Answer the questions using materials from articles and/or texts, as well as information from films and lecture, to craft your response. Essays should be well-organized and should demonstrate your mastery of the course materials. As you discuss possible scenes from the evolutionary past, make use of the articles that we read in class! Be sure that the scene you describe is consistent with data available through archeology, biological anthropology or primatology. Demonstrate your awareness of contemporary models of human evolution rather than simply relying on the Man the Hunter image. If you are writing about Waterlily’s camp circle, be sure to contrast the kin-based community depicted by Deloria with our contemporary, capitalist society. You may also supplement Deloria’s descriptions with information from the article, “Strange Country This” and include a wider spectrum of gendered experiences. As you imagine the past, provide supporting data to support your vision. Explain your choices and work to convince your reader of your points by providing details that reference our readings and discussions. Remember to try to think like an anthropologist as you consider your own life experience and contrast this with the ways of life we have discussed in this class. This assignment is worth up to 50 points.
1a. Imagine that you have entered a time machine and are suddenly (and temporarily) transported back (60,000? 200,000? One million?) years to a cave inhabited by our early ancestors. Estimate the date and explain how you have done so. Look around and describe what you see. Make use of the articles by Slocum, Smuts, Hrdy and Small, as well as our critique of “The Evolution of Hunting” to construct a plausible set of activities and behaviors. You may also use Bonvillain’s ethnographic data to discuss patterns of foraging among humans. Make use of data and trends discussed in lecture. Add your own insights and imaginings but maintain a story consistent with the contemporary (current) data on human evolution. Be sure to describe the physical environment surrounding your cave. Be sure to address gender. Do you see a division of labor? What sort of family life do you see? What personality traits do you observe in our ancestors? What do your cavemates expect of you? How will you manage in this new environment?
1b. Imagine that you go to sleep one night and mysteriously travel back in time. You are still here on the Prairie-Plains of North America but you wake up in Waterlily’s camp circle. Describe your new role as a gendered individual in this society. What is most striking to you about this new way of life? What activities are you expected to participate in? How do you relate to others? What obligations do you feel most strongly? Tell me about your family relations. Describe your hopes and fears. Then briefly contrast this experience with your life as you are living now. What are the biggest differences?
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