ANTH 1140 Exam 1 Study Questions
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Why are archaeologists so interested in establishing what resources are available in a certain area?
Describe six traditions shared by the various cultures of Mesoamerica:
- Chocolate = cacao
- Autosacrifice = religion based on reciprocity
- Sacred solar calendar
- Animal companion
- Happy hour = tortilla, corn, bean dip, avocado, chile, lime, tequila
The Motagua River provided a navigable route for transporting ___________and _____________ from the Highlands to the Caribbean coast.
- jade / greenstone
Experimental archaeology led Tikal archaeologist Dennis Puleston to assertion that __________ were used to store __________.
Between 30,000 - 2,000 BC ______________ entered the Americas following Pleistocene Megafauna. During this time, social status was ___________ and societies were ______________.
Paleoindians used a tool known as a(n) __________ to propel a style of large spear points known as __________.
Name three animals hunted by PaleoIndians using the atlatl.
- giant sloths
- sabertooth tiger
The three major plants forming the basis of the Mesoamerica diet are
Mesoamericans used an agricultural technique known as ___________.
intercropping (corn sucks up nutrients, beans replace N2)
The earliest evidence of hunter-gatherer activity in the Maya region, excavated by Barbara Voorhies, is located on _______________ and consists of _____________.
- Cerro de las Conchas
- clam shells
Moving from place to place in a seasonal round as resources became available seasonally, these people were engaging in ____________.
optimum foraging strategy
The Pre-Classic site of ___________ excavated by ______________ was the largest Maya city constructed.
Why are the Olmec known as the “Rubber People?”
Rubber flourishes in Tabasco and Vera Cruz.
The Olmec sites of San Loranzo and La Venta display a number of cultural traditions, artifacts and features that were later borrowed and elaborated upon by the Maya. List six:
- Cached offerings
- Sky dragons
The two major Olmec sites were ___________ and ____________.
Name four sites in the Maya Highlands that flourished during the PreClassic Period:
- Paso de la Amada
- Canton Corralito
- Takalik Abaj
Shown is a map of Mound 6, Floor 2, from the site of _________________.
Paso de la Amada
Archaeologists M. Blake & J. Clark have proposed that this building functioned as ____________ because ___________. Others suggest that the building represents ____________ because ______________.
- the home of a polygamist chief because there were two of everything (biggest house)
- a clan house for communal feasting because the quantity of ceramics exceeds that which could be used by any family
In order to optimize their foraging potential, hunter/gatherers move from place to place in a pattern known as a _______________.
Excavations by Richard “Scotty” MacNeish in the caves of the Tehuacan Valley revealed that teosinte was domesticated to produce the plant we call __________.
corn or maize
What evidence is used to suggest that a plant or animal has been domesticated?
- Morphological change at the molecular level
- Plants are larger, animals are smaller
- Presence in places that are not native/indigenous
- Presence in porportions larger than native
List four traditions diagnostic of the Preclassic Period Maya Highlands
- Hero Twins on stelae & altars
- Usulutan pottery
- Mushroom stones
True or False: The eruption of the Pangopango Volcano in Nicaragua, ca. 300 AD, stimulated the PreClassic Highland Maya trade routes into Mesoamerica.
We refer to volcanic glass as ___________. Give three reasons why this resource was important to the peoples of ancient Mesoamerica:
- Sharpest manmade tool (good for hunting, warfare, bloodletting)
- Because it can be dated using obsidian hydration
- Because it can be sourced based on the mineral composition because every volcano is unique
William Saturno discovered a PreClassic mural, ca. 100 BC, at the site of __________ . What is so remarkable about the depiction of the Corn God on the North Wall?
- San Bartolo
- Olmec imagery identical to the corn god masks of San Lorenzo (Olmec site)
List six traditions diagnostic of the Preclassic Period Maya Lowlands:
- Cache vessel with masks
- Apron molding on pyramid
- Mammiform tetrapod pottery
- Lidded vessels with basal flange
- Stucco masks on pyramid
The major cities of Calakmul and Nakbé are linked to El Mirador by a series of __________.
True or False: The Mirador Basin (excavated by ____________) appears to have functioned as a single polity identified with the glyph Kaan during the PreClassic Period.
Iconic analysis of PreClassic stelae from Izapa seem to illustrate parts of the story of the __________ from a tale transcribed in 1550 known as the __________.
List the primary domesticated protein sources consumed by the peoples of Mesoamerica
True or False: The Maya developed the corbel vault rather than the true Roman arch.
Archaeologists use what term to identify the extended family who live around a central patio or plaza?
True or False: Olmec heads were found throughout Mesoamerica to indicate the power of the Olmec empire during the PreClassic Period.
False (no Olmec empire, only in Olmec land)
Stone to make the Olmec heads was derived from the ___________.
What other artifacts or features are used to identify the Olmec (both in the Heartland & abroad)?
- big heads
- (other stuff from Olmec question)
During the Preclassic Maya farmers developed more intensive forms of agriculture to increase productivity. Define what is meant by “swidden agriculture.”
Slash and burn
What are the costs and benefits of swidden agriculture?
- Costs = corn exhausts the soil, requires fallow period of 7-10 years, requires great amount of land
- Benefits = low labor costs
Describe two other intensification strategies used by the Maya (non-swidden)
- Garden terraces / Chinampas (at El Mirador)
- Terracing in the Mayan Mountains
- Costs = High labor
- Benefits = Increased yield
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