Wk4 Reflection Post: Kasandra Purkey

The Ceren society left single houses that would have housed one household that would have been completely self sufficient. They would have made their own food from crops they grew, their own clothes, and washed them. As the video described in our time we think of self sufficiency as a difficult life, but the evidence from the Ceren households show many richly made material goods.

The Copan had an extended family household that was made up of three building surrounding a patio, a kitchen building, a storeroom, and a sleeping area.  This society would also be self sufficient but this society had the goal of is there enough people to carry out the daily needs of the household.

At Teotihuacan there are huge apartment like compounds within the city. The compound rooms had the occupants buried underneath. By studying the bones from a single compound genetic similarities led to the understanding that the inhabitants were related, for example out of twenty male skeletons, eighteen had the same genetic hole over the eye socket. This lead to the belief that there was an even larger extended family living within the compounds called lineages. By looking at modern pottery makers in the area the conclusion came that every member of the lineage would be helping to make the pottery. Children carrying pots to the fire, and older relatives selling that at market while those in between actually made them. This location being a trade society not self sufficient.   On the outskirts of town were the agriculture providers of the city with their farms and households.

Rome specially Pompeii had these similar huge living quarters as well as tiny households. Among the larger households were slaves. Some slaves being freed but remaining in the household to be buried with their former masters. These rich households also had store areas as well as private areas, no boundary.

I think the most important part of this documentary was the use of skeletons in Teotihuacan to prove the lineages.  It included the use of descendants to understand why this living arrangement was implemented. I think an important idea from what we have been discussing however is the Ceren society. How their daily life was self sufficient but the evidence they left behind showed how it was more successful than it is today.  Showing the tools used and finding the remains of food types used while also finding the material possessions that would have been for enjoyment rather than function give a better picture of daily life.

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