The Goal Of Archaeological Research

906 Words4 Pages
Lindsey Grissom
Anth 265

Writing Assignment 1 For as long as humans have been around we have had cultural traditions specific to our species. The goal of archaeological research is to obtain a broad understanding of human culture. Archaeologists are interested in studying culture in the past and in the present through material remains. Remains include anything that was created or modified for use by humans. By studying culture in this way we gain insight into how different communities lived in different areas of the world. We see how our ancestors lived and how culture has changed over time as our ancestors adapted to their environments. Archaeology covers all time periods and geographic areas that humans live or have
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Parenting shapes how children are raised. We need an archaeology of parenting and also an archaeology of childhood because we have to be able to look at the two groups separately. However, we also need to realize that these children grow up to be adults and everything they do as children and how they are raised effects how adults live in the future. Despite childhood development being such a big influence on who we are as adults, there has been surprisingly little attention devoted to understanding how Neanderthal childhood was distinctive. Spikins argues “that it is now crucial to forward our understanding of children in prehistory”. Traditionally, people view Neanderthal children as having lived a dangerous and harsh life. However, a lack of recent review of this culture could mean we are neglecting aspects of Neanderthal life that we overlooked in the past. Most research up until now has focused on biological aspects such as growth and development by using skeletal analysis. While this is important we have greatly neglected the social and cultural aspects of these people’s lives. Like early modern humans, Neanderthal children were born in a rather altricial state. This would make them vulnerable and mean there had to be some type of hands-on care by an older person in the first few years of development. This could have been by the infant’s biological parents or through alloparenting however without studying the social aspects of life we wouldn’t know which was
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