W4 Reflection Post

In Ceren, El Salvador, researchers found an extremely well preserved civilization because it had been covered in volcanic ash.  This seemed to be a fairly small group of people as not many structures were discovered. However, inside the structures they found a large sample of material possessions, and proof that they had been subsistence farmers. Inside pots they found seeds from squash, beans, chilies, and others which also proved that they had stored the majority of their foods.

In Copan, Honduras, researchers found a much different picture. There were over 4,500 structures, but had been much less preserved than in El Salvador. These home structures were set up as different buildings surrounding a common patio area. Evidence shows that each of the buildings had a different purpose (kitchen, sleeping, storage, etc.) and that it may have been due to the ease of division of labor between sexes and age groups.

In Teotihuacan, Mexico there was evidence of a large urban center with farming and and residential areas. In these residential areas, there were compounds that housed up to 100 people, and because the citizens were buried underneath the rooms they slept in, researchers were able to prove that the males were all related and that women married into the family, creating lineages.

The last site, Rome, showed several social classes ranging from poor to wealthy, and that work and home life were very connected. This site was helpful to researches because it was covered in volcanic ash similar to in Ceren, El Salvador. The people in this site had slave quarters, wine, and other various items which proved that the wealthy in this civilization lived well beyond their means.

I feel that the most compelling evidence through all of these homes is based off of their material possessions and the remains of humans able to be studies for lineages.

5 thoughts on “W4 Reflection Post

  1. I really enjoyed this week’s video, and was glad to learn more details about different communities of people and how they were similar and different from each other. I agree that the evidence found at the homes (possessions and human remains) was important to know, in order to learn more about the people and what their lives were like. I enjoyed seeing the part in the video where the archaeologists could see similarities between skulls buried under the homes of the Teotihuacan people. I would definitely be interested to learn more about the human skeletal remains.

  2. It was rather interesting to learn about the four hearths in this weeks lecture. I personally believe that the Copan and Ceren were rather similar when it came to the type of hearth they lived in. They had a generally small area which they resided and they used extended family and other families to survive together. This was very unlike the other two hearths, which for one were extremely large and provided for a whole city instead of themselves. I also really wanted to further understand what was in the burial grounds and about the human remains. Did they have a certain ritual they did with burials or was it rather normal?

  3. To clarify, Pompeii, the fourth site, was part of Rome, it was different from the actual city/state of Rome. While Pompeii was buried in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, Rome got on fine.

    On another note, I’m still surprised by the preservation of the remains in Ceren. Though technically preserved by a volcanic eruption, much like Pompeii, they were remarkably close to the surface– to the point where they were discovered accidentally, and, even once found, the possibility was considered that it was simply a recently collapsed home. This also shows that historical value can hide in the most unassuming places.

  4. I like your detail in regard to Pompeii and Teotihuacan-both of these in the video grew some interesting conclusions.
    As I mentioned in my post, As we saw in Teotihuacan, the number of houses grew to up to a thousand. Up to 100 people could live in the same household. Teotihuacan buried the bones of people beneath the homes where they lived which I thought was very interesting. The leaders in Teotihuacan are all related which I found very interesting. In Rome, there were some similar preserves as Ceren, except what we could see in Rome was more décor. In Pompeii, we saw some very interesting artifacts such as the pottery that was a mass production. You brought up some logical points around Rome, Ceren, and Copan as well.

  5. I agree that material possessions are very important clues that archaeologists use in order to learn about the families and the cultures. Pots, especially, were great artifacts to look at because they may still have the food or remains of the food that the individuals used to eat in the past. For example, some pots in Ceren were still fully or almost fully intact and had some foods such as squash, beans, and chilies in them. Looking at the materials in Rome, we could see that the wealthy individuals were very wealthy due to the wines and other things that they had. For lineages, however, I think that looking at the homes that the families used to live in would have been better.

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