Answering Anthropology Questions
Clear comparisons; accurate date ranges; demonstrate appropriate geographic knowledge; demonstrate linkage between behavior and environmental influences on cultural development. use appropriate geographic and date information to illustrate your comprehensive knowledge of the topic.
1. Scientific archaeology has enabled us to discover and interpret ancient civilizations in ways not possible before the development of archaeology as a discipline. But like all sciences, it has limits. These limits help us understand the meaning of epistemology and to be critical of pseudoscience. Using two examples of civilizations(Aztec, Inca, Mayan, Peru, Olmec, examined this semester, describe how the scientific method enabled researchers to solve mysteries about ancient cultures and their interactions with past environments.
2. Who were the people that constructed earthen mounds and built Cahokia at the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers? When did this civilization thrive and decline? Describe what is known about the city and the significance of its physical layout to social order among Cahokians. Identify and discuss the false theories and pseudoscience that has historically been applied to these mound building societies.
3. The Maritime Hypothesis proposed by Michael Mosley has been foundational in bringing about new ways to understand the rise of civilizations in Peru. But his theory is not without critics. Discuss the basic elements of the Maritime Hypothesis, provide the evidence Mosely uses to support the theory, and describe two of the arguments frequently used against his analysis.
4. Civilizations of North America and Mexico, Mesoamerica, and South America are in many ways still a mystery. Because of this, “independent researchers” and pseudo-archaeologists have published numerous “theories” to explain archaeological mysteries. Describe two examples of pseudoscience that are applied to civilizations in this region. Identify the culture and the “myth” or mystery which pseudoscientists attempt to explain.
5. Two great empires were established in the Americas. Both the Inca and the Aztec established themselves through political centralization and by military expansion over neighboring kingdoms. Compare and contrast the Empires of the Aztec and the Inca. Provide appropriate geographical, chronological, and historical information to support your answer.