One of the important features of cultural ecology as an investigative framework is its treatment of the relationship between human beings and their environment, both physical and social. This unit considers our major terrestrial environments, and the various human adaptations, in terms of subsistence, technology, and transport systems, that were present at the time of contact between traditional and literate cultures.
After completing this unit, you should be able to
- describe the three general trends in human evolution.
- discuss the characteristics of the three general modes of sociopolitical integration—band/tribe, chiefdom, and state.
- define “low-energy” and “high-energy” societies, and provide an example
- describe the two major types of tropical biomes, and the type of vegetation
- explain why swidden farming was used by early farmers.
After completing the viewing assignment for this unit, you should be able to
- describe the parallel evolutionary developments that occurred in the “Old World” and the “New World.”
- describe the effects of plant and animal domestication on human societies.
- describe the archaeological remains that indicate the nature of Copán society.
- compare the nature of human adaptation at Copán, Monte Albán and Teotihuacán.
- describe the consequences of agricultural intensification as evidenced at the site of Copán.