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  1. What is MtDNA?
    It is one thing looked at to examine genetic variability. It is much smaller and in a different form than the double helix of regular DNA. It encodes only 37 genes whereas nuclear DNA encodes 100, 000. It is not affected by natural selection and only inherited through females therefore variability cannot be introduced by males. Mutations within MtDNA are reasonable regular therefore a molecular clock was developed.
  2. What two genomes are present in human cells?
    Nuclear DNA in the nucleus of the cell, and Mitochondrial DNA found in the cell wall.
  3. What are the characteristics of a primate?
    Opposable thumbs and forward facing eyes are the most recognisable characteristics however no single trait can define a primate. There are 4 main complexes; grasping hands and feet, a visual system, large brains and associated behaviours, and features of the skeleton and dentition in that they do not have specialised skulls or teeth.
  4. What are the different evolutionary stages of primates?
    Australopithecus, Paranthropus/Robust Australopithecus (Walkeri, Robustus, Boisei), Homo Habilis, Homo Ergaster, Dmanisi, Homo Erectus, Homo Pekinensis, Homo Heidelbergensis, Homo Neanderthalensis, Homo Sapiens, Homo Floresiensis
  5. How can you define Homo Sapiens?
    Their skull has a high short vault from front to back which allows for large cranial capacity. Nasal prominence, a chin, skull base flexion, frontal lobes above orbits, and orthognathous which is having a jaw which does not project forwards and a facial angle approaching a right angle.
  6. What is the Last Glacial Maximum?
    A period in the Earth’s climate history when ice sheets were at their maximum extension. It was between c.26, 500 and 19, 000-20, 000 years ago. During this time, vast ice sheets covered much of North America, northern Europe and Asia.
  7. What was the European Neolithic Period?
    Very approximately 7000/7300 BC to 2000 BC. It is the name used to describe the period of agriculture before the introduction of metals and highly associated with the domestication of animals and plants. There is evidence of metal usage such as polished stone axes in this period so obviously the definition is not concrete. There were two distinct Neolithic’s- the “no frills” North and the painted pottery South.
  8. What dates do anatomically modern humans and behaviourally modern humans appear?

    What behaviour is seen as evidence for behaviourally modern humans?
    Anatomically modern humans appear between 125 000 to 90 000 years ago. These finds come from Skhul and Qafzeh in Israel

    Behaviourally modern humans appear after 100 000 years ago. Some archaeological evidence for modern behaviour include the crafting of jewellery from shells and carved organics, clear organization of space including dwellings and hearths, transport of lithic materials over long distances, shaping of bones/antlers/ivory into needles/harpoons, prey selectivity and the occupation of more difficult environments.
  9. How do isotopes help archaeologists understand different cultures and their diets?
    Stable isotope analysis of archaeological materials, chiefly bone collagen, is commonly used in archaeological investigations of ancient human occupation. Carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis of bone collagen can aid understanding of the roles that marine and terrestrial resources and wild and cultivated plants played in ancient diets. And can help reveal dietary differences in population sub-groups based on gender, social status and age.The differences in the carbon and nitrogen content of foodstuffs and the preservation of these isotopes in bone collagen, provides a method for determining the dietary practices of humans and animals alive hundreds to tens of thousands of years before present.

    The carbon-13 and nitrogen-15 information obtained from bone collagen can distinguish consumers of: C3 from C4 plants; meat from fish; legumes from non-legumes; herbivores from carnivores
  10. When do the first stone tools appear and what hominins are they associated with?
    The first stone tools are the Olduwan industry dated approximately 2.5 million years ago. They are associated with Homo habilis.
  11. Foramen magnum
    Hole in the base of skull skull through which the spinal column and associated nerves and muscles to pass through the head
  12. Arboreal
    Tree dwelling
  13. Chiefdom
    A society of several thousand individuals organized on institutionalized lines of hierarchical lineages ruled over by a chief
  14. Cuneiform
    A form of script used in Southwest Asia during the Bronze Age and Early Iron Age; literally "wedge-shaped"
  15. Teosinte
    Wild maize, from which the domesticated species evolved
  16. Sedentism
    A residence patter of permanent, year-round settlement
  17. Mandible
    Lower jawbone
  18. The Indus civilisation, is typically identified at archaeological sites through the discovery of one or more of the following traits:
    Cities, artifact standardization, four-tier settlement hierarchy, writing, long distance trade, urban planning, craft and settlement specialization and monumental public works.

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  19. What are the two best known cities of the Indus civilization?
    Mehenjo-daro and Harappa
  20. What is the Holocene?
    The Holocene is a geological epoch which began at the end of the Pleistocene (at 11,700 calendar years BP) and continues to the present. It has been identified with the current warm period, known as MIS 1 and based on that past evidence, can be considered an interglacial in the current ice age

    The Holocene also encompasses within it the growth and impacts of the human species world-wide, including all its written history and overall significant transition toward urban living in the present.
  21. What was significant about the 3rd Dynasty of Egypt ?
    It was the first appearance of "new men who owed status to relationship of King rather than birth rite"
  22. What are Matabas?
    Egyptian early flat roofed tombs made from mud/brick which elite were buried in a room below the ground
  23. Why was unification of Egypt so important?
    Development of state system. To legitimize power of king, elite invented institution which transcended the individual king or administrators: the divine king/god incarnate, made Egypt theocratic state
  24. What is the classic morphology of Homo neanderthalensis?
    • Large Heads
    • massive trunks
    • relatively short, powerful limbs
    • forward projection of the face along the midline (the line that bisects the face from top to bottom)
    • tendency for the braincase to bulge outwards at the sides
  25. Which Chinese dynasty is responsible for changing the style of worship to link the ruling dynasty with the heavenly mandate?
    The Han Dynasty 206 BC – AD 220
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