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Ancient Middle America

Fall 2014 Calendar

Wikipedia
 map: topographic
  map: Mesoamerica and Its Cultural Areas
  Mesoamerica
 Pre-Hispanic Mesoamerica


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Monday, 22-Dec-2014 13:41:26 GMT


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"Looking for One Beginning
The Fallacy of Diffusionism"

From the series Lost Worlds: The Story of Archaeology

(51 min., 2001, UM DULUTH Library Multimedia CC100 .L66 2002 DVD)

The Development of Ethnological Theory Chart

Panel from the back of the golden throne of King Tut.

Kon-Tiki.
Kon-Tiki

Terms / Concepts Notes
Cultures Sites Individuals Bibliography
/ Resources

 

In pictures: Kon-Tiki voyage recreation -- BBCNews


Diffusion (anthropology) -- Wikipedia

search difussionism on JSTOR


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In the News . . .

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"When explorers examined the remains of an advanced Mexican culture, they concluded that a superior race must have come from elsewhere to build the palaces and pyramids: the theory of diffusionism was born. This program charts the 150-year search for civilization's origins, which most 19th and early 20th century archaeologists believed to be a single source. Though questioned in the 1950s by Henri Frankfort, the diffusion theory persisted, as this program shows, and received interpretations ranging from Thor Heyerdahl's idea that the Mexican pyramids were built by the Egyptians to notions that they were made by aliens—all under the premise that the ancient Mexicans could not have done it themselves." -- Films for the Humanities and Sciences

"This program charts the 150-year search for civilization's origins, which most 19th and early 20th century archaeologists believed to be a single source. Though questioned in the 1950s by Henri Frankfort, the diffusion theory persisted . . . and received interpretations ranging from Thor Heyerdahl's idea that the Mexican pyramids were built by the Egyptions to notions that they were made by aliens" -- Container label

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Terms / Concepts / Features:

  • basic mechanisms of change

    • invention

    • migration

    • diffusion

      • stimulus diffusion

  • 1521

    • death and human sacrifice

    • tzompantli

  • pre-dynastic pottery

  • centers of agriculture

    • maize-based cultures of the New World
    • wheat-based cultures of the Near East
    • rice-based cultures of the Far East
    • millet-based cultures of Africa
    • manioc-based cultures of South America

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Notes:

  • unlike the early Egyptians, the Mayan people had not disappeared when their civilization(s) fell

Cultures:

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Sites:

  • Palenque (Maya)

  • Monte Albán (Zapotec, Mixtec, Oaxaca)

    • ca. 1300 B.C. -- first village houses in the valley of Oaxaca

      • San José Mogote

      • interiors divided into two separate areas

  • Mexico City / Tenochtitlán (Aztec)

    • Zocalo -- center city plaza

  • Egypt

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Individuals:

  • Frederick Catherwood (1840s)

  • Cortez

  • John L. Stephens (1840s)

    • Incidents of Travel in Incidents of travel in Central America, Chiapas, & Yucataán

  • Sir Edward Bernett Tylor

Sir Eduard Burnett Tylor.

    • Theory: "Unity of the Human Race "

      • Stages (from Robertson)

        • Civilization
        • Barberism
        • Savegery


    • Theory: "Diffusionism"

    • Publications
      • Anahuac; or, Mexico and the Mexicans, Ancient and Modern (1861)
      • Researches into the Early History of Mankind (1865)
      • Primitive Culture: Researches into the Development of Mythology, Philosophy, Religion, Language, Art and Custom (1871)
      • [Handbook on] Anthropology (1881)

  • Henri Frankfort

  • William Flinders Petrie

    • cemetery of Nagada

      • pre-dynastic Egypt

  • James Henry Breasted

    • coined the term "fertile crescent"

    • analyzed the mentality of ancient Egyptians and ancient Sumarians

  • Alberto Ruz Lhuillier

  • Thor Heyerdahl

  • Kon Tiki Book


  • Eric Von Daniken

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