake tools over a wide area in the
Upper Pleistocene
- approximately 2500 to 1000 BC with stone points set on shafts and other microliths (may have
developed independent of microliths in other areas)

  4. Ethnological Studies
- studies of "modern" aborigines has greatly assisted interpretation of older sites
- daily life with band consisting of a man, his wife or wives, children and aged relatives
- type of food eaten depends on local resources but most with a predominant contribution from
plant foods
- largest social group is the "tribe" of approximately 1,000 individuals
- religion based on worship of totemic ancestors; with rock carvings and paintings (earliest at 20-
30 Ka); rock piles representing ancestors and stone alignments; also earthworks and burial
mounds of dirt
- regional rock art, cemeteries and large base camps may indicate development of a more
                                                     ARCHEOLOGY NOTES, PAGE 35

sedentary existence and increased trade through time

  5. Tasmanian Cultures
- environmental shift from warm, moist stable climates to cooler, drier and more variable
climates after 2000 BC caused major changes in settlement, forage and social patterns
- abandoned fishing around 1800 BC; spent more time diving in nearshore marine environments
for molluscs and crustaceans; hunted wallabies and other upland game, also seals and birds

 B. Pacific Area (Oceania)
- probably explored for trade and colonization; colonization of the Pacific originated from Asia
- extensive knowledge of winds, stars and currents allowed colonization of tiny islands
throughout the Pacific
- primarily on the basis of race and language, Oceania is divided into Melanesia, Micronesia, and

  1. Melanesia
- extends from New Guinea eastward to New Caledonia and Fiji
- with mixed racial features (especially negroid and australoid) and diverse cultures
- there are around 800 Papuan languages spoken on New Guinea
- Melanesians used polished stone axes for felling trees; they primarily relied on root crops (taro,
yams, sweet potato); also grew bananas and raised pigs
- in New Guinea farmers began cultivating the broad, fertile valleys within the highlands at
elevations between 4900 to 5600 feet; by 4,000 BC farmers were draining swamps for taro
cultivation; they grew yams, bananas and sugarcane along the valley slopes; pigs were introduced
by approximately 1000 BC

  2. Micronesia
- Lapita Ware occurs in an area of the Pacific about 5,000 miles long (from the Bismarck
Archipelago in Melanesia to Samoa and Fiji in Polynesia); sand/shell-tempered Lapita Ware
appeared at about 1400 - 900 BC; the colonists also introduced distinctive adzes, chisels, shell
ornaments, fishhooks, root crops, pigs, chickens, dogs, etc.); maritime peoples with double-
hulled canoe (the first colonists voyaged eastward against the prevailing winds, took women and
children, and carried livestock, seedlings and rootstock - indicating an intentional exploration of
the Pacific - although this is debated by some archeologists)
- Nan Madol, Micronesia (on Ponape/Pohnpei, Caroline Islands) with ceremonial centers
constructed of man-made islands of basalt and coral and inhabited by nobles and priests from AD
100 to 1600

  3. Polynesia
- there are over 1,000 Austronesian languages (probably originated in Taiwan or southern China);
relationship of east Asians to the Polynesians are also indicated by distinctive material culture
and domesticated animals
- Polynesian myths have been used, along with archeology, to understand Polynesian prehistory
(as illustrated by the excavations of Roy Mata (Roymata), a "mythical" 13th century AD chief
                                                    ARCHEOLOGY NOTES, PAGE 36

found buried with 39 sacrificed subjects)
- the Polynesians grew coconuts on coral islands, breadfruit and taro on volcanic islands (poi is
made by heating, grinding and fermenting taro roots); tanged stone adzes were used for land
clearance and woodworking; with domesticated chickens, pigs, dogs
- Hawaii was first colonized around 600 AD, probably by settlers from the Marquesas or Society
Islands; Tahitian settlers made several voyages to Hawaii, probably ending in the mid-1200s AD;
the Tahitians introduced several religious elements into Hawaiian culture, including the war god
- New Zealand was colonized at approximately 1200 AD; the Maori lived in “Pa” fortifications
as war-like chiefdoms; they were cannibals, hunted the now-extinct moa birds and raised sweet
- Easter Island (Rapa Nui) is located 2500 miles from South America and 1190 miles from the
nearest Polynesian Island; was settled by Polynesians about AD 900; grew banana palms, yam
and taro; devastated forests due to agricultural practices and transport of 7 to 38 foot-high moai
statues erected on top of ahu platforms (the moai date from ca. 1100 to 1650 AD; the heaviest
erected moai weighs about 86 tons; there is one unfinished moai that is 69 feet tall and weighs
about 270 tons!); each social group erected moai to link themselves with their ancestors (the
moai represented deified ancient chiefs?) and indicate genealogy (and territory); at the end of the
17th century moai production ceased, a long period of warfare began, and the Cult of the Bird-
Man developed

IX. Origins of Food-Producing Economies in the Americas

A. "Post-Llano" Great Plains Paleoindian Cultures

- at the end of the Pleistocene “Ice Age”, "modern" local environments began to develop and
many big game animals became extinct

  1. Folsom (Lindenmeier) Culture
- approximately 11 - 10 Ka; found over the High Plains, southwestern North America, the far
West, and to the Great Lakes Region and New Jersey; may include other traditions (such as the
"Midland Tradition" of Texas, dated at 9.7-9.4 Ka)
- arid grasslands present from Alaska to the Gulf of Mexico (the "Great Bison Belt") with Spring
and early Summer rains; bison hunters roamed the grasslands in small family groups; they tended
to return to springs and favored areas on higher ground year after year
- hunted Bison antiquus with Folsom fluted points; most sites are kill sites (some cooperative
bison drives, but mostly represent single kills); also killed deer, mountain sheep, and small
mammals (rabbit, marmot, etc.) and probably ate substantial plant foods
- Folsom points are one of the hardest projectile points to make (their manufacture may indicate
greater social complexity and specialized production by skilled artisans)

  2. Plains Planó Culture
- approximately 11 - 8 Ka
                                                    ARCHEOLOGY NOTES, PAGE 37

- used communal hunting techniques (running bison off cliffs and into arroyos) to kill Bison
occidentalis with a variety of unfluted points (including Alberta, Cody, Frederick, Eden,
Scottsbluff points)
- the communal hunting of the Plains Planó hunters may have been due to drier conditions and
less predictable herd distributions
- by 8 Ka bison herds dwindled

 3. Eastern Forests
- very few sites are older than 9500 BC in the northern portion of eastern North America
- in the lower Midwest with many point styles (probably indicates utilization of a wide variety of
plant and animal species and may indicate the establishment of territories by different groups)
- during the Late Paleoindian Period there is evidence of the first cemeteries in eastern North

  4. Pleistocene Overkill Hypothesis
- some archeologists believe that population increases among big-game hunters in the Americas
drove the Pleistocene large mammals (the "megafauna") to extinction
- however, many paleontologists and archeologists believe that the climate became drier, water
tables fell, seasonality increased, and these changes actually led to the extinction rather than

  5. Central and South America
- most Central and South American Paleoindian sites are relatively near the coast; some of these
peoples were transhumant (they moved up and down the mountains to exploit various resources
as they came into season)
- Central and South American paleoindians used a wide variety of plants for food, medicine and
construction (diverse artifact assemblages indicate that a wide variety of plant and animal species
were exploited)

 B. The Archaic Period in North and Central America
- approximately 9500 BC to historical times (in some areas)

- American Cultural Areas began to develop during the Archaic; after approximately 5 Ka with
increasing adaptation to local environments and local cultures diverge

 1. Mexican Archaic and the Origin of Agriculture
- approximately 9500 to 2500 BC
- transition to agriculture occurred about 4500 to 2500 BC; domesticated bottle gourd by 8000
BC, maize at ca. 4300 BC (small cobs developed from teosinte grass), squash at ca. 3100 BC,
and beans at approximately 1000 BC
- the earliest villages (from the Tehuacan Valley in Mexico to Guatemala) were tiny hamlets with
10-12 houses and about 50-60 people; the houses were of wattle-and-daub construction (with
sticks, branches and cane woven between vertical poles and plastered with mud); ovens, middens
and graves were common in these villages
- most houses had grinding stones, storage pits, ceramic jars, and contained remains of cottontail
                                                     ARCHEOLOGY NOTES, PAGE 38

rabbits and maize fragments
- the economic impact of early maize agriculture was probably minimal until about 2000 BC,
when farming villages began to appear in Mexico

2. The Southwest

  a. Environments and Subsistence
- the Southwest extends from about Las Vegas, Nevada to Las Vegas, New Mexico and Durango,
Colorado to Durango, Mexico
- includes desert areas, grasslands, uplands, deep canyons, mesas and mountains in several major
physiographic zones; deserts to the south (with creosote bush and bursage), with rugged parallel
mountain ranges in the southern and western parts, the mile-high Colorado Plateau in the central
and northern parts (with arid grasslands giving way to sagebrush and open piñon-juniper at
higher elevations), and the southern Rocky Mountains to the east (mountains often with pine and
- precipitation from less than 8 inches per year in the desert to about 20 inches in the uplands; in
the western part with rain twice a year, from December to March and July to August; to east with
rainfall during July-August
- edible plants include agave, sotol, yucca, cactus fruits, cholla, wild onions and wild potatoes,
hackberry and juniper fruit, nuts and seeds (later with heavy reliance on maize agriculture); hunt
browsing animals (mule deer, bighorn sheep, pronghorn antelope), rabbits and rodents (prairie
dogs, gophers, and voles), birds (for food and religious paraphernalia); all groups with
domesticated dogs, some with domesticated turkeys

 b. Prehistory of the Southwest

  b1. Southwestern Archaic (before 7000 BC to 200 AD)
- climate warmed and vegetation patterns approached present distribution during the Middle
- with sparse populations; often with the same general technological traditions over thousands of
years but with great local and short-term variation
- with mobile populations that relied on smaller animals and plant foods; in later portion of
period local groups began deliberate cultivation of plants, including maize

   b2. Origins of Southwestern Agriculture
- during Late Archaic southwestern groups probably with more formal territorial boundaries; may
have resulted from environmental degradation or population increase, which created an
imbalance between resources and local population densities
- increased sedentary settlements, greater reliance on plant foods, more elaborate storage
technology makes it possible to have more predictable food resources and may stimulate further
population growth; most farming in Southwest was along floodplains and arroyo mouths
- the Chapalote variety (small cob popcorn) of Zea mays (Indian Corn) probably introduced in
central and eastern parts of the Southwest at approximately 2000 BC; arid-adapted Maiz de
Ocho (8-rowed corn) dominated agriculture in the Americas from about AD 1100 to the
European contact
                                                      ARCHEOLOGY NOTES, PAGE 39

- irrigation canals as early as 1400 BC (include the “San Pedro Phase” settlement near Tucson,
Arizona and at Zuni Pueblo, New Mexico)
- San Pedro Phase artifacts are also associated with “Cerros de Trincheras” in southern Arizona
and northern Mexico; these consist of terraced hillsides on which domestic structures were built,
and maize was grown on the river terraces below
- squash appears in the Southwest at ca. 2000 years ago, where it was used for containers and
harvested for seeds and fruits
- common beans probably appeared by 500 BC (beans and maize nutritionally and agriculturally
complement one another)
- turkeys by 800 BC

   b3. Beginnings of Village Farming in the Southwest (The Ancestral Pueblo; AD 200-900)
- often termed the "Basketmaker Culture", these people were distributed over much of the
northern portions of the Southwest
- people began living in sedentary settlements along old river terraces and river valleys and on
mesa tops
- gradual spread of sedentary villages that varied greatly in size; in the northern areas and in the
mountains, people lived in thermally-efficient round or oval pithouses; in southern desert areas
often with rectangular or square houses built in pits
- after 700 A.D. some above-ground masonry structures were built (although most people still
lived in pithouses)
- at first with small manos and basin-like metates to grind wild and domesticated seeds; later
with large slabs or troughs worked with 2-handed manos; bow and arrow (with side-notched and
stem points) introduced; pottery appears about 200 AD for storage and cooking on open fires
- trade includes essential commodities (obsidian, chert, other raw materials), utilitarian artifacts
(Ex. = pottery), luxuries (turquoise, copper bells, seashells), ritual paraphernalia (buffalo hides,
red ocher, macaw feathers, seashells, coiled baskets)
- in all but the smallest villages, there were structures serving special functions (these structures
may represent the origin of Kivas)

3. Eastern North America

  a. Environments and Subsistence
- with great environmental diversity; from taiga (spruce-birch-pine boreal forest) north of Lake
Superior; prairie-parkland from Iowa to the Appalachians; deciduous forest from the Great Lakes
to the Northeast (with sugar maple, beech, yellow birch, hemlock, white pine); toward the south
with red maple and hickory forests giving way to oak-pine woodlands, southern mixed forests,
and swampy areas

 b. Archaic Cultures of Eastern North America

  b1. Early Archaic Cultures in the Eastern Woodlands (approximately 9000 to 6000 BC)
- dozens of styles of points begin to develop; sequence begins with Dalton Points with concave
bases (possibly correlated with spread of deciduous forests), then with corner-notched forms (Ex.
= Kirk Points), then bifurcate-based points and then several types of stemmed forms
                                                    ARCHEOLOGY NOTES, PAGE 40

- hunters depended on a wide variety of game (especially whitetail deer; also bear, elk, fox,
opossum, raccoon, squirrel, rabbit, turkeys, passenger pigeons, turtles, sucker fish, catfish,
drumfish, freshwater mussels and snails); foragers harvested hickory nuts in the fall ("hickory
milk" oil for cooking, stored pounded and dried hickory nut "meat", used shells for fuel); also ate
acorns, walnuts, hazelnuts, chestnuts, pokeweed, berries, roots, and other wild vegetable foods

   b2. Middle to Late Archaic in the Eastern Woodlands (about 6000 to 1000 BC)
- rising population densities may have restricted migration of local groups, with a slow trend
towards sedentary settlements; began to use optimal foraging strategy (has been termed "Primary
Forest Efficiency") to concentrate on a relatively narrow spectrum of readily-exploitable foods
(with careful scheduling to maximize nut harvests and capitalize on game that fed in the forest
each fall)
- rise in sealevel caused abundant floodplain backwater areas and oxbow lakes to form, which are
very rich in aquatic resources (abundant shellfish middens in the Southeast; abundant fish) and
more abundant game (deer, squirrel, cottontail, muskrats) and concentrated plant resources; there
was cultivation of squash, sunflower, goosefoot (or chenopod, Chenopodium) and sumpweed
- more substantial dwellings; often with bluff-top cemeteries with low artificial mounds above
them and with caches and grave goods (development of cemeteries, etc. may indicate that group
territories began to develop)
- earliest pottery at approximately 2500 BC
- in the Northeast, people moved seasonally between the coasts (where they hunted sea mammals
and ate shellfish, as indicated by the development of large shell middens) and the inland areas
(for caribou hunting, fishing, and nut harvesting)

Poverty Point Culture (approximately 1700 to 700 BC) - a Late Archaic Culture in the Lower
Mississippi River Valley and Gulf Coast region of Louisiana; over 100 sites form 10 regional
discrete population clusters, each grouped around a regional center; the Poverty Point peoples
were probably primarily hunter-gatherers, utilizing the abundant local riverine resources; regional
centers were trading centers for raw materials and finished products of argillite, slate, copper,
galena, jasper, quartz and steatite that were traded up to 600 miles away
- the site at Poverty Point, Louisiana is at the confluence of six rivers; there are 6 semicircular
earth ridges, each about 25 meters wide and 3 meters high set about 40 meters apart (houses were
probably built on these ridges); the site may have functioned as a possible equinox "observatory";
it has been suggested that Poverty Point was primarily a mortuary cult center, but few burials
have been found (consisting of a few cremations)

4. Bison Hunters of the Great Plains

  a. Environment and Subsistence
- with 0.5 billion acres of grassland from Canada to the Rio Grande, from the Rocky Mountains
nearly to the Mississippi River
- west of 100th Meridian with "shortgrass prairies" with 15 inches or less rainfall; eastward with
"tallgrass prairies" with up to 40 inches rainfall
- hunter-gatherers tended to concentrate along stream valleys and near streams; ate bison,
                                                     ARCHEOLOGY NOTES, PAGE 41

pronghorn antelope, deer, elk, bear, small vertebrates, fish, and shellfish; also vegetable foods
including prairie turnip, ground nuts, ground beans, sunflower, Jerusalem artichokes, and several
- during the "Altithermal" (Middle Holocene; 8.5-4 Ka) with dry conditions and probable
reduction of human population

  b. Plains Prehistory
- during Early Archaic (5600 BC to 3000 BC) shifted from lanceolate Paleo-Indian points to
side-notched Archaic points (probably for better binding to a foreshaft or spear); subsistence like
Paleo-Indian but relied on greater variety of resources
- Middle Archaic with hotter and drier climates; shifted from bison hunting to a more varied diet
- Late Archaic with a shift to more modern climates; after 2500 BC increased hunting of bison
(especially in the Fall) using bison jumps, arroyos, and artificial corrals; also seasonal hunting of
mountain sheep and mule deer; large numbers of stone circles 10-25 feet in diameter may
indicate appearance of circular lodges or tipis
- during the Late Prehistoric Period (approximately 500 to 1500 AD) with appearance of bow and
arrow (with side-notched projectile points) and increased use of bison jumps led to most
intensive communal bison hunting on foot

5. Northwest Pacific Coast Cultures

  a. Environment and Subsistence
- with warm, moist Pacific air and high rainfall (averages up to 140 inches per year!)
- from Northern California to Alaska with green forested landscape of redwood, spruce, cedar,
hemlock and Douglas fir; provided wood to build large plank houses, canoes, and magnificent
wooden artifacts (these often depicted renowned ancestors or mythical animals)
- rich coastal environments with halibut, herring, smelt, candlefish, salmon, shellfish, waterfowl,
deer, fox and wild plant foods; densest populations were in areas with easy access to the ocean
(especially offshore islands and estuaries)
- range of environments led to widespread trade in acorns, salt, fish, shell artifacts, clothing,
baskets, dogs, obsidian; beads made of clam shells or Olivella shells were often used as "money"

  b. Early and Middle Periods on the Northwest Coast (approximately 9000 BC to 500 AD)
- higher population densities and stabilization of environments may have led to more
homogeneous subsistence patterns and more interaction between groups (for example, there was
a widespread trade in the glassy volcanic rock, obsidian)
- cultures became more sedentary; greater emphasis on marine resources (especially salmon and
halibut, with bent wood and composite fish hooks; also winter shellfish harvests); wider range of
woodworking and craft skills (polished stone adzes and chisels were used to build plank houses)
- by approximately 2500 BC competition over control of resources leads to widespread warfare;
probably accumulated food surpluses; led to complex resource redistribution systems and more
elaborate grave goods
                                                     ARCHEOLOGY NOTES, PAGE 42

 6. Great Basin and Western Interior
- includes 400,000 square mile area between the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada
including nearly all of Nevada and parts of California, Oregon, Utah and Idaho
- during the Early Holocene the climate was cooler and wetter than later periods
- currently, there are about 150 closed basins in the Great Basin region whose waters do not drain
to the sea; includes many environments such as arid plains, high mountains, deep canyons, and
occasional lakes; mobility, flexibility and detailed ecological knowledge were the keys to
survival in this environment
- in the past Great Basin cultures have often been lumped together as the "Desert Culture", but
this now appears to be an oversimplification
- most sites are from the Foothill Zone between 5,000 and 7,000 feet elevation; sagebrush,
juniper-piñon, mountain brush provide food for deer and other game; piñon nuts were a very
important staple food for the natives; they also ate acorns, mesquite beans and screwbeans; the
most important artifacts were wooden digging sticks, flat grinding stones (metates) and small
stone manos used to process seeds, plants and tubers
- riverbanks, marshes and lakes often had nearly year-round settlement with waterfowl (used
blinds, decoys and nets), fish (used basket traps, gill nets, dip nets and spears), muskrats and
other rodents, rabbits (caught with snares and on "rabbit drives"), grasses, wild plants (especially
“pickleweed”) and tubers
- many groups burned natural vegetation to increase plant and game yields

 7. Southern California Coast
- Mediterranean Climate with dry summers and moderate rainfall in winter (total 15 inches or
less per year); greater seasonal temperature differences in inland versus coastal areas
- with abundant marine and land resources that supported large population densities; ocean
upwelling produce abundant schools of sardines, tuna, and albacore; kelp beds with numerous
fish species including bass, halibut and rock cod and sea mammals; seashore environments with
abundant shellfish (such as abalones); approximately 5500 BC to 1100 AD with increase in
maritime exploitation and introduction of plank canoes
- inland sites with abundant mule deer and plant foods (acorns, walnuts, wild cherry, pine nuts,
yucca; seeds from wild herbs and grasses); often with winter camps along the coasts and summer
camps in the interior hills and valleys
- Late Archaic cemeteries with burials with grave goods, but no clear evidence of social ranking

C. The South American Archaic

  1. Pacific Coast Cultures in South America
- earliest shellfish collecting at 10,200 BC and probable harpoons by 9500-7500 BC indicates
early utilization of marine resources
- there was increased use of marine resources during the Middle Archaic (with extensive use of
fishnets) and intensification of uses of maritime resources during the Late Archaic
- with construction of village platforms in Peru by 6000 BC, permanent villages along the
northern coast of South America by 5000 BC; plant cultivation and production of ceramics by
                                                    ARCHEOLOGY NOTES, PAGE 43

approximately 4500 BC
- by Middle Archaic times the Chinchorro Culture of Chile developed a fishing and sea mammal
hunting economy with nets, fishhooks, harpoons, etc.; they mummified the remains of some of
their dead from 6000 to 1700 BC (these are among the earliest mummies in the World)

  2. Andean Highlands
- Archaic sites are best known from the high-altitude grasslands (the paramo or altiplano); Early
Archaic inhabitants used a wide variety of plant and animal species
- Some areas with more sedentary settlements (around Lake Titicaca with ovoid dwellings, llama
and alpaca herding, guinea pig-raising and the beginnings of potato,oca, ullucu, etc. agriculture)
- llama and alpaca were domesticated by ca. 4000-3000 BC; guinea pigs possibly as early as
8000-6500 BC; muscovy ducks at 800 BC; potato at ca. 5500 BC, ullucu at ca. 5100 BC and
common beans at ca. 3000 BC

  3. Atlantic Lowlands
- Middle to Late Archaic (6000 - 1500 BC) with extensive utilization of maritime resources, as
indicated by the development of large Sambaquis (Shell Mounds)

X. Holocene Africa

 A. Hunters and Gatherers
- there was intensified plant use in northeastern Africa (as indicated by mortars and microlith
sickle blades), and by 18-17 Ka in the Nile Valley backed bladelets were used for processing a
variety of animals and plants (including tubers of grasses)
- 15 to 11 Ka with hunting of cattle and other large animals, gathering wild plant foods
(including wild grasses), and the development of cemeteries (with much evidence of societal
- after 10 Ka, Egyptians began domesticating several types of local grasses and began
domesticating cattle (but also experimented in the domestication of mongooses, antelopes such
as gazelles, oryx, and addax, ibex, and even hyena!)

  B. The Beginning of Agriculture in Africa
- possible domestication of cattle in the eastern Sahara by 7000 BC (certainly by 5000 BC); from
there, cattle herding spread to the rest of Africa
- in the Nile Valley and the Fayum Depression with development of pottery, cultivation of barley
and emmer wheat and flax, and raising cattle, sheep, goats, dogs, and pigs by 5000 BC (these
domesticated plants and animals were probably introduced from Syria-Palestine or other regions
in southwest Asia); gradual development of copper metallurgy; these societies would evolve into
the pharonic dynasties
- in West Africa with the development of pearl millet agriculture; grew West African rice and
sorghum in the savanna regions and yams and oil palm in the rainforests
                                                     ARCHEOLOGY NOTES, PAGE 44

 C. Egyptian Civilization

- Egypt is the "gift of the Nile"
- it maintained a very distinctive and conservative culture throughout its history
- lifestyles of the common people are poorly known; they lived in small villages of mud brick
houses along the Nile

 1. Ecological Zones

   a. Nile Valley
- narrow, elongate, very fertile oasis
- hot with sparse rainfall
- the "Lower Nile" forms a broad, fertile delta

   b. Deserts
- surround and isolate Egypt to the East and West
- the desert areas were a source of building stones, copper, gold and silver
- deserts also served as mortuary areas

   c. Forests
- to the South (Nubia) was the source of the Nile's water; with stone for building, gold, human
resources, ivory, skins, timber and other plants
- Egypt also had close ties with the Levant (the eastern Mediterranean region around modern
Lebanon and Israel; the Levant was the source of cedarwood)

 2. Periods

  a. Early Egyptian Agriculture (c. 5200-4000 BC)
- at about 5200 BC first began growing Southwest Asian domesticates including wheat, barley,
sheep and goats
- not much evidence of permanent settlements, with people moving off the Nile floodplain each
year during the annual inundation (the Nile “floods”)
- probably combined agriculture with hunting, fishing and gathering
- Upper Egypt with burials in cemeteries and differences in grave goods

  b. Predynastic Period (c. 4000-3000 BC)
- gradual increase in population, evidence of larger settlements (such as Hierakonpolis),
occupational specialization, and long-distance trade
- urban centers develop as cult centers, centers for craft production, administrative centers, or
military bases
- in Hierakonpolis, people lived in rectangular, semi-subterranean houses of mudbrick and
thatch; people hunted, herded, fished, farmed and made and distributed pottery; they buried their
dead in rock and mudbrick tombs of a size and content that reflects the social power and prestige
of certain individuals
                                                     ARCHEOLOGY NOTES, PAGE 45

- earliest hieroglyphic writing

 c. Dynastic Period

- ancient Egyptian history is subdivided into thirty (or sometimes 31) Dynasties, periods in which
there was strong central authority; these dynasties are separated by Intermediate Periods, with
political instability (possibly triggered by environmental problems)

   c1. Early Dynastic Period (First and Second Dynasties; c. 3100-2700 BC)
- after 3100 BC similar pottery and architectural styles spread over Egypt, massive amounts of
labor and resources were invested in building tombs and monumental buildings, and centralized
political authority appears
- Narmer (the mythological Menes?), was the first “major” pharoah; he appears to have first
united Upper and Lower Egypt; his capital was at Memphis (near Cairo)
- the pharoah controlled all economic exchange; craftsmen, scribes, peasants and everyone else
were required to perform social services in the name of the king
- development of hieroglyphic script (mostly phonetic, with mixture of signs and symbols); there
was later development of the hieratic and demotic scripts (these scripts were more abstract and
cursive, and were easier to write on papyrus with a reed pen and ink)
- long-distance trade, science and architecture further develop; first use of stone in construction
(although mostly with mud brick architecture)
- first Mastaba tombs [rectangular brick structures with burials inside or (later) beneath]
- with political turmoil and religious unrest

   c2. Old Kingdom (Third thru Sixth Dynasties; 2700-2190 BC)
- period of economic prosperity and political unity
- shift from pastoralism (herding) to grain agriculture
- with a strong centralized government; pharoah became a "living god"; controls wealth and
redistribution of goods; palaces become large, with columned halls
- Egypt divided into provinces (nomes) with nomarchs in charge
- first major commercial and political expeditions are conducted to Nubia, the Sinai, and the
- no institutional slavery; royal labor (consisting of peasants) conduct the first monumental
building projects including the pyramids (especially during the Third and Fourth Dynasties) and
Solar Cult Temples (Fifth Dynasty)
- worship of sun god (Re or Ra) becomes important
- decline of absolute power of the monarch at the end of the Old Kingdom period may have been
due to the increased importance of the solar cult at Heliopolis (with an increase in the power of
the priesthood and nomarchs)

- pyramid construction was accompanied by the building of temples and mummification
(preserves the body for the pharoah to enjoy the pastimes of life throughout eternity, and was
important for the pharoah to perform his duties, after death, to keep the state going)
- pyramids were constructed on the west bank of the Nile, mostly just north of Memphis; the
                                                    ARCHEOLOGY NOTES, PAGE 46

pyramids were surrounded by mastaba tombs for the pharoah's relatives and important
government officials

- The "Stepped Pyramid" of Djoser (Djer) at Saqqara was the first large pyramid constructed; it is
over 60 meters tall and is surrounded by large buildings and a 9 meter-thick, 1.6 kilometer-long,
stone wall

- the Great Pyramid of Giza is 481 feet (146 m) high and covers 13.1 acres, with many associated
buildings and other structures; it required quarrying, transport, preparation and laying about
2,300,000 stone blocks, each weighing about 2.5 tons; 84,000 people, working 80 days a year,
would take about 20 years to complete the Great Pyramid

   c3. First Intermediate Period (Seventh through mid-Eleventh Dynasties; c. 2190-2033 BC)
- climate problems (such as drought) may have led to a breakdown in central authority, resulting
in famine and anarchy
- control of Egypt by the pharaoh‟s overseers may have been diluted by the rising power of the
provincial rulers (nomarchs)
- western Asiatic nomads wander into the Nile Delta

   c4. Middle Kingdom and Early Second Intermediate Period (Mid-Eleventh thru Thirteenth
Dynasties; 2033 - 1648 BC)
- the Middle Kingdom is often referred to as Egypt‟s “Classical Period”
- city of Thebes achieves dominance; trade (and conflicts) with Nubia expands, Asiatics driven
from the eastern Delta, and trade with Syria-Palestine resumes
- institution of coregency becomes common (where the pharoah took his son as coruler;
coregency helped eliminate bloody battles of succession for the Egyptian throne)
- extensive engineering efforts for flood control, building of fortified ports along the Nile,
opening gold mines
- pyramid construction ends
- principal god of the city of Thebes (Amun) was combined with the Sun God (Ra or Re) to
become Amun-Re; the cult of Osiris became important during the Middle Kingdom
- the Middle Kingdom is the "golden age" of Egyptian literature and art, with many Egyptian
literary classic compiled

   c5. Late Second Intermediate Period (Fifteenth thru Seventeenth Dynasties; 1648-1540 BC)
- Egypt is "conquered" by foreign rulers (the Hyksos or "Shepherd Kings"); they probably
originated from Syria-Palestine; Hyksos people migrated into the Nile Delta, were eventually
absorbed into Egyptian society, and conquered Memphis in about 1640 BC
- the Hyksos moved the Egyptian capital, ruling from Avaris in the Nile Delta
- they introduced the chariot into Egypt; the Hyksos also introduced new weapons and better
bronze tool-making technology

   c6. New Kingdom (Eighteenth thru Twentieth Dynasties; 1550-1069 BC)
- the Hyksos were driven from Egypt by Ahmose I (ruled ca. 1550-1525 BC)
- Thebes again becomes the capital (later, the capital was moved to Per-Rameses, in the Nile
                                                     ARCHEOLOGY NOTES, PAGE 47

Delta, during the Nineteenth and Twentieth Dynasties)
- Egyptian armies warred against western Asian empires and Nubia; widespread trade is
conducted with the Aegean, Anatolia, Syria-Palestine, Mesopotamia and Nubia
- with improvements in irrigation
- during the New Kingdom pharoahs were buried in rock-cut tombs in the Valley of the Kings,
located west of Thebes
- Queen Hatshepsut was the longest-reigning female pharaoh in ancient Egypt (ruled ca. 1479-
1458 BC as co-regent with Thutmose III); her mortuary temple at Deir el-Bahri is one of the most
beautiful architectural features from ancient Egypt
- Amenhotep IV changed his name to Akhenaten (ruled ca. 1353-1335 BC), established a
monotheistic religion (worshiping the god Aten) and moved the capital to Amarna; very
distinctive art styles developed during this “Amarna Period”; Akhenaten may have been
overthrown, and was replaced by Tutankhamun (who was probably Akenaten‟s son;
Tutankhamun‟s largely unplundered tomb gives an indication of the wealth of the Egyptian
monarchy, and assists in interpretation of the complex funerary rites for Egyptian royalty)
- after Tutankhamun the Rameside kings ruled Egypt (during the 19th and 20th Dynasties);
includes Rameses II [ruled ca. 1279-1213 B.C.); Rameses II (Rameses the Great) fought the
Hittites; he has been interpreted as the pharoah of the Israelite Exodus, although there is no
official Egyptian record of this event and no trace of the Israelite migration has been found in the
- during the reign of Rameses III (1184-1153 BC) Egypt was invaded by the "Sea Peoples";
Egypt defeated them but began to decline and never recovered
- Egypt was later conquered by Assyrians, Persians, Greeks and Romans (but their civilization
survived until the time of Christ)

D. Sub-Saharan Africa

  1. Iron-Working Societies and Farming South of the Equator
- earliest metallurgy for most of Africa was iron (by the end of the 1st Millenium BC; iron was
first used for ceremonial or “status” goods; tombs in Nigeria and Senegal exhibit great
differences in wealth and status
- the Bantu-speaking peoples spread agriculture and iron-working throughout most of sub-
Saharan Africa

  2. Kerma
- Black Africa‟s oldest identifiable state, in Nubia on the Middle Nile
- the city of Kerma was founded in the middle of the Third Millennium BC
- grew barley, cattle, sheep, goats
- within Kerma, there was a large circular building of wood and mud brick, at least 10 meters (33
feet) high and isolated from other structures as “elite” architecture; the Western Deffufa was a
huge mudbrick temple (the surviving portion of the temple is still 62 feet high); a royal burial
mound outside of Kerma contained as many as 400 sacrificed victims that accompanied the king
into the afterlife
- Kerma disappeared during Egypt‟s New Kingdom, probably (at least in part) as a result of
                                                     ARCHEOLOGY NOTES, PAGE 48

Egyptian aggression

  3. Napata and Meroë
- Napata was important during the first half of the First Millennium BC; survived until the 4th
Century BC, when the capital was moved to Meroë
- characterized by “royal cemeteries” consisting of steep-sided pyramids; also with
mummification and hieroglyphic writing (but later created their own alphabetic script)
- Egypt and Napata-Meroë influenced one another; the pharoahs of Egypt‟s 25th Dynasty (8th-
7th Centuries BC) were from Napata
- approximately 2000 years ago Meroë had up to 20,000- 25,000 population; grew sorghum,
barley, wheat, millet and raised livestock

XI. Holocene Europe

- farming came to Europe from southwestern Asia (one of the controversies concerning the origin
of European agriculture is whether the local hunter-gatherers were displaced by southwest Asian
farmers, or if the local populations adopted agricultural practices from southwest Asia); mtDNA
and y-chromosome studies suggest that migrating male farmers may have married local hunter-
gatherer females
- Europe has cool and wet temperate forests; farmers needed heavier equipment to till the soils
(such as the horse-drawn mouldboard plow)

  A. Initial Development of Agriculture
- farming spread from the Aegean and/or Anatolia through southeastern Europe (Greece,
southern Balkans) by 6500 BC; farming especially moved up the Danube Valley
- these people had a mixed economy (they hunted, fished, and practiced slash-and-burn
- pottery, rectangular mud brick houses with pitched roofs and burial practices indicate a similar
culture throughout the region; with development of tells (artificial hills of mudbrick) similar to
those seen in the Near East

  B. Beginnings of the Neolithic in Europe
- by approximately 5300 - 3500 BC farmers had moved into the Mediterranean basin and Europe
"loess" region; they used slash-and-burn agriculture to grow wheat and barley
- during the 4th-5th Millenia with introduction of the plow and wheeled vehicles
- Eastern Europe with incised "spiral-meander"-design ("Bandkeramik" or LBK) pottery; other
characteristics of this Bandkeramik Culture include polished stone “shoe-last” stone adzes,
single-burial graves sometimes grouped in cemeteries, and societal violence (as suggested by
sites such as the “Talheim Death Pit” in Germany); Bandkeramik peoples lived in longhouses
that were grouped in two‟s or three‟s in forest clearings; later Neolithic peoples lived in smaller
rectangular structures (probably indicating social and economic changes)
- by 5,000 BC there were larger European communities, some of which had fortifications of
earthworks and timber enclosures; some people were buried in large communal graves, marked
                                                     ARCHEOLOGY NOTES, PAGE 49

by earth mounds and megaliths
- oldest copper mines in Europe by 5100 BC; at the 5th-millennium BC chalcolithic cemetery at
Varna, on the Black Sea coast of Bulgaria, approximately 280 graves have been excavated that
contained rich offerings of gold, copper, pottery and stone

  C. Later Neolithic Cultures
- approximately 3500 - 2400 BC
- by 3,000 BC agricultural villages extended from Britain to eastern Russia; most of these
villages subsisted on domesticated cereals and cattle
- Eastern Europe with copper ornaments; red-and-white pottery; wood-and-mud houses grouped
in small villages (sometimes fortified)
- Northern Europe develops barley and rye farming; lakeside settlements in the Alpine Zone
(especially around Switzerland) consisted of a couple of dozen houses within palisaded
- "Battle Ax People" originated in eastern and central Europe; with distinctive stone and copper
axes and cord-marked pottery
- "Beaker People" originated in western and central Europe; associated with copper/bronze
metallurgy; during early 2nd millennium BC with bell beakers disappearing and shift to burials
under mounds (these burials are associated with bronze and gold artifacts)
- between the Second and First Millenium BC, agricultural settlements became more fixed and
with development of field systems

  D. Early Iron Age Europe
- by late 8th Century BC with iron (Late Halstatt Culture) and development of “princely centers”
in Central Europe; with hilltop enclosures, below which were massive circular burial mounds
with richly-furnished graves
- the Hallstatt Culture (ca. 800 - 475 BC) was in Austria, southern Germany, the Czech Republic
and Slovakia; the structure of these iron-age societies has sometimes been referred to as the
“Mafia Model” (the mechanism of social change is the ambition of certain individuals to control
their fellow human beings)

  E. Megalithic Cultures
- by 4500 BC farmers in Spain were using large stones, weighing many tons, to build tombs
- Megalithic tombs were used over western Europe for the next 2000 years
- chambered tombs were usually made of stone and covered by an earthen mound (these are often
termed “barrows”); tombs often consisted of several interior chambers with stone walls and large
blocking stones covering the entrances; they usually contained communal burials
- the organization and planning required to build these monuments probably indicates societies
with at least some incipient rank, class, and occupational specialization
- parallel rows of "stone alignments" are common features in central and western Europe (an
example is at Carnac, France)
- megalithic structures may consist of menhirs (single stones), trilithons (two vertical stones with
a horizontal stone cap) and Henges (circular alignments of trilithons); these structures may have
acted as outdoor shrines, temples, astronomical observatories and/or for marking territorial
                                                     ARCHEOLOGY NOTES, PAGE 50

boundaries; the most famous megalithic structure is Stonehenge, in southern England)

XII. The Rise of Civilization in Southwest Asia

 A. Mesopotamia
- centered around the alluvial plain of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers; to the east and north are
the Zagros and Kurdistan mountain chains; to the west and south are the Syrian and Arabian
- southern or Lower Mesopotamia (Sumer) has little rainfall and requires irrigation; northern or
Upper Mesopotamia (Assyria) with sufficient precipitation for agriculture

 1. Formative Era
- used irrigation to grow wheat, barley and linseed
- widespread trade develops
- stamp seals were first introduced (for indicating ownership of goods, etc.?)

 2. The Early Chalcolithic

   a. Halaf Period (c. 6000 to 5400 BC)
- defined by sites in Upper Mesopotamia
- consisted of small settlements of 20-150 population with circular buildings
- grew emmer wheat, barley, lentils, peas, sheep, goats; cattle were used as draft animals, and the
Halaf peoples had a diet rich in dairy products
- high-quality painted pottery was traded up to 1000 kilometers; they also manufactured stone
stamp seals, clay sling “bullets”, and obsidian objects
- painted female figurines with exaggerated sexual characteristics may represent fertility cults
- not much evidence of social stratification

   b. „Ubaid Period (approximately 5900 to 4200 BC)
- first sites in Lower Mesopotamia; later spread to Upper Mesopotamia
- settlements consisted mostly of villages of mud brick, from hamlets of less than 50 people to
large villages of up to 1,000 people; Tells (hills of broken mud-brick) enlarged during this
period, suggesting increases in population (with more adobe structures being built, that would
eventually be demolished)
- some larger settlements developed during the „Ubaid Period, such as Eridu, Ur, and Uruk
- a large labor system developed due to irrigation; the „Ubaid people were the first to establish a
productive economy based on hoe agriculture of cereals (mostly barley), various vegetables and
fruits (especially dates), and with milk and meat from cattle, sheep and goats; „Ubaid peoples
also fished and hunted to supplement their diet
- almost all „Ubaid settlements had a large nonresidential building (probably representing a
temple) made of mud brick built on platforms of clay or imported stone; this suggests the
presence of a priestly class, which probably also controlled agricultural surpluses
                                                      ARCHEOLOGY NOTES, PAGE 51

   3. The Late Chalcolithic
- includes the Uruk (Warka) Period (approximately 4200 to 3000 BC)
- the Uruk Period is characterized by the “hallmarks of civilization” including cities, warfare,
writing, social hierarchies, and advanced arts and crafts
- includes the first urban civilizations; the city of Uruk probably had tens of thousands of people
- large settlements appear in northern Sumer and smaller villages begin to disappear (due to
raiding by nomads, or possibly due to drier climate and increased need for irrigation)
- settlements were surrounded by walls for protection or as symbols of their autonomy; there
were differences in wealth reflected in the architecture, with one story houses for the poor and
larger two-story structures for the rich
- with introduction of the plow for grain agriculture; with large animal herds, barley stores, beer
brewing and pottery-making
- increased craft specialists (copper and pottery craftsmen, architects, stonecutters, bricklayers,
farmers, shepherds, fishermen, priests, bureaucrats and others)
- large mud-brick temples were built upon ziggurats (artificial mounds of brick)
- “organized” religion was introduced; major dieties were Inanna (the goddess of love and war)
and An (the sky god)
- the political structure during the Uruk Period consisted of a theocracy (priest-controlled
government) with temples and priests controlling the surpluses (and controlling the trade
networks); there are remains of millions of ugly, mass-produced, bevel-rimmed bowls associated
with these temples (these have been interpreted as “ration bowls”, the contents of which were
used to pay workers for their labor)
- cylinder seals replace stamp seals [indicate ownership and for religious (?) purposes]
- writing by 3200 BC, developed from pictographic to phonetic; writing consists of cuneiform
(wedge-shaped) characters impressed on clay with a stylus; initially writing was for accounts of
goods; later with god lists, literature, etc.
- culture collapsed about 3100 BC, possibly due to increasing climate aridity

 4. The Early Bronze Age - The Sumerians (Early Dynastic Period; 2900 to 2350 BC)

- during the Early Bronze Age, small villages disappeared and were replaced by city states;
Sumer consisted of 13 city-states that were politically autonomous but had similar cultural
- economy based on agriculture and animal husbandry; families worked for "temples" and
"palaces" in exchange for rations, protection and community status
- the Sumerian peoples were probably organized by clan groups, and these kinship ties were
important throughout Sumerian history
- during the Early Dynastic Period there was an increase in population and true urbanism (with
subsequent relocation of populations; communal labor for agriculture and public building
construction; taxes; military conscription; and epidemic diseases)
- there was a shift from theocratic rule to the secular rule of warrior kings; the kings controlled an
extensive trade network for “luxury goods”
- the rulers were buried with valuable offerings and human sacrifices, such as the famous “Death
Pit of Ur”, which consisted of 16 richly-furnished royal burials
                                                     ARCHEOLOGY NOTES, PAGE 52

- an elaborate religion developed (each city had a patron deity and a pantheon of gods); the
Sumerian religion influenced Judeo-Christianity, including the story of Noah‟s flood
- the Sumerians developed Bronze Metallurgy (bronze is an alloy of copper plus tin or arsenic)
- they were excellent mathematicians, using a combination of a base-60 and base-10 system, with
some knowledge of algebra and geometry
- written history begins about 2550 BC, written in the Sumerian language (a language of
unknown affinities, although archeologists have proposed that Sumerians originally came from
Turkey or Bahrain); the Sumerian script was phonetic, with 600 to 700 unique characters
- warfare was common between city-states

 5. Akkadians (2334 to approximately 2150 BC)
- Akkad was a region in northern Babylonia (southern Iraq) that became a center for trade
- under Sargon (ruled approximately 2340 to 2315 BC) Sumer and northern Mesopotamia united
- kings became deified (the king was joined with local divinities to become the god of the
- extensive road and canal system
- used Sumerian-type cuneiform writing (written in Akkadian, a semitic language)
- the Akkadians were involved in almost constant warfare; in search of booty and for control of
foreign resources and trade routes
- art often depicted slender human figures and military motifs
- the Akkadian Empire collapsed due to external pressure originating from the Iranian plateau
and/or due to climate change (possibly due to increased aridity)

6. Babylonians (approximately 2000 to 539 BC)

  a. Environment
- alluvial plain of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers
- climate hot and dry in Summer, cold and wet in Winter, with vast floods in the Spring (but less
than 12 inches of rainfall per year and therefore irrigation is required)

  b. Chronology and History
- Amorites migrated into Babylonia from the northwest at approximately 2000 BC; their culture
was fused with that of the local Sumero-Akkadians
- power shifted to more northern city states probably due to rising water table and salting of fields
in the south
- Babylonian political structure was a monarchy
- King Hammurapi of Babylon greatly influenced the political / legal culture (with development
of Law Codes, the “Code of Hammurapi”) and he left a huge library of cuneiform letters and
business documents excavated by archeologists
- Kassites, Aramaeans, Hittites and Assyrians fought with and invaded Babylonia; Babylonia was
finally conquered by Cyrus the Great (a Persian) in 539 BC

   c. Culture and Economy
- the Babylonian economy was based on agriculture (sheep, cattle, dates, wheat and barley),
manufactured goods (especially textiles) and foreign trade
                                                     ARCHEOLOGY NOTES, PAGE 53

- the Babylonian social hierarchy consisted of the king, nobles, free citizens and those in military
and civil service, and slaves
- their literature was derived from the Sumerians, but they developed their own fine literature
(such as the Gilgamesh Epic), prayers and hymns, and "wisdom literature"
- there was a state religion headed by the god Marduk; with huge wealthy temples; divination
(“soothsaying”) was important
- the Babylonians had an impressive knowledge of astronomy (they developed an accurate
calendar), mathematics, and medicine

7. Assyrians (approximately 2000 to 612 BC)

  a. Environment
- the Assyrian heartland was along the northern Tigris and Euphrates Rivers; their empire later
expanded by conquest to include all of the "fertile crescent"
- in Assyria the summers are warm and dry, winters cool and rainy; mountains with ice and snow
during winter
- rolling hills in Assyria yields barley, sesame, sheep, goats, cattle

  b. Chronology and History
- Assyrians are a mixture of Akkadian, Amorite and Aramean peoples
- during the Old Assyrian Period, Assyria consisted of independent city states
- during the Middle Period Assyrian kings formed an empire that spread south to Babylonia and
west to the Mediterranean (at its height in 680 BC it included all of the Fertile Crescent, Egypt,
central Anatolia, and western Iran)
- Assyria was a militaristic state with well-organized armies that extracted annual tribute from its
defeated enemies; Assyrian military success was due to excellent organization and tactics, metal
weapons (first bronze, later iron), the bow, and the light horse-drawn chariot
- Assyrian social structure was based on military rank; the king was an absolute monarch, head of
the military and chief priest; the peasant infantry (and slaves and women) were at the bottom of
the social scale
- in return for military service, every male citizen was granted use of a plot of land
- the Assyrians fought with Amorites, Babylonians, Aramaeans, Egyptians, and were finally
destroyed by the Medes, Scythians, Aramaeans and Chaldaeans

  c. Culture
- greatly influenced by Babylonia (huge temples employed many priests, Babylonian-type law
codes, king was an absolute monarch, social stucture, etc.)
- chief god was Ashur, Ishtar was important goddess, but also Babylonian gods (such as Marduk)
were important; popular religion involved magic, sorcercy, etc.

 B. Anatolia
- by approximately 3,000-1,000 BC with bronze-age cultures and long distance trade throughout
the Meditterranean and Near East
                                                     ARCHEOLOGY NOTES, PAGE 54

  1. Troy
- the hill of Hissarlik, in western Turkey, is believed to be the site of ancient Troy
- the Trojans maintained a close relationship with Mycenaean Greece
- there were several settlements built over Troy; archeologists traditionally designated the oldest
settlement as Phase I and the youngest Phase IX, with many subphases designated with small
letters; the most important levels at Troy are represented by Phases II and VI
- Troy II is early Bronze Age; it consists of a small square citadel about 90 yards across with
massive walls; rich bronze and copper weapons and domestic utensils have been discovered (an
example is "Schliemann's Treasure" with ornaments of gold, silver, electrum, and other precious
and semiprecious materials); Troy II was destroyed in a violent fire
- Troy VI is middle to late Bronze Age (it may be the Troy of Homer‟s “Trojan War”); there are
very powerful fortifications approximately twice as large as Troy II, with a relatively large town
built below the fortifications; the fortifications had 5 gateways and a large tower; grey Greek-like
pottery and a lot of Mycenaean imported pottery was discovered within Troy VI; the Troy VI
level was destroyed by an earthquake(?) or invaders(?)
- Troy VIII was inhabited by Aeolic Greeks, Troy IX was a Hellenistic and Roman settlement

  2. Hittites (approximately 1750 to 1182 BC)
- the Hittite homeland (Hatti) in Anatolia is a high plateau; hot and dry in Summer, plentiful
rainfall in Spring, snow in Winter
- Indo-Europeans settled among local Hattian peoples in Turkey, probably at the end of the 3rd
Millennium BC, to become the Hittite peoples (therefore, the Hittite Empire contained many
ethnic groups)
- Hattusha (present Boghazkoy) was the fortified capitol of the Hittites
- Feudal Society with peasants growing barley, wheat, vines, fruit trees, cattle, sheep; there was a
craftsman class of potters, cobblers, carpenters, smiths, etc.; the King was supreme ruler (chief
priest, judge, law-giver and head of the armed forces); the King was surrounded by a large noble
class; women played an important role in society
- worked mostly with bronze but also with iron smelting (although iron was evidently not used in
weapons); used silver as exchange
- the extensive archives discovered at Hattusha contain records in seven languages; these include
the Hittite hieroglyphic script and Assyrian cuneiform
- huge pantheon of gods reflects the Hittites many ethnic groups; local deity was usually a
fertility/weather god; also mother goddesses; later kings centralized religion; deities are often
depicted in bas relief on rocks, often associated with a spring
- by approximately 1380 BC the Hittites formed an empire rivaling Egypt and Babylon
- the "Sea Peoples" overwhelmed the Hittites in about 1182 BC and in 700 BC it was
incorporated into the Assyrian Empire

C. The Levant

  1. Levant in the Late Bronze Age
- at the end of the Middle Bronze Age there was widespread destruction of sites
                                                     ARCHEOLOGY NOTES, PAGE 55

- during the Late Bronze age there arose a scattering of autonomous small cities, such as Lachish,
Hazor and Ugarit
- at the end of the Late Bronze age, there was mass movement of peoples throughout the region
such as Israelites, Aramaeans, Phrygians and the “Sea Peoples”

 2. Levant in the Iron Age

   a. Philistines
- the Philistines were probably “Sea Peoples” that migrated into the Southern Levant (modern
Israel and Palestine) from the Aegean at about 1200 BC; the Philistines built their cities of the
“Pentapolis” (Gaza, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Gath and Ekron) over the ruins of the destroyed Bronze-
age towns
- the Philistines had Mycenaean-style pottery, and can be differentiated from other local cultures
by their extensive consumption of cattle and pigs

   b. Israel and Judah
- in the highlands area of the southern Levant; nomads began to settle in larger communties;
- in the 11th Century BC, the highland communities were joined to form the United Monarchy
- this union was short lived, with ultimate division into the Kingdom of Judah (centered on
Jerusalem) and an Israelite kingdom centered on Shechem (and later Samaria)
- the Assyrians destroyed the kingdom of Israel in 722 BC, and deported the citizens of Samaria
to Babylon

   c. "Phoenicia" (1,200 - 333 BC)
- after the collapse of Bronze-age cultures, early Phoenicians (descended from Canaanites and
several other groups) established cities (such as Tyre and Sidon) along the coast of Lebanon and
northern Israel; they later settled all over the Mediterranean
- “Phoenicia” consisted of a chain of coastal cities and was never a "nation"; it maintained close
links to Egypt and the island of Cyprus
- the Phoenicians were coastal traders that built harbors and dominated the metal trade (especially
engraved bronze and silver bowls and gold jewelry); they also traded in purple Murex dye,
textiles, carved ivories, and colored glass bottles; they utilized their extensive forests of cedars
and juniper to build ships; they developed coastal fisheries, and grew crops on the fertile coastal
- the Phoenician language is a form of Canaanite (West Semitic); by 1,000 BC the Phoenicians
developed an alphabetic script [this was a script primarily used for the maritime trade, with texts
of historical, economic or religious (other than funerary) content rare]; the Phoenician script was
eventually adopted by the Greeks (which eventually led to the development of our alphabetic
- the Phoenicians were conquered by Assyrians (approximately 700 BC), Babylonians (587 BC),
and Persians (539-332 BC)

XIII. The Mediterranean World
                                                    ARCHEOLOGY NOTES, PAGE 56

 A. Aegean and Greece
- by 3500 BC copper and bronze smelting developed in southern Greece
- the Aegeans and Greeks grew grapes, olives and wheat; it was a region of good ports and
widespread trade

  1. Minoans (ca. 2800 - 1100 BC)
- on island of Crete in the Mediterranean; with plains and rugged mountains
- many cities developed along coastal Crete (such as Knossos, which had a population of about
10,000 people in the central area of the settlement)
- Crete was cosmopolitan, with a mixture of languages and peoples
- the Minoans produced luxury goods from raw materials; from local resources (ceramics, stone,
textiles, olive oil, wine) or from imported raw materials (manufacturing luxury goods from gold,
ivory, silver, copper, and semiprecious stones); these items were then traded with Europe, the
Near East and northern Africa
- there were many craft specialists, with beautiful fresco paintings, expert metalworkers and
stonecarvers; the pottery (and art in general) developed distinctive "marine" and "vegetable"
- the Minoans built extensive palaces (there were no well-developed defensive works) and villas;
palaces had large storage areas and there were extensive road systems on the island
- the earliest Cretan writing were pictographs (or hieroglyphs?) on seals (3rd millennium BC);
other scripts developed were Linear A (early 2nd millennium BC; it is undeciphered) and later
with Linear B (1400-1200 BC; Linear B is an ancient Greek script)
- Minoans worshiped at small shrines (with bull cults and an earth goddess)
- destroyed by earthquakes (?), volcanic eruption (?), Mycenaeans (?), internal revolts (?), and/or
"Sea Peoples"(?)

 2. Mycenaeans (1600-1100 BC)
- late Bronze Age of central and southern Greek mainland; extensive contact with Egypt and
Ugarit (on Syrian coast)
- fused local Greek and Minoan culture; the Mycenaeans took over the Mediterranean trade from
- developed Linear B script that shows intensive specialization, high centralized control; most
texts in Linear B are for economic purposes
- the Mycenaeans manufactured mass-produced pottery (often Minoan-like), small clay figurines
of women (votive figures) and with Minoan religious influence; with beautiful gold metalwork
and ivory carving
- they built fortified sites with massive "Cyclopean" walls
- the fortress of Mycenae (and other Greek cities) was ruled by warrior-kings; with rich royal
shaft-graves (1600 to 1500 BC; often with carved stelae) and beehive-shaped tombs (these are
termed tholoi; they date from 1500 to 1200 BC, and have a long passageway , termed a dromos,
leading into the tholos); palaces often had large squarish rooms (megarons) that contained a
central hearth
- most Mycenaean sites experienced several periods of destruction by fire (especially around
1200 to 1100 BC); Greece entered a "Dark Age" (1100-700 BC) in which there are few sites and
                                                     ARCHEOLOGY NOTES, PAGE 57

no known scripts; later Greek history is divided into the Archaic Age (approximately 700 to 500
BC) and Classical Greece (499 to 338 BC)

 B. Etruscans (approximately 800-300 BC)
- mostly from the Tuscany region, Northern Italy (this region was called Etruria)
- the Etruscans primarily originated from the native Villanovan peoples, who mixed with
migrants from West Asia after the collapse of the Hittite and Mycenaean Empires; the Etruscans
were also influenced by the Greeks (in their alphabet, pottery, metallurgy, and art)
- Etruscan language, writing and culture is poorly known, although we know that the Etruscan
language was not Indo-European; the script can be read, but only 6 of the 10,000 or so known
examples of the language consist of passages of over 50 words
- there were twelve chief cities (including Veii, Cerventiri and Tarquinia); these formed the
“Etruscan League”
- Etrucans are famous for their "cult of the dead", and they built rich necropolises (“cities of the
dead”); they developed specialized divination arts (using bird flight and animal livers and guts to
predict the future)
- the economy of northern Etruria was primarily agricultural, in the south there was both
agriculture and trade [the Etruscans developed an extensive iron trade with Mediterranean
peoples and European barbarians; they also exported artwork (such as vase painting, terracotta
sculpture, bronzework, and black "bucchero" pottery)]
- the lack of unity among Etruscan cities made it easy for Romans to take over these cities one-
by-one; the alphabet, architecture and engineering of the Etruscans was copied by the Romans

XIV. South Asia

 A. Ecology of South Asia
- wide variety of environments and ecologies

  1. Himalaya Mountains
- to the north
- the Himalyas supply meltwaters each spring (the rivers fed by these meltwaters tend to be
unpredictable in volume and course)

  2. Western Foothills and Mountains
- supplies minerals, domesticated animals and human resources

  3. Great Indian Desert
- to East

  4. Arabian Sea
- to south
                                                     ARCHEOLOGY NOTES, PAGE 58

 B. Early Neolithic Villages
- villages were established at the intersection of the Indo-Iranian Plateau and Indus Plain of
- Mehrgarh (Pakistan) is probably a representative Early Neolithic Village; it had simple, multi-
roomed mudbrick buildings (these often contain small compartments that have been interpreted
as grain silos); the people hunted extensively (gazelle, deer, wild water buffalo and wild sheep,
goats, cattle, pigs and even elephants!); they also probably made bread in ovens (but initially they
did not have pottery); cotton (for textiles) was probably domesticated between 7000 and 5000
BC; by about 5500 BC Mehrgarh probably had domesticated sheep, goats and cattle; they were
growing wheat and barley, as well as peas, lentils and other legumes; the first pottery and copper
tools are found, and they were importing turquoise and lapis lazuli from Iran and Afghanistan
and shells from the Arabian Gulf

C. Indus Valley Civilization

- the Indus Valley area in India and Pakistan is an arid region; reliable agriculture can only be
accomplished through irrigation (but geoarcheologists see evidence that the ancient Indus River
had flood inundations similar to those of the Nile in Egypt)
- by 3,000-2,500 BC there was deforestation, overgrazing, and evidence of flooding; flood
control measures and irrigation may have been developed (and directed by chieftains) in response
to these environmental problems

  1. Harappan Civilization (2600-1900 BC)
- in India and Pakistan; it covered a larger area than any other contemporary culture (1100 by 800
miles); there are more than 800 Harappan sites known
- the major settlements of the the Harappan Civilization were situated along the Indus River and
the Ghaggar-Hakra River (this latter river no longer exists; it ran parallel to the Indus River, and
is probably the “Saraswati River” mentioned in early Sanskrit texts)
- several major cities developed (these include Mohenjo-daro, Harappa, Ganwariwala, Dholavira,
and Rakhigarhi)
- although the major sites are clustered along rivers, other Harappan sites are known from many
ecologic zones

   a. Origins of Culture
- the Indus Valley culture was probably indigenous (it was of “local development”)
- characteristics of the Harappan culture evolved quickly, with baked brick architecture, Indus
square stamp seals, town planning and urbanization appearing within a 100 to 150 year period
- the religious and political structure is poorly known
- the script has not been deciphered, but it was probably logo-syllabic (consisting of both word
signs and phonetic syllables); there are at least 350 to 425 unique characters described; most
examples of writing are on stamp seals

   b. Political and Social Structure
- there were similar culture and political influences over an area of 1.3 million square kilometers;
                                                      ARCHEOLOGY NOTES, PAGE 59

compared to Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley civilization was a very homogeneous culture
- although there were probably elite rulers and social classes, there is little indication of an
unequal distribution of wealth and resources (no elite burials have been found, no images of
rulers and their exploits, no palaces, etc.); however, differences in types of residential structures,
evidence of city planning and economic control indicates that there was control of Harappan
society by “elites”
- farmers probably gave most crops to public granaries

   c. Economics and Trade
- the ancient Harappans grew wheat, barley, vegetables, fruit, sesame, mustard, and cotton, and
raised sheep, cattle, water buffalo, and pigs; they also domesticated the cat, dog, camel, horse,
and elephant
- there was probable trade with Mesopotamia; gold, silver, copper, carnelian, lapis lazuli, ivory,
oils and other commodities were shipped from the Indus Valley port cities; the Mesopotamians
probably shipped agricultural products to the Indus Valley (unfortunately, items such as cereals,
leather and wool are not preserved in the archeological record)
- the Harappans had standard weights and measures (also indicating central control of the
- craft specialists made seals, mud brick architecture, wheeled carts, jewelry, stone tools and
statuary, casting in copper and bronze

   d. Cities
- the Harappan Civilization was a well-planned "urban" culture (consisting of city-states),
portions of which were built on a rectangular grid plan; large cities were surrounded by small
- town planning and city services (municipal water and sewage systems) were the best developed
systems in the ancient world prior to the rise of the Roman Empire; each Harappan house had a
waterwell; the bathrooms were connected to extensive drainage systems
- Mohenjo-daro covered at least 2.5 square kilometers and may have had 40,000 inhabitants (only
the central “platform mound” area of the city was gridded, although compared to Mesopotamian
cities, the Indus Valley towns were very orderly)
- with large, rectangular 2-3 story houses joined into larger units separated by narrow, straight
- both Harappa and Mohenjo-daro had large raised mounds on the west side of the cities, with a
wall built around it; these were the areas of public buildings
- the “Great Bath” at Mohenjo-daro was a swimming pool-like structure of baked bricks lined
with bitumen; it may have been used for religious purposes or as a public bathing facility; it was
flanked by the “Granary” (only the foundation remains of this large public building, and its true
function is unknown)

  e. Religion
- probably with earth/mother goddess and origins of Hindu religion

  f. Decline
- although some archeologists believe that the demise of the Harappan Culture was due to
                                                     ARCHEOLOGY NOTES, PAGE 60

“invasion” (possibly by the Indo-European “Arya”), most believe the decline was probably due to
environmental problems (deforestation and soil erosion, overgrazing, flooding and course change
of the Indus and Ghaggar-Hakra Rivers)

 D. The Re-Emergence of Regionalized Complexity, c. 1200 - 500 BC
- possible invasion by the Indo-European "Arya" may have taken place about 1500 BC(?) as
indicated by language and the Rig Veda literary document; by 500 BC the Aryan language
became dominant over most of region
- iron-working and wheel-made painted gray pottery introduced were into India about this time,
with expansion of cultures into the Ganges Valley; and with establishment of fortified

XV. Complex Societies of East and Southeast Asia

 Early Chinese Civilization
- very traditional culture

 A. Lungshan (Longshanoid) Culture (2400 to 2000 BC)
- larger villages, typically with pithouses arranged around a central “long house”
- there is a switch from slash-and-burn agriculture to cultivating the same agricultural plots each
year (this indicates that Lungshan peoples developed sustainable agriculture methods such as
fertilizing with animal wastes and the use of legumes such as clover for maintaining soil
fertility); the primary crop was millet (some southern areas with increased importance of rice
- pig farming was important (pigs seemed to have been “status symbols”)
- widespread use of sophisticated potter‟s wheels and development of a specialized class of
potters; Longshanoid potters produced highly burnished, wheel-made, thin walled pottery in
many different vessel forms
- with beginning of copper metallurgy
- use of stamped earth walls for civil defense and the burials of bodies in wells, mass graves, etc.
suggests warfare; some sacrificial victims have been recovered from house and wall foundations
- animal and other motifs in art were used to indicate status differences
- decorated jade masks and widespread use of scapulimancy (scapulimancy involves writing
symbols on bones, applying heat, and then “soothsaying” by interpreting the cracks); this
indicates the development of shamanism or other forms of ritualism
- burials indicate social ranking and signs of wealth; the richest burials were elite males (with
wooden coffins, application of cinnabar, and with 100 to 200 grave goods included); the poorest
burials consist of narrow vertical pits with no grave goods

 B. Erh-Li-T‟ou Culture (ca. 1900-1500 BC)
- large towns and cities replace villages
- with monumental architecture (including large palaces), occupational specialization, and
written records
- with bronze-casting using piece-mold techniques
                                                      ARCHEOLOGY NOTES, PAGE 61

- differences in grave goods indicates differences in wealth, power and prestige; with elite burials
in painted wooden coffins with ritual vessels
- the first Dynasty of China, the Xia Dynasty (c. 1700 to 1500 BC), may be represented by this

 C. Shang Dynasty (Chinese Bronze Age; approximately 1500 - 1045 BC)
- developed along the Huanghe River Valley (also termed the Huang Ho, or "Yellow" River)
- direct outgrowth of Neolithic farming-village culture
- with intensive irrigation and flood-control systems; grew millet, rice, wheat, cattle, pigs, sheep,
dogs, chickens, horses, silkworms
- with urbanism and development of fortifications; by the Late Shang Period there were many
walled towns in northern and central China
- with large professional armies with up to 30,000 men, led by nobles; they attacked the
“barbarians” for defense, plunder, sacrifices, and slaves
- the capital at Anyang covered at least 25 square kilometers; with large palaces and
administrative and ceremonial buildings; larger buildings with earth wall construction, ordinary
homes often semi-subterranean;
- mass-production of bronze, using mold casting techniques; most bronze was used for
ceremonial vessels rather than for tools or weapons
- writing similar to that of modern Chinese, on oracle bones, tortoise shells, bronze and stone; by
Late Shang times with over 3,000 phonetic, ideographic and pictographic characters (about 1200
of these have been translated)
- highly stratified society with king and complex hierarchy of nobles; kings with complex,
ritualistic burials (large cross-shaped burial pits for rulers with numerous human sacrifices)

 D. Zhou (Chou) Dynasty (Chinese Iron Age: 1045 - 221 BC)
- replaced Shang Dynasty by conquest (but the conquerers may have also originated from Shang
- feudal system with extensive warfare and intensified agriculture; after 500 BC with great
irrigation works for wet-rice agriculture (which led to large population densities)
- numbers of feudal territories declined during Warring States period (481 - 221 BC)
- the Zhou Dynasty is ancestral to modern Chinese culture (development of social classes
including the lesser nobility (gentry, knights, scholars), peasant farmers, artisans, and merchants
- development of Chinese philosophy [Confucianism (founded by Confucius, 551-479 BC; said
reform what is wrong in society and strive for justice), Taoism (founded by Lao Tzu, ca. 600-540
BC; said man is rooted in Nature, and Nature should be left alone), Mohism (attacked feudal
system) and Legalism (man is evil so laws must be strict)]
- sacrificial burial with rulers, but not as extensive as Shang Dynasty

 E. Ch'in (Qin; Cheng) Dynasty (221-207 BC)
- Emperor Ch'in (Shihuangdi) united China by defeat of the Warring States
- Ch‟in created 36 provinces (each ruled by a governor); he standardized scripts; established a
standard system of weights and measures; regulated the gauges of wheeled vehicles; standardized
the legal system; built new roads, canals, and irrigation systems
- Emperor Ch‟in was the first to make major expansions on the "Great Wall of China" in an
                                                      ARCHEOLOGY NOTES, PAGE 62

attempt to keep out the northern nomads (it didn't work!); that didn‟t stop the Chinese from
trying, since parts of the wall were built and rebuilt many times from the 5th century BC to the
16th Century AD, ultimately extending for 4,000 miles!
- Ch‟in gave peasants more rights (but taxed them), expelled feudal lords, burned books and
oppressed scholars
- Emperor Ch'in (Shihuangdi) was buried with numerous life-size porcelain statues (as "guards",
etc.); the huge mausoleum complex probably required about 700,000 laborers to build; his
mausoleum and palace complex was burned in 206 BC by a popular revolt after Emperor Ch‟in‟s

XVI. Mesoamerican Civilization

- with first permanent agricultural communities by about 1600 BC

 A. The Olmec Culture (Mexican Formative/"Pre-Classic")
- ca. 1250 - 400 BC
- once considered to be the “Mother Culture” of Mesoamerica; most archeologists now believe
that it is only one of many regional societies that developed at this time in Mesoamerica
- the “heartland” of the Olmec Culture was along the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Mexico; it is a
large alluvial plain with high rainfall, sluggish rivers and swamps
- torrential rains fall during the summer, but the region is dry during the winter; this allows slash-
and-burn (or swidden) agriculture (after burning, crops are sown on the land during the rainy
season for one or two years; the land must then be left fallow for up to 20 years; until recent
times 70% to 90% of the land in the Olmec heartland was fallow at any given time)
- with maize, beans and squash agriculture; fish and domestic dog provided most of the protein
for the Olmec people, with peccary (javelina), deer and rabbits also important
- the Olmecs conducted widespread trade in jade, magnetite (a shiny iron mineral) for mirrors,
bitumen (“pitch”), shark teeth, sting ray spines, pottery and possibly cacao (chocolate) between
the Olmec heartland, the highlands of Mexico towards the north, and as far south as Guatemala
- at approximately 1250 BC the Olmecs began building large earth structures at San Lorenzo;
they moved many tons of earth in baskets to make a 600 by 100 meter raised area (possible to
raise the settlement above the floodplain), and within 100 to 200 years began building pyramids
up to 30 meters high or more and ceremonial platforms, that were adorned with stone sculptures;
San Lorenzo was destroyed about 900 BC and replaced by La Venta
- La Venta was built on a small island in a coastal swamp; it was destroyed about 400-300 BC
- there are rare Mesoamerican hieroglyphs and calendars in Olmec sites; these appear to be the
“standard calendar” for all later Mesoamerican cultures, with a 52 year-cycle "Calendar Round"
system with a 260 day "Almanac Year" and 365 day "Solar Year"
- ceremonial centers developed and were adorned with huge basalt stone heads, some weighing
over 20 tons each with the basalt imported about 80 kilometers to the site; the stone heads depict
men with football player-like helmets, possibly representing Olmec rulers
- burned human bones with butcher-marks, and depictions on sculptures, indicate human
sacrifice and possible cannibalism (either for ritual purposes or food)
                                                    ARCHEOLOGY NOTES, PAGE 63

- ceremonial complexes also contain large rectangular monoliths (these have been interpreted as
carved altars or “thrones”), stelae (upright, carved stone slabs), statues with human/jaguar or
human/serpent motifs, ceramic "babies" with jaguar snarls, carved jade, and buried serpentine
jaguar mosaics (it is believed that a dominant Olmec myth concerns the mating of a woman with
a jaguar, giving rise to “were-jaguars”); the first "Feathered Serpent" motifs are also present at
Olmec sites

B. Classic Period
- important features of the Classic Period include the development of large trade networks, craft
specialization within “workshops”, complex religious ceremonial centers, and urbanization

 1. Mexico

   a. Teotihuacán (200 BC to approximately 650 A.D.)
- within the Teotihuacán Valley, adjacent to the Valley of Mexico
- Teotihuacán was the first major city in the New World (over 9 square miles), with possibly
125,000 people; Teotihuacán was situated along a natural trade route to eastern Mesoamerica (it
was a “cosmopolitan” city; there are “barrios” in Teotihuacán where “foreigners” apparently
- surrounding the city, there is good farmland with numerous springs; the farmers also utilized
extensive irrigation agriculture
- ate maize, beans, squash, pumpkins, maguey cactus (for fiber and making pulque beer), edible
nopal cactus, avocados, amaranth, wild plants; deer were very important food sources (often
about 80% of the animal bones in sites); also ate dogs, rabbits, turkeys, ducks and geese, and fish
- obsidian (volcanic glass) deposits were available nearby, which were utilized for making ritual
artifacts and ornaments
- Teotihuacán was a planned city built in a grid plant and laid out in quarters, with many
pyramids (examples include the Pyramid of the Moon and Pyramid of the Sun, with mud-
brick/rubble cores); there were temples of stepped platform (talud-tablero) style, often decorated
with "Feathered Serpents"
- some temples had beautiful murals depicting religious themes, warfare, imaginary animals, or
scenes from daily life; many gods of the "Mexican Pantheon" are known
- apartment units were associated with workshops and religious structures; obsidian, ceramics,
semiprecious stones, slate, basalt, seashells, feathers, basketry and leather items were
manufactured in these workshops
- Teotihuacán dominated the surrounding cultures (controlled an area of up to 25,000 square
- it appears that Teotihuacán was selectively burned (especially temples and elite residences)
around 650 AD; theories concerning the demise of Teotihuacán include destruction by invaders,
civil war, and/or environmental problems; about 40,000 people moved back to Teotihuacán after
the destuction, but the city never regained its power; small petty kingdoms developed after the
destruction of Teotihuacán

 b. Zapotec (Monte Albán) Culture (400 BC to AD 700)
                                                    ARCHEOLOGY NOTES, PAGE 64

- best known from hilltop site of Monte Albán above the Valley of Oaxaca; the site of Monte
Albán may have been founded in an uninhabited area to link important settlements
- most of the population were farmers that drained and irrigated the valley bottoms to grow crops;
canal irrigation became important and population densities increased, with a population of about
17,000 people by 200 BC
- Monte Albán was probably mostly used as a ceremonial center; the central plaza of Monte
Albán is surrounded by stone-faced talud-tablero buildings with stuccoed and painted exteriors;
there are numerous royal subterranean tombs
- the Temple of the Danzantes has "Danzante" sculptures depicting contorted, Olmec-like figures
(probably depicting sacrificial victims); pottery manufacture includes urns depicting seated
deities; they also made stelae (upright stones) with carved figures and hieroglyphs
- the Zapotecs had the first true writing system in Mexico, and used a well-developed, Olmec-
like calendar system

   c. Classic Veracruz ("Totonac") Culture (approximately 600 to 1200 AD)
- in Veracruz on the Gulf Coast plain; the principle site was El Tajin
- El Tajin contains 60 major pyramidal mounds (influenced by the Mayas); includes the Pyramid
of the Niches (60 feet high, with 365 small niches)
- a distinctive art motif of the Classic Veracruz culture are the "smiling face" pottery figurines
- typical Mesoamerican traditions include the ceremonial ball game, human sacrifice, and death
- ceremonial ball game objects (yolks, palmas and hachas) manufactured in Veracruz were traded
widely in southern Mesoamerica

  2. The Maya
- Mayan culture is divided into Preclassic (ca. 1000 BC - AD 300), Classic (ca. 300 - 900 AD)
and Postclassic Periods (ca. 987- 16th Century AD)
- the homeland of the Maya was within the Guatemalan highlands and lowlands; much of the
Maya heartland is a hot, semitropical forest, with other areas consisting of volcanic highlands
- the Yucatan Peninsula, in the northern Mayan region, consists of a limestone shelf (the presence
of cave features here largely prevent the development of rivers and lakes)

   a. Cultural Achievements
- development of a complex hieroglyphic script (recorded time, astronomy, ceremonies,
genealogical and historical records); the script was recorded on stelae or in codices (the Maya
codex was a bark paper “book” that was folded into screens)
- the Maya adopted the standard Mesoamerican calendar
- Mayan art consisted of murals, stone carvings, pottery, mosaics, and codices; it typically
depicted animal-like figures, plants and water elements intertwinned with gods and human
figures [human figures were typically depicted in profile, with a sloping head]

   b. Mayan Agriculture
 - the Maya cultivated maize, beans, squash, tomatoes, and peppers; many areas practiced
swidden (slash-and-burn) agriculture (with about 3 years of production, followed by 4 to 8 years
where the land laid fallow); there was minor irrigation, with a lot of agriculture utilizing slope
                                                    ARCHEOLOGY NOTES, PAGE 65

terracing, water diversion and wetland reclamation (where the Maya created raised fields in
swamp areas)
- protein was obtained from deer, domestic dogs, rabbits, wildfowl, fish and shellfish
- farmers lived in small villages; with one-room, thatched houses built on small earth or stone

   c. Maya Religion
- the Maya believed that there were three “domains” (the heavens, Earth, and the underworld)
that were interrelated; the beings of the “otherworlds” could materialize through blood-letting
ceremonies (ritual blood-letting was practiced by everyone, from kings and priests to peasants)
- the King was the major link to this divine world

   d. The Preclassic Maya (ca. 1000 BC - AD 300)
- by 600 BC, the Maya were creating monumental public architecture, with the burial of dead
elites in the cores of large stone and earth platforms
- the largest Preclassic site is El Mirador, a remote jungle city in Guatemala; it has hundreds of
stone structures, including buildings, pyramids, plazas and causeways; the buildings were coated
with white plaster, and then painted a deep red color
- the earliest records of Mayan kings date from about 1 AD, from Cerros, in the eastern Yucatan

   e. The Classic Maya (ca. 300 - 900 AD)
- during early Classic Maya times, there was probably some influence from Teotihuacán,
including trade, marriage alliances, religion, and possibly some military influences
- the Maya culture reached its climax during the Classic Period, with hundreds of pyramids,
temples and other buildings completed
- major ceremonial centers were built, including Tikal, Uaxactun, Palenque and Uxmal; these
"city states" had central rectangular plazas surrounded by pyramid platforms (some with burials);
with ball courts, round buildings (astronomical observatories), and large palaces
- ballcourts were the focus of competitions, feasting and rituals; political conflicts were
sometimes resolved through the “cosmological drama” of the Mesoamerican ballgame

   f. The Mayan Decline
- from ca. 760 AD to 1100 AD, the Maya cities began to “collapse” (especially in the southern
- there appears to have been three drought periods between AD 760 and AD 910, which probably
contributed to the decline; other theories of the Maya “collapse” concern class warfare, foreign
invasions, or a breakdown in trade

C. The Postclassic Period

- AD 900 - 1521

1. Characteristics
                                                     ARCHEOLOGY NOTES, PAGE 66

  a. Collapse of Classic cultures
- with abandonment of major Classic centers
- new cultural centers develop

 b. The classic order was replaced by militaristic, violent societies

 2. Toltecs (Early Postclassic; AD 800- 1168)
- several Southwestern desert groups (often termed the Chichimecs) moved south into Mexico;
they settled at Tula (Tollan), Hidalgo (this city was built on a steep bluff northwest of the Valley
of Mexico in approximately 856 AD)
- Toltec architecture consists of Mesoamerican talud-tablero style with pyramids, plazas, ball
courts, etc.; distinctive Toltec features include 15 foot-high sculpted "atlantean" figures, smaller
"atlantean" figures supporting altars, and reclining "chacmool" sculptures (with dishes for
reception of sacrificed human hearts?)
- the Toltecs participated in widespread trade, and had large workshops (especially for working
obsidian and turquoise)
- Tula was destroyed violently in AD 1156-1168; new Chichimec invaders from the north caused
the Toltecs to break up into smaller competing polities

3. The Maya Postclassic

 a. Mexican Period (AD 987-1187)

- Mayan polities in the northern portion of the Yucatan Peninsula had survived the Classic Maya
collapse; these would evolve into the “Maya Postclassic” culture, with some modification by
external influences

  a1. History
- according to Maya myth, the "Feathered Serpent" arrived in Yucatan approximately AD 987
(from Tula?); he defeated the Maya and established his capital at Chichén Itzá
- early in the 8th century AD, the Mayan population greatly expanded into the Puuc region of
northwestern Yucatan
- Chichén Itzá declined, and was abandoned at ca. AD 1224

 a2. Cultural Features

Architecture - combination of Toltec and Mayan styles; there were also large Mesoamerican-style
ball courts

Human sacrifice - with many Toltecs-like features, including skull platforms and reclining
“chacmool” figures; cenotes ("sacred wells") were natural water-filled cave features that became
important in the Mayan religion as places for sacrifice

  b. Late Postclassic (AD 1224- Spanish Conquest)
- with fragmentation into hundreds of small polities led by hereditary leaders
                                                      ARCHEOLOGY NOTES, PAGE 67

 4. The Aztecs (Late Postclassic/ Protohistoric; ca. AD 1168- 1521)

   a. History
- according to Mesoamerican legends, Chichimec tribes left the desert areas of northern
Mesoamerica and entered the Valley of Mexico (possibly along with introduction of the Nahua
- the Aztecs were originally mercenaries; these fierce warriors overthrew the Tepanec Kingdom
in AD 1428
- the Aztecs built their capital, Tenochtitlán, on an island in the middle of Lake Texcoco, in the
Valley of Mexico
- the Aztec Empire was formed in AD 1434 (created by a Triple Alliance consisting of
Tenochtitlán, Texcoco and Tlacopan); with up to 6 to 10 million people (1-1.5 million lived in
the Valley of Mexico)

   b. Aztec Agriculture and Commerce
- between ca. 1300 and 1520 AD marsh and lake areas were drained in the Valley of Mexico,
transforming it into productive agricultural plots; the basis of agricultural production were
chinampas (rafts that were floated in place, covered with dirt, and then farmed)
- the Aztecs traded many commodities including salt, reeds, fish, stone, cloth, various crops,
ceramics, gold and wood
- conquered peoples were expected to pay tribute to the Aztec king

   c. Social and Political Structure
- the Aztecs had a highly stratified class system with a divine king, nobles (pillitin), and clans
- the members of the Calpulli lived together, worked and fought together, paid taxes as a unit,
and worshiped at the shrine that was maintained by their Calpulli
- the Aztec Empire was divided into city states (Altepetl), each headed by an hereditary king

   d. Aztec Religion
- the Aztecs believed that the present world was just one in a succession of creations by the gods
(the earlier worlds had been destroyed by the gods)
- constant effort was required to prevent human extinction, especially through blood sacrifice
- human sacrifices were performed in front of temples on tops of pyramids
- it was believed that sacrificial victims, soldiers who died in battle, people struck by lightning,
and mothers who died in childbirth could spend eternity in paradise

  c. The Spanish Conquest (1519-1521)
- Hernán Cortés and his conquistadors destroyed Aztec society
- because of wars, slavery and diseases, by 150 years after the conquest the population was only
about one-tenth that of the Aztec Empire
                                                    ARCHEOLOGY NOTES, PAGE 68

XVII. From Village to Empire in South America

- complex cultures in South America may have initially developed due to abundant maritime
resources; environmental stresses (such as those caused by the El Niño Current) may also have
greatly influenced cultural development
- with Pacific coastal cultures (desert) and highland cultures (Andes)

- major cultures in South America are often differentiated by Horizon Styles (for a particular
culture, the same patterns occur in pottery, weaving, metalwork, stone sculpture and bone
carving); horizon styles are good chronological markers

A. Andean Preceramic (c. 3000 to 1800 BC)

  1. Early Mound Construction in Central and Northern Peru (central-eastern Andes)
- Kotosh and La Galgada with construction of platforms surmounted by free-standing, one-room
structures (these were the focus of burnt offerings made by small groups of “priests”)
- with very few domestic artifacts (indicates that local populations gathered at temples
- the “Kotosh Religious Tradition” is found over much of Andean South America from about
1900 to 1000 BC; it is characterized by the presence of ritual fire pits placed in temple chambers;
worshipers may have sat on benches around these pits, offering marine shells, meat, quartz and
other goods to the gods

  2. Platforms and Sunken Courts along the Desert Coast
- with development of fishing communities along the coasts (sea lions were also a primary meat
source, as well as invertebrates and seabirds)
- cotton and gourd were grown inland (along with minor beans, squash, peppers, tubers and
- by 2000 BC there were many communities on the Pacific Coast, especially along river deltas
and bays
- the largest Preceramic monuments in the Western Hemisphere were built between the Chicama
and Chillon Rivers (El Paraiso, Huaca Prieta, etc.); these consist of flat-topped platforms with
wide central staircases (for ritual display to audiences in the forecourt areas below)
- El Paraiso (Supe Valley, Peru) is a 143-acre site with nine 3 story-high architectural
monuments; seven mounds form a U-shape, with a large plaza between the mounds; over
100,000 tons of masonry was used to build the complex
- although the building of such huge monuments suggests the presence of “elites” in this society,
there are only minor differences in grave goods

  B. Initial Period (c. 1800 to 400 BC)
- settlements increased in size and in the complexity of their architecture; U-shaped temple
construction becomes common in both the coast and highland regions
- in northern Peru there was development of intensive farming and camelid herding, adoption of
pottery, and introduction of weaving
                                                   ARCHEOLOGY NOTES, PAGE 69

- Cerro Sechin, in the Casma Valley, was built about 1400 BC or earlier; it had the largest
monumental architecture in the Americas at this time; with a square central mound 250 by 300
meters across and 44 meters high covered by bas-relief stone carvings showing ax-carrying elites
parading among dismembered human bodies; there were also several large plazas and circular
- Caral, in the Lurin Valley, (ca. 1300-900 BC) had a ceremonial road between two enormous
enclosures and two sunken circular courts leading to a raised central plaza area; there were a
small number of residences and burials on the top of the platform/pyramid (probably for elites,
although there were few burial goods present), and about 300 people lived to the south of the
ceremonial area

 C. Early Horizon (Chavín Period)
- 850 to 200 BC; may represent a religious entity rather than a political unit
- with settled farming life, or lived in small adobe villages; the farmers grew maize, peanuts,
squash and avocado; marine resources were also utilized
- evidence of craft specialization includes stone carving, textiles, the first appearance of many
metalworking techniques (including the manufacture of gold, copper and silver ornaments), and
pottery (with production of the first “stirrup spout” jars)
- body painting, the wearing of ornaments and artificial skull deformation were common social
- the Chavín religious cult developed along the northern and central coast and northern
highlands; the Chavín Horizon Style is characterized by "cat" or "man-cat" designs
- the site at Chavín de Huántar was probably a center for trade and transport between the coast,
highland valleys, and the rainforest; by the 4th Century BC there may have been as many as
2,000 to 3,000 people living around the site; there appears to have been planned construction of
houses, temples, food storage systems, and drainage systems covering 100 acres; priest-rulers
lived on wide terraces surrounding the temple complex
- the U-shaped ceremonial complex at Chavín de Huántar consisted of two low platform mounds,
a massive terraced platform, and a circular sunken plaza 21 meters in diameter that was paved
with stone; the “Old Temple” (remodeled during the Early Horizon to form the “New Temple”)
contained numerous chambers and passageways (the best known is the Lanzón Gallery, which
has evidence for blood sacrifice)

 D. Classic (Intermediate) Period
- approximately 300 BC- AD 1200

  1. Moche Culture
- approximately 200 - 800 AD (Early Intermediate Period); in series of valleys along northern
Peru Coast that were linked by an extensive road system
- the Moche Valley probably had a population of more than 50,000
- grew corn, beans, squash, and peanuts using an elaborate canal system; raised llamas, guinea
pigs, and fished
- first American culture to widely use metal for tools
- the Moche Culture is famous for its modeled ceramics and painted pottery; this pottery has
                                                     ARCHEOLOGY NOTES, PAGE 70

assisted in interpreting the cultural practices of the Moche
- there were massive adobe ceremonial structures, with stepped pyramids (such as the Huaca del
Sol, or Pyramid of the Sun and the Huaca de la Luna) and hilltop forts; elites lived on top of the
Huaca del Sol (which was 340 by 160 meters and 40 meters high)
- Moche Culture was male-dominated, militaristic, with strong class distinctions (they were ruled
by the elite Kuraka Class); artwork often depicts warrior-kings being presented with the severed
hands and feet of enemies
- royal cemeteries of the Moche elite are situated near the modern village of Sípan; with fabulous
grave goods of bird feathers, turquoise, copper, silver and gold; the Moche “priest kings” were
buried with sacrificed llamas, dogs and humans
- Moche decline began about 600 AD, possibly due to earthquakes, droughts, torrential rains, or

  2. Nazca Culture
- 200 BC- AD 650 (Early Intermediate Period), along the southern Peru Coast
- lived in river valleys; built homes of cane plastered with mud; traded, fished, hunted and raised
a wide assortment of fruits and vegetables on the dry coastal plain; constructed aqueducts to carry
groundwater into reservoirs and irrigation canals
- worshipped rain and the mountains from which streams flowed
- typically with very few ceremonial structures [the 60 foot-tall stepped pyramid at Cuachi
(Cahuachi) is an exception]; but are known for constructing huge geometric and animal figures
on ground (termed geoglyphs, or the "Nazca Lines") by removing stones; geoglyphs may have
been part of mountain and water worship, reflecting fertility symbolism
- skulls of Nazca peoples exhibit "cranial molding" (intentional deformation of the skull through
- manufactured polychrome-painted ceramics and textiles (often preserved in mummy bundles);
pottery and textile motifs often duplicate those seen in the "Nazca Lines"; later years of Nazca
culture with pottery showing decapitation of enemies (reflect growing preoccupation with war)

E. The Middle Horizon (approximately AD 650-1000)

  1. Tiahuanaco (Tiwanaku) Culture (ca. 100 - 700 AD)
- with highland sites (cemeteries, stone buildings, sculptures) and central to southern Peru coast
sites (cemeteries with textiles)
- early period around Lake Titicaca, later expanded east, west, and south to coast
- potatoes were probably the most important crop; the Tiahuanaco peoples constructed raised
fields that were reclaimed from lake marshes; they also raised vast herds of llamas
- the ceremonial center by Lake Titicaca in Bolivia is at 14,000 foot altitude; Tiahuanaco was an
enormous, planned urban capital with state buildings and streets, pyramids, temples, stone-faced
platforms, gateways, and stone statues; the population at Tiahuanaco may have been 100,000
- the art is very distinctive, with overlapping canine teeth and stylized geometric designs

  2. Wari Kingdom (approx. 650 – 1050 A.D.)
- ruled in northern Peru; Pikillacta was the largest urban center of the Wari Kingdom (it is one of
the largest ancient sites in the New World, covering about 2 square kilometers; some
                                                    ARCHEOLOGY NOTES, PAGE 71

archeologists believe it was primarily a ceremonial center rather than a residential site)
- evidence of a Wari “Kingdom” comes from the distribution of similar art styles and religious
symbols throughout the coastal and highland areas of northern Peru; the Wari Kingdom also had
an extensive road system
- very little stonework (only for special buildings); typically building walls consisted of
fieldstones set in mortar and covered with plaster
- Wari adopted the Tiwanaku Pantheon of gods
- approximately 1050 AD the climate turned drier for several centuries, possibly influencing the
collapse of both the Wari and Tiwanaku cultures

  F. Chimu (Chimor) Kingdom (approx. AD 1000 to 1476; Late Intermediate Period)
- northern Peru; largest and most impressive regional kingdom prior to the Incas; home to the
Chimu peoples
- built extensive irrigation systems with canals up to 50 miles long
- nearly every valley in the Chimor Kingdom had an urban center, but Chan Chan (in the Moche
Valley) was the largest city (about 11 square kilometers)
- Chan Chan is the largest adobe city in history; an "Urban Elite Center" with ten living
compounds (Ciudadelas), each surrounded by adobe walls and with houses, terraces, reservoirs,
parks, roads and public buildings in each; the compound housed a Chimu ruler, his family and
servants; each god-king was buried in his own compound with female subjects and wealth for the
afterlife (in one area of Chan Chan 200 to 300 young women were sacrificed, probably members
of the royal harem); minor nobility lived in modest-sized compounds
- many common people lived in tiny apartments near the royal compounds (with craftsmen who
manufactured pottery, textiles, intricate wooden figures and metal artwork); others lived in small
scattered villages
- the Chimu were conquered by the Inca in 1476 A.D.

 G. Postclassic (Late Horizon)
- with imperialism and intense political and social organization

  1. The Inca (Inka) Empire (Tawantinsuyu)
- the Inca culture originated in ca. AD 1000 (based on folklore and the timing of the collapse of
the Wari Kingdom); however, the Inca Empire was in existence only from 1476 to 1532 AD
- 1.5 to 6 million population (some say as many as 10 to 12 million people) from about 100
different ethnic groups; used Quechua as the "official language"
- the Inca were a “hegemonic-territorial state”, dominating other polities; the Inca “overseers”
were spread thinly over a large area, but were efficient at government control

   a. Characteristics
- incorporated many environmental zones including deserts, mountains and rain forests
- lowland irrigation systems were extended, and brought under control of a central authority
- with mass-produced ceramics, textiles, and metalwork; the Inca are known for their beautiful
masonry (stone) construction
- capital at Cuzco (in the highlands); Sacsahuaman, Cuzco‟s largest monument was either a
temple or a fort
                                                     ARCHEOLOGY NOTES, PAGE 72

- Machu Picchu was a royal Inca city built in the Andes highlands

   b. Social Structure
- conquered areas and built roads to them (with at least 10,000 miles of roads!); often transferred
entire populations of conquered peoples to other areas
- most Inca lived in rural villages; they typically had rectangular walled houses of stone or adobe,
that were subdivided into smaller units
- people were taxed by farming church and state lands (this "labor tax" is termed mita); with
complex census system and reliance on knotted strings (quipus) for record-keeping; food surplus
stored in state grainaries, etc.
- with two castes; the Incas (divine rulers) and the commoners; society was arranged into kin
groups (ayllu), which were economically self-sufficient units that held land in common
- women were treated as commodities; they were brought to the provincial centers for spinning,
weaving, cooking and as wives for the elites
- gold, fabrics and other luxury goods were also collected for the elites, and conquered peoples
paid heavy tribute
- the kings ruled by nepotism, appointing their relatives to positions of power in the military,
religious and administrative hierarchy
- governmental and ceremonial functions revolved around the central plaza at Cuzco; this is the
location of the holiest Inca shrine (the Coricancha or Qori Kancha, the Temple of the Sun); the
Coricancha had exterior walls measuring 68 by 59 meters and a semi-circular annex that rose to a
height of 34 meters; a frieze decoration one meter wide ran along the exterior wall and
entranceway of the temple that was sheathed in gold plate!
- maize beer (chicha) was a prestige item associated with imperial power and the theology of the
Inca state; it was often used in communal feasts

  c. Spanish Conquest
- Francisco Pizarro's conquest of the Incas was easier because of disease and Inca civil war

XVIII. Complex Societies of North America

- American Cultural Areas began to develop during the Archaic; after approximately 5 Ka with
increasing adaptation to local environments and local cultures diverge

A. Eastern North America

  1. Early Woodland Cultures and the Adena Complex (before 1000 BC to AD 100)
- with three important innovations (pottery manufacture, deliberate cultivation of native plants,
and interment under funerary mounds)
- population growth, social conflict, or food shortages may have led to cultivation of native
annual plants that flourished in disturbed habitats (these "disturbed habitats" could be maintained
by human intervention)
- gourds appear in Eastern North America before 2000 BC for containers, seeds, and fruits; wild
                                                     ARCHEOLOGY NOTES, PAGE 73

sunflower perhaps domesticated by 1500 BC for seeds, dye and oil; sumpweed (a lake and
riverside oily-seed plant found in sites as early as 3800 BC, but cultivation probably around 2000
BC); goosefoot, knotweed, and maygrass had small, oily seeds domesticated or propagated about
2000 BC; tobacco by about 250 AD
- the Adena appear to have been largely hunter-foragers that moved seasonally; the Adena
Tradition is more of a ceremonial complex rather than a culture; centered around the central Ohio
River Valley; most Adena sites are burial mounds [Early and Middle Adena burials are relatively
simple, with few signs of social distinction (probably indicating an egalitarian society at this
- most Adena were cremated; Late Adena sites with more elaborate burial mounds, where
circular thatched houses (charnal houses used to expose dead?) were burned, with a mound built
over them up to about 70 feet high; often with circular earthen enclosures ("sacred circles") near
burial mounds, which may have been kin group meeting places; richly varied grave goods [ with
log-lined graves containing fine flint and copper objects; mica, marine shells; tubular carved
pipes (for smoking the narcotic-like native tobacco); stone tablets for preparing red ocher]; these
later burial practices probably indicate social hierarchy

   2. Hopewell Culture (about 200 BC to AD 400)
- the Hopewell Culture was riverine in its adaptation (with the people often settling in river
valleys); it flourished over most of the Midwest but had its greatest elaboration in Ohio
- Hopewell peoples probably mostly lived in small hamlets occupied for only part of the year, but
some lived in larger villages associated with mounds
- with regional pottery styles and local environmental adaptations, but with characteristic artifact
styles and exotic raw materials in common (fine flint, copper, marine shells, mica, obsidian,
shark and alligator teeth, meteoric iron)
- the Hopewell Culture originated from the Adena Tradition; it was never a widely distributed,
uniform culture but was a variable local phenomenon (possibly distinctive religious beliefs gave
scattered kin groups a sense of identity)
- with flamboyant burial customs, complex exchange networks, huge earthworks sometimes
consisting of clusters of mounds and enclosures covering tens to hundreds of acres; average size
of mounds is 30 feet high, 100 feet across, containing 500,000 cubic feet of dirt
- buildings and earthworks were well-planned and required a lot of labor; this suggests
specialized labor-organizers and “engineers”, possibly of elite status

- "Hopewell Interaction Sphere" with extensive trade of luxury items (for "chiefs"); with cymbal-
like copper ear spools, copper breast plates, mica sheets cut into geometric and representational
forms, plain and effigy pipes, clay human figuines, special pottery vessels (especially "Hopewell
Series" small jars)
- elaborate mounds; with six different forms of burials (used burial crypts or charnel houses,
which were burnt and mounds built over them; only elite deposited intact in ground; some infants
and juveniles with rich grave goods; some human sacrifices accompanied "chiefs" into the
- after AD 400 Hopewell networks collapse, inter-regional art styles broke down, moundbuilding
was interrupted; possibly variations in rainfall caused more trade with local groups, or more
intensive agriculture caused less need for long distance trade and "Big Men" became less
                                                    ARCHEOLOGY NOTES, PAGE 74

- people moved into most of the major river valleys and established small settlements (perhaps
representing small family groups)

   3. Mississippian Tradition (approximately 1000 AD to 15th/16th Centuries AD)
- is rooted in the Archaic and Woodland Cultures of the great river valleys of the Eastern
- lived in valleys with spring floods; ate fish, waterfowl, deer, wild nuts and berries, and with
intensive maize, squash, and bean cultivation; maize included the small cob 12- and 14-rowed
"North American Pop", and after AD 1000 the 8-rowed Maiz de Ocho; beans become common at
about 1200 AD
- the bow and arrow was introduced, with distinctive small triangular arrowheads
- there was complex societal organization, with chiefs and elites achieving wealth and power (the
Mississippian Tradition has been interpreted as a “chiefdom” society); there appears to have been
a theocratic social organization, with the elites achieving both religious and political power
- towns developed with more than 100 population (some towns had 1000 or more people); there
were often large palisaded forts and earthworks
- houses were built by digging wall trenches, and then using clay and thatch to form rooms
- some occupational specialization (farming, trading, ritual, administration) but probably NO
full-time craft specialists
- distinctive pottery with shell-tempered wares; often decorated with animal figures; this pottery
was often beautifully polished, incised or with other decoration
- mortuary cults developed with the burial of high-ranking individuals with status goods under
earthen mounds; some sacrificial burials with "chiefs"
- exchange networks linked hundreds of communities (with specialized production of chert and
salt; also exotic goods used as symbols of the elite's legitimacy); long-distance exchange
probably controlled by "Big Men"
- monumental architecture developed, including mounds and tombs
- the 1254 foot-long Great Serpent Mound (snake-like mound with open jaws enclosing a burial
mound); was attributed to the Hopewell Culture, but is now considered to belong to the Fort
Ancient Culture of the Mississippian Tradition
- Mississippian peoples began building at Cahokia, Illinois around 600 AD; by 1250 AD it was
25 by 11 miles in extent, with up to 30,000 population (but this is debated, with some saying
Cahokia only had a population of a few thousand); over 100 mounds, the largest (Monk's
Mound) is 100 feet high, 1037 by 790 feet long, with almost 22 million cubic feet of earth
- many cultural traits are similar to those seen in Mexico (temple mounds, open plazas); this
"Southern Cult" was probably not Mesoamerican, but developed out of older Eastern Woodland
cutures (with bird symbolism, "weeping eyes", and circle and cross motifs; probably represented
a complex, highly variable set of religious mechanisms that supported the authority of local
- large segments of the population were later wiped out by European measles, smallpox and
- Mississippian peoples were the ancestors of Natchez, Creek, Chickasaw, Chocktaw, and
                                                    ARCHEOLOGY NOTES, PAGE 75

B. The Southwest

   1. Rise of Pueblo Society
- pollen and geological studies indicate that after 700 AD there was an increase in summer
rainfall (with torrential storms) and a decrease in winter rainfall; changes in the groundwater
table and stream flow may have caused the concentration of populations along larger,
pemanently-flowing rivers; hillsides were terraced to control erosion, and diversion dams and
canals built to control and store the summer rainfall
- with more sedentary settlements and greater dependence upon agriculture (probably due to
population increase); with change in food storage (they built above-ground structures for milling,
storage, and other activities)
- from about AD 700 to 1000 with change from pithouse villages to thermally-efficient multi-
roomed buildings of adobe clay or masonry

   2. The Anasazi
- the term “Anasazi” is discouraged by some archeologists, who prefer the term “Pueblo” for this
and related cultures
- Four Corners Region (Colorado, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico); approximately 800 BC to 1400
- based on "dry farming" maize
- ancestors of modern Pueblos (Hopi, Zuni)

Basketmaker Period (800 BC-700 AD) - with initially with no pottery; much hunting and
gathering and grew maize, squash, beans and wild plants; by approximately 400 AD with pottery,
pithouses and kivas (ceremonial chambers)

Pueblo Period (AD 700- 1400) - with underground kivas and above-ground pueblos; lived by
larger rivers (summer-dominated rainfall; made terraces and dams); cliff dwellings by 1150 AD;
distinct black-on-white, black-on-red and polychrome pottery

- there are several famous local variants of the Anasazi Pueblo Period including:

The Chaco Phenomenon - from AD 900 to 1150; expanded to cover up to 50,000 square miles;
centered in the San Juan Basin area of northwestern New Mexico with large, well-planned towns,
extensive road and water control systems, and outlying sites linked by roads and visual
communication systems (there were about 600 kilometers of roads linking 150-200 “Chaco
outliers”); there were about 12 large towns (“Great Houses”) in Chaco Canyon, with Pueblo
Bonito the largest (with about 700 rooms, Pueblo Bonito was an elaborately-planned settlement
built over 300 years); these “Great Houses” consisted of clusters of pueblos shaped in small arcs
that were equidistant from the ceremonial Kivas; there were also smaller pueblo units and many
single-story (and apparently unplanned) villages; ritual activities and widespread trade was
controlled by an elite; Chaco cultures collapsed about AD 1150, probably due to prolonged
drought, with political power and settlement patterns shifting to other Anasazi locations

Mesa Verde - AD 500 to 1300; situated in the four corners area to the north and northwest of the
                                                    ARCHEOLOGY NOTES, PAGE 76

San Juan Basin; is wetter than most other Southwestern locales, with many natural springs and
seeps; by AD 950 there were differences between dwellings, Kiva architecture, burial practices
and possibly ceramics between Chaco and Mesa Verde; from 750-1150 AD with surface villages
of posts and mud associated with pithouses, then shift to Pueblo complexes, and finally in AD
1200-1300 settlements move southward to live in "cliff palace" complexes; very few indications
of social stratification; about 1300 AD the entire San Juan drainage was abandoned by Pueblo
peoples; the people moved south and southeast into the Hopi, Zuñi and Rio Grande Pueblo areas
(could have been due to changes in subsistence strategies, exhaustion of local soils, and changes
in the amount and distribution of rainfall)

   3. The Mogollon
- approximately 300 BC - 1300 AD
- the Mogollon lived in the mountains of east-central Arizona and west-central New Mexico,
where they “dry-farmed” maize
- early villages often consisted of about 15 pithouses along ridges, bluffs or terraces, with no
ceremonial kivas; early burials often consisted of simple inhumations in house floors, with a few
pottery vessels, turquoise and stone tools
- there were also larger villages, with more than 100 pithouses associated with “Great Kivas”; the
largest pithouses had more storage space, more exotic trade goods and more agricultural
products, possibly indicating the emergence of social ranking
- later settlements consisted of single-storied, rectangular, pueblo structures associated with
large, rectangular, semi-subterranean kivas
- "Mimbres" ceramics were very well-made, with painted animals on a black background; the
best pottery was usually associated with burials
- the latest Mogollon sites had many features in common with the Anasazi
- some Mogollon sites had Mesoamerican-like ballcourts, platform mounds, and jewelry in
turquoise and shell similar to those seen in Mesoamerica
- the “disappearance” of the Mogollon is sometimes linked to ecological changes (such as
drought), but there may have been a migration of populations to smaller hamlets or to other
pueblo communities

  4. The Hohokam
- approximately AD 300-1450
- developed over much of Arizona; Hohokam-style artifacts are found over a 73,000 square
kilometer area
- probably developed from the local Cochise Culture (sometimes termed the “Desert Culture”),
but Hohokam sites also have Mexican-style ballcourts, platform mounds, and Mexican-style
luxury goods such as shell objects, copper bells, and macaws (birds) (but the Hohokam peoples
were probably not “settlers” from Mesoamerica, as was once believed)
- utilized extensive irrigation along the Salt and Gila Rivers, growing maize, beans, squash and
cotton; irrigation was probably tribally-organized rather than "state"-organized
- away from the major rivers, the Hohokam used “floodwater farming” along intermitted streams
or alluvial fans; the Hohokam also hunted and gathered wild plants
- after 1150 AD, platform mound settlements were organized into linear systems along major
canals (with the largest sites at the canal termini); some “Great Houses” were also constructed, as
                                                    ARCHEOLOGY NOTES, PAGE 77

at Casas Grandes, Mexico
- most Hohokam lived in small square pithouses roofed with clay and grass domes supported by a
wooden pole framework
- one of the largest Hohokam settlements was Snaketown (in Arizona); with above-ground adobe
structures; large pithouses in central areas (occupied by extended families?) surrounded by
smaller pole and brush dwellings (single family dwellings?)
- subsistence practices, settlements, and mortuary ceremonies of the Hohokam provide little
evidence of rank and wealth differences in the population, although the organization of
agriculture and slight differences in grave goods may suggest some social stratification
- settlements abandoned after AD 1400 (theories include intense flooding, silting of canals and
salinization of fields)
- the Hohokam may be ancestral to the Pima and Papago (Tohono O'odham)

5. Cultural Traditions in the Southwest

   a. Yuman-speaking Peoples
- found in Colorado River Valley and nearby uplands and in Baja, California
- practiced floodplain agriculture and hunting-gathering; were skilled warriors and active traders

   b. Uto-Aztecan Speakers
- include the Pima, Papago (Tohono O'odham) and other tribes living in southern Arizona,
Sonora, and parts of northern Mexico
- lived in rancherias (small hamlets housing several nuclear or extended families living in
separate dwellings)

   c. Pueblo Indians
- from Arizona and New Mexico; speak diverse languages but share a common culture
- include the Hopi (Arizona), the Zuñi (New Mexico), and the Acoma, Laguna and other
Kiowa/Tanoan-speakers (live east of the Zuñi)
- tend to live in compact villages of stone and adobe; houses often multi-storied, with
interconnecting rooms for living and storage; all settlements with kivas (special ceremonial

  d. Athabaskan-speaking Peoples
- Apache and Navajo peoples probably migrated to the Southwest during the 15th or 16th
centuries AD from their ancestral homeland in Canada

  C. Bison Hunters and Agriculturalists of the Great Plains
- approximately 500 BC with appearance of pottery, substantial houses, burial mounds and
cultivated plants
- during the Late Prehistoric Period (approximately 500 to 1500 AD) with appearance of bow and
arrow (with side-notched projectile points) and increased use of bison jumps led to intensive
communal bison hunting on foot
- some groups cultivated the river bottoms in the eastern Great Plains and traded surpluses to the
                                                     ARCHEOLOGY NOTES, PAGE 78

- during the Protohistoric Period (approximately 1500 AD to modern times) Apaches arrived on
the Southern Plains about AD 1450-1525; also arrival of the Numic speakers (Shoshone, Utes,
Comanches); horses introduced to the southern Plains (especially after 1650 AD) by the
Spaniards, firearms introduced from the northeast by French traders; horses and firearms
extended the range of the hunter, able to secure and carry large quantities of meat, and greatly
influenced the native cultures (the Bison Belt became a battleground with raids between various

 D. The Late Period of the Southern California Coast (AD 1100 to 1804)
- shell money becomes widespread (including "money beads" bartered by everyone and "status
ornaments" for elite)
- Hokan-speaking Chumash peoples include coastal groups (exploited sea mammals, fish, and
shellfish; especially around the kelp beds) and inland groups (exploited oak-covered foothills for
acorns and seeds and hunted mule deer and small mammals; with deliberate burning of
vegetation to enhance vegetation growth)
- with villages of up to 1000 people ruled by a hereditary chief; these became highly stratified
societies with elites (assisted chiefs; expert traders, canoe builders, basket weavers and artisans
assumed considerable prestige), shamans (directed religious ceremonies and curing diseases) and
- Chumash villages and provinces had constant disputes and warfare

 E. Late Period of the Northwest Coast (AD 500 to modern times)
- development of hilltop fortifications, bow and arrow with indication of violent deaths
- population rises (it peaked at about 1000 AD), shellfish depleted, and developed new food
gathering and storage technologies (dried fish, etc.); led to ownership of well-defined territories,
more social ranking, and ritualized redistribution of food and commodities at ceremonial feasts
(potlatches); chiefdoms develop, dominated by powerful clan leaders (in charge of redistribution
of resources)

F. Great Basin and Western Interior

Fremont Culture (AD 400 - 1300) - in eastern Nevada, western Colorado, southern Idaho and
much of Utah; with scattered farmsteads and small villages, some with Pueblo traits (pithouses,
stone architecture, pottery, maize cultivation); with at least five different Fremont "variants"
based on artifacts, subsistence and settlement patterns; Great Basin abandoned by Fremont
peoples about AD 1250-1350, probably due to drought

G. The Arctic

  1. Environments and Subsistence
- boundary between the Arctic and the Subarctic is the northern limits of the boreal forest (no
large-scale forest growth where the average temperature of the warmest month is less than 50° F)
- mid-winter average temperature may be less than -25° F for weeks at a time; some winter
storms with temperatures of -100°F
- Arctic dominated by tundra, with no more than three frost-free months per year; permafrost
                                                      ARCHEOLOGY NOTES, PAGE 79

present, with summer bogs and swamps; tundra with fast-growing mosses, lichens, sedges and
grasses that support herds of caribou; also musk ox, hares, lemmings, arctic fox, wolves, bears,
and abundant birds (especially migratory waterfowl); shallow lakes and swamps support large
populations of mosquitos and other insects, that support large bird and fish populations
- arctic seas are extremely rich in plankton and krill, that support large populations of small fish,
dolphin and whales

 2. Prehistory of the Arctic

   a. "Pre-Dorset Cultures"
- include a number of traditions that existed from 8000 BC to AD 1800
- mostly caribou hunters; also harvested marine mammals (sea otters, seals and sea lions, and
whales), sea fish (cod, halibut), sea urchins, limpets, migratory birds, and migratory mammals
(especially whales); salmon fishing inland
- elliptical houses roofed with driftwood and sod
- Arctic Small Tool Tradition (approximately 2000 to 600 BC) with diminutive blades or
microblades used as end or side barbs in antler or bone arrows or spearheads; probably intrusive
from Siberia; introduced the bow and arrow into North America

  b. Dorset Tradition of the Eastern Arctic (550 BC to AD 1100)
- developed from Pre-Dorset Culture when climate became colder (Pre-Dorset and Dorset
peoples are often referred to as "Paleoeskimos"; Pre-Dorset peoples mostly caribou hunters;
Dorset peoples mostly seal hunters; also hunted musk ox, smaller land mammals, nesting birds,
walrus and narwhal; used close quarters stalking and hunting)
- with rectangular semi-subterranean buildings, triangular projectile points for seal hunting,
ground slate tools, very rich artistic tradition with many carvings of humans and polar bears;
often with masks, figurines and plaques important for funerals, shamanistic and magical
ceremonies (probably influenced Inuit spiritual beliefs)
- but no dog sleds, no bows and arrows, no sophisticated whale hunting gear, no stone drills for
making bone and antler tools

  c. Thule Tradition (approximately 700 BC to modern times)
- Thule and modern Arctic peoples (Inuit) are often referred to as "Neoeskimos"
- Norton peoples of Bering Strait developed a specialized culture based on ocean exploitation
(with appearance of toggling harpoons and harpoon line floats, polished slate tools (including
"ulu" skinning knives), bird darts and fish spears, snow goggles, needles and awls, walrus
shoulder blade snow shovels, ice picks for winter seal hunting; umiaks (whale-hunting boats),
kayaks; energy-efficient winter dwellings with deep entrance tunnels below floor level (of stone,
sod, whalebone or snow); summer skin tents
- by AD 1000 began migrating to East and by 13th century settled throughout coasts of Canadian
Arctic and Greenland (the eskimos were better equipped to deal with Arctic environment versus
the Dorset peoples)

H. The Subarctic
                                                     ARCHEOLOGY NOTES, PAGE 80

  1. Environments and Subsistence
- the Subarctic consists of virtually impenetrable boreal forests (Taiga) of spruce (in the northern
Taiga) and hemlock, tamarack and pine to the south
- with winters as severe as on the tundra but more frost-free days and greater varieties of land
animals (woodland caribou, moose, migratory waterfowl are important food sources)

  2. Prehistory of the Subarctic
- typically Athabaskans that occupied most of North American subarctic boreal forests in historic
times; ancestors of Southern Athabaskan tribes (Exs.= Apaches, Navajos)
- sequence of development with distinctive microcore and microblade tradition and burins, etc.
- fishermen and hunters with similar snowshoes, toboggans, canoes, footwear, weirs, game drives
and fences
- the Athabaskan religion was spirit-oriented
- coastal Athabaskans hunted sea mammals in warmer months and elk, moose, and caribou in
winter; with red-ocher adorned graves containing barbed bone points, toggling harpoons, and
antler, bone and ivory daggers
- inland Athabaskans hunted caribou in the transitional area between tundra and taiga west of
Hudson Bay; camped on rivers and lakes along caribou routes
- the Subarctic Archaic cultures slowly evolved into the modern Indian Groups of the northeast
and the modern Athabaskan-speaking peoples of the northwestern Subarctic and the American

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