An Introduction To Culture And The Field Of Anthropology

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Introduction to Culture & the Field of Anthropology

week 1
I. What is culture?
Traditional definition: "Culture, or civilization, taken in its broad, ethnographic sense, is that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society." ~Edward B. Tylor 1958 [1871]
A. Culture is:
Learned – Culture is transmitted from generation to generation through a process called enculturation.
Shared – We do not live as individuals alone. Members of a culture share societal norms.
Adaptive – The tools and practices that enable people to satisfy their survival and adaptation needs make up what’s called a cultural core.
Integrated – Cultures are not random collections of activities. Cultures are composed of integrated systems.
Based on Symbols – a symbol is a word or object that represents or stands for an idea, event, meaning, or sentiment.
Culture organizes that way people think about the world – culture consists of systems of meaning that are produced and interpreted by members. Shared concepts become so ingrained that they are taken for granted, and assumed to be true.
Subculture – Examples, the Amish, Hutterites (NatGeo show: American Outliers)
Counterculture – Example, hippies of the 1960s.
II. What does Anthropology have to do with all of this?
Cultures change. There are a whole host of reasons why a culture might change that fall into four major categories.
Anthropologists that study humankind, specifically culture and culture change.
A. There are several areas of study in anthropology
Socio-cultural anthropology
Linguistic anthropology
Biological anthropology
Applied anthropology

Introduction to Archaeology
I. Popular perceptions
Comic books
Boy scout merit badge
II. Finds of the century King Tutankhamun (1922) Royal burial at Ur (1926)
The discovery of King Tut continues to impact popular culture to this day.
The heroic days when one could discover an ancient civilization in a monthand several royal palaces in a week are long gone.
Archaeology is the only academic discipline and profession that has an ancestry in treasure hunting.
In the nineteenth century archaeological projects were often hasty searches for lost cities or gold-laden royal burials.
It was a time of high adventure and a great deal of unbridled looting and the damage to the past was incalculable.
There were whole city mounds reduced to dust, temples ravaged and royal tombs torn apart in the quest for, not only riches, but fame and glory.

III. So, what is archaeology, really?
Scientific study of the human past
IV. The Beginnings of Archaeology
People have speculated about human origins and the remote past for centuries. As early as the 8th century B.C., the Greek writer Hesiod wrote that humanity had passed through five ages of history beginning with the Golden Age and ending with the Age of War.
European Renaissance
Sixteenth Century Events
Diminishing Power of Church
Printing Press
Spread of literacy
V. The Three Ages and the Antiquity of Humankind
Although some people in the 18th century were content to display their “finds” others began to puzzle over the people who had actually made the artifacts.
Three-Age system,
The Stone Age, The Bronze Age, and The Iron Age
VI. But, how long had humans lived on earth?
Using the genealogies in the Old Testament a man known as Archbishop James Ussher calculated that world had been created on the night of October 22, 4004 B.C. – biblically then the answer to that question was: 6,000 years
Industrial Revolution
William Smith uniformitarianism In 1836 a French Customs officer, Boucher de Perthes (assoc. of human made tools with extinct species)
Homo Neanderthalensis - Neander Valley near Dusseldorf in Germany
On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin
What is the ultimate combination of