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ANTH 1102

Exam 1 Review

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

History and Principals of Evolution

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

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

Early Human Evolution

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

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