W4 Reflection Post

In the video “The Hearth” the family unity was discussed at length from four unique cultures and political systems. Ceren, Copan, and Teotihuacan are located in Mexico and Central America, with the last site being in Pompeii, Italy. I found it very interesting how these sites were all advanced and culturally rich in their own ways. I really liked the final line in the video, that politics, governments and culture are things that directly affect the decisions people make in their daily lives; probably more than most people realize. The family structure in each of these places were different.

The Ceren and Copan sights were somewhat similar on the surface and yet each’s family culture was unique in their own way. Ceren households were made up of one family that was mostly self-reliant. The Copan households were also self-reliant, but the homes were multifamily homes where the work of everyday life was shared between many people. So even though the two sites might seem somewhat similar, the daily lives and living conditions of the sites must have been quite different.

The next location, Teotihuacan was the most interesting to me. The city was so large and obviously planned out extremely well. It was the peak of a civilization that is not always considered to be advanced, but obviously is. The people being buried underneath the floors of the rooms that they lived in is just crazy to me.

The last location was the ancient town of Pompeii. I found it very interesting that the pottery was mass produced in two models. That sounded like a practice that should not be around until the industrial revolution to me. They seem to have had an organized and materialistic cultural system that reminds me of ours today. They also had extraordinary wealthy elite as we do today. I did not know that slaves in ancient Rome could earn their freedom, become citizens themselves and then even live with their old masters.

I think the skeletal remains and the pottery were the two most important pieces of evidence to focus in on. The pottery was able to give a small understanding of the culture that the households faced. The skeletal remains were able to give an understanding of how the people were related. I would like see the results of DNA analysis on the skeletal remains as a confirmation of what the archaeologists believe.

2 thoughts on “W4 Reflection Post

  1. I agree with you about the final line of the video. There are so many societal norms that we adhere to, not because things have to be that way, but just because that’s the way that we have always done them. In our society, families consist of blood relatives. Families of these ancient civilizations were completely different. Roman families consisted of blood relatives and all of their slaves. Those slaves were even buried with their families, as if they were blood relatives. Why is it that our definitions of families are so different? Obviously slavery is no longer legal, but I think that Roman citizens considering their slaves as family is counter-intuitive to what most people would believe.

  2. I agree that the skeletal remains and the pottery were the two most important pieces of evidence for archaeologists to focus on. The pottery was not only just able to give a small understanding of the culture, but also of the food they ate and how they were able to get the food. Also the kind of environment that these individuals lived in. The skeletal remains were able to help archaeologists understand lineages and even the type of life that the individuals used to lead. In a previous chapter, we learned that there may have been a violent culture due to the skeletal remains that archaeologists have found. I find it so interesting how much we can learn about a culture just by looking at their material remains.

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