Topic 4 - Agriculture Evolution Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Topic 4 - Agriculture Evolution Deck (48)
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what must you be careful of when excavating animal bones?

when excavating animal bones, you must be careful to avoid breaking bones or damaging their surface and collect all bones and teeth, including small fragments


what must you do to the specimens?

you must assign ABG number and complete form and record any disturbance and associated finds. do not mix ABG bones with other animal bones from the context


how big do samples of bones sometimes need to be?

samples for bones may need to be large (1000L) to recover a big enough assemblage. they also may be needed where abundant, articulated or small animal bones are seen


why do we sample?

we sample to retrieve a representative range of animal bones. it usually follows a 'systematic' or 'judgmental' strategy, or a combination of these.


what methods are there of quantifying bone assemblages?

there are 2 common methods of quantifying bone assemblages, number of identified specimens (NISP) and minimum number of individuals (MNI)


what do NISP methods do?

NISP methods implicitly treat each recorded specimen as a separate individual but, some bones in a sample may all derive from the same animal


what problems are there with NISP?

further problems with NISP are that different samples can have different degrees of fragmentation complicating comparisons and different species have different numbers of identifiable bones pronounced when compared across different taxonomic groups.


what does MNI methods do?

MNI have different methods of application but the same basic principle of bones for each taxon are separated into left and right, the highest number of left or right correspond to the smallest number of individual animals which could account for the sample. some specialists attempt to identify left and right pairs in assemblage


what are limitations on MNI

MNI calculations have been abused and are only an estimate. it also overestimates rare taxa where NISP minimises it.


what is the correct quantification method?

there is no one right quantification method, different methods give different estimates each with different biases. the use of combined methods can give a more robust picture.


what methods are there for age analysis? why is this useful?

there are several methods for age analysis, tooth eruption and occlusal wear is useful, as is interpretation of animal husbandry and meat supply practices


when is optimum slaughter age?

in many husbandry strategies optimum slaughter age is towards the end of juvenile period as rapid growth has ceased so meat gain slows down. thus most males are culled while young females are kept for longer for reproduction and milk.


what is taphonomy?

taphonomy is the study of the transition of organics from the biosphere into the lithosphere i.e. the process that affects organic remains after death


what do interpretation of assemblages answer?

the interpretation of assemblages answer how it was formed and altered and identity the different taphonomic process


what is ecology

ecology is the science of the relationships between living organisms and their environments


how are vertebrates different? what does analysing them tell us?

vertebrates have different preferred habitats and environmental tolerances, analysis of the distribution and relative abundance of their remains can give an idea of the past climates, environments and habitats


how does agriculture affect human ecology?

agriculture has fundamental repercussions for human ecology, demography and society, production of surplus food and other products opened up new pathways to social and economic complexity and permitted dramatic global human population growth.


what happened in the Neolithic?

the Neolithic was a period of major changes and innovations such as domestic plants and animals and ceramic and polished stone tools


what was found in the neolithic revolution

the 'Neolithic revolution' must have occurred where the wild ancestors of modern domestic plants and animals were found


what is the oasis hypothesis?

the oasis hypothesis suggests the description of South West Africa at the end of the Pleistocene where grasslands turned into sandy desserts and isolated oases where humans and animals concentrated leading to a symbiotic relationship and subsequent taming and husbandry of animals


what did Lewis Binford conclude?

Lewis Binford concluded that conditions at the end of Pleistocene led to restricted resource-rich areas, increased sedentism and population growth, some migration into marginal zones and transition to farming as an adaptive response


when is there an emphasis on symbiotic co-evolution?

as we move away from environment determinism and cultured evolution, there is an emphasis on symbiotic co-evolution between plants, animals and humans


what did David Rindos map?

David Rindos maps the evolution as such, 1. protection of strands of wild plants within their habitat, 2. the creation of artificial habitats, change of morphology by artificial selection and 3. full domestication adapted to a set of humanly created conditions.


what were the conditions of Natufian like?

Natufian was warmer and wetter, favoured deciduous woodland and annual grasses had substantial settlements, some sedentary and an elaborate material culture


what animal was important for hunting? how did they do this?

Gazelle hunting was important and was a highly specialised system. Gazelles were migratory so they were seasonally trapped in large numbers


what was good about pre-pottery neolithic A?

pre-pottery neolithic A (PPNA) had a favourable climate, higher population levels and some evidence for communal architecture


what evidence is there in PPNA settlements?

in PPNA settlements, there is some evidence for pre-domestication cultivation of plants and it's still mainly Gazelle hunting


what happened in pre-pottery B?

pre-pottery B (PPNB) had an explosion in settlement and an interaction sphere with a movement of goods and materials resulting in shared cultural traits


what was widespread in PPNB?

in PPNB, domestic crops and animals were widespread with a coming together of various components into an integrated system of farming sustaining the increase in population


what is the timeline of occupation in the Eastern Sahara?

There was re-occupation in the Eastern Sahara in humid conditions, then major occupation until increasingly arid conditions arise in the Sahara followed by regionalisation or a migration