Bonus Blog- Stonehenge

As far as the most important thing we have learned from this class I think it is a tie between learning about the homo-genus and then the pyramids. I mean especially the homo-genus I mean come on that involves every single one of us and we can all relate to that lecture. I don’t want to write about the most important though, I want to write about the most interesting topic in my opinion and that is stonehenge.

I think it is one of the most beautiful and mysterious monuments that we have talked about in this class. I think it is so interesting because so many people have been exposed to the physical aspects of it, but that so many people know very little about. I know people have said it to be astronomical, but I believe it to represent a religious site of worship. I believe, as many others do, that it is a place of life and death. I would like to say why I think this, but the only real reason I have is because the physical aspects remind me of a bunch of stacked tombstones, ruins or a temple where someone would go to mourn the lost and pray for the living. It is hard to give any real evidence because I have never been there and nobody knows for sure, but I think that is what makes it so interesting.

I know that there has been significant evidence showing the phases that stonehenge was built and more about the construction, but the actually creators of stonehenge and what it represents stands to be a mystery. I wonder if maybe that is what it was originally built for, just to make people take a step back and actually think about everything.

A lot of things in this class I found to lack evidence that would help make sense of things. I think that is what is so interesting about this class in general. I like that we can find evidence of past human behavior, but whats more is that we can better our ways of discovery in general. It is one thing to uncover something great, but the real accomplishment in my opinion is finding more efficient ways to uncover things, during the process of actually uncovering things. I really liked trying to make my own connections to things and coming up with my own theories to monuments and discoveries that may have been missing evidence.

Mount Vesuvius & Pompeii

So normally before I write my blogs I like to see what other students have found interesting and I saw that one student posted about Pompeii, which got me really excited. I am very fascinated with the topic and decided to look into it a little bit more and also do my blog on Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius in general.

Mount Vesuvius is located in Europe, along the coast of Italy; on Naples Bay. The name “Vesuvius” has been argued in Latin translation to mean “violent”. This Mountain stretches over the Eurasian and African Tectonic Plates. The height of the volcano is argued as well, due to the changes in height after erupting. It is still considered to be active to this day, but hasn’t erupted since the mid 1900’s. One of the oldest eruptions wiped out the entire city of Pompeii.

The first time I was introduced to the story of what happened in Pompeii was in my Latin II class in my high school. We watched a video about how this once beautiful city existed around 79 AD and was destroyed with one catastrophic event; the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. During the eruption of Mount Vesuvius over 16,000 people were killed. It is considered to be one of the most significant eruptions ever in history and is the biggest eruption from the Campaignian Range.

People were killed by various elements from the volcano eruption. There was ash, sulfur, heat flashes, and pumice. Many people died from heat or from the ash and pumice suffocating them to death. It was said that this lasted for a few days until the entire city was practically wiped out. The most significant discovery and outcome from this tragedy in my opinion is the exceptional preservation of the bodies that came from the ashes and pumice from the volcano. The people were discovered with their clothes still in tact, they could tell the weather based on the bodies clothing, which appeared to be warmer. The fruit in markets was still determinable.

I was very intrigued by researching Pompeii because I really like Roman and Greek mythology and there are stories supporting a legend that the eruption was an outcry from the gods. The gods were upset with the people of Pompeii and struck back by the explosion from Mount Vesuvius. Many philosophers in ancient Rome had made predictions of the gods lashing out. Just one day before the Volcano erupted the roman god of fire, Vulcanalia was celebrated among the people. I just found it interesting by the coincidences and timing of these events.

Crossing Paths: The Neanderthal and the Homo Sapien

This is going to be a very hard blog to write, but I am more so writing about this to get feedback from others, as there is much controversy and evidence to prove either side. I am just laying out the general evidence that will help lead people to different conclusions as to what they believe to be accurate and why. It is hard because there is sufficient evidence pointing in either direction. I am trying to decide whether or not the two crossed paths, are from a common ancestor, and whether or not they interbred.

The Homo Sapiens as you know are classified as human beings. Neanderthals on the other hand are classified as a “man” that has existed in prehistory and is now considered to be extinct. The two evolved with a history of differing descendants and are not known to be of the same species; with some controversy as to whether that was considered to be true. The actual dates of existence of the Homo Sapiens and the Neanderthals have been extremely controversial. There is strong evidence through fossilization to suggest that the two time periods of existence crossed.

There have been many studies arguing whether the Homo Sapiens and the Neanderthals ever interbred. The biggest evidence to suggest that they never interbred was the lack of genetic similarities. There were studies done comparing evolutionary traits between the two species. There have been some scientists that have argued that there are very small traits that are similar, but are believed to have come from an inheritance from a common ancestor. There is an argument saying that the African race evolved into Homo Sapiens and ate meat, fish, and fruits and vegetables. The Europeans evolved into Neanderthals and ate meat. I do not believe this to be true, but has been mentioned by many studies saying that the different demographics are a big factor as to how the two are classified. I believe that demographics are not a deciding factor as to whether the two are related.

I have come to the conclusion that the two are correlated through genetic inheritance. I think that it is very possible that the two crossed paths for a short while, but did not interbreed. There is strong evidence indicating that they do however have many small genetic similarities that point to a common ancestor very early on. The genetic evidence was not significant enough to price that it was through the inheritance of a parent.

I would love to hear some feedback from others, I know that there was a lot of “controversies” and “some says,” but that is what makes it so hard to understand and what makes it interesting, because at this point it is more so about what each person believes through the evidence they gather from various reputable sources. There was so much evidence pointing to different conclusions, some of which I did not even mention, because that led into different genus.

Archaeology

I am not an archaeology major, nor do I know much about archaeology in general. I took this class as an elective, but with some interest. When I think of the word “archaeology,” I think of digging and uncovering old bones. I used to collect rocks and that is about the extent of where I thought I could relate to archaeology. I know there is a lot of different opinions about what archaeology is, but I am excited to learn more about the truth of archaeology and because we are human, we should know about the things that make us who we are today.

After experiencing a little truth about what archaeology really is, I got excited. I like the connection between anthropology and archaeology. I previously took an anthropology class that connected other cultures to our own and it gave advice on how to navigate our country from an outside perspective. I really enjoyed the class, so when I heard about the correlation between anthropology and archaeology, I was more intrigued.

I have never really been the type of person to really care about things from the past. I was one of those ignorant people that would say “well why do we need to know about the past, it already happened.” Over time I have realized that it is important to know the past, it is what shaped the present and what will enhance the future. I am still one of those people who are busy trying to uncover our own culture and do not really have much time to explore other countries, but I think this class is going to help broaden my knowledge of other countries and the historical events that have helped make our world the way it is.

I think people, well now I know, people have this idea that archaeology is just a boring study of old dusty bones and ugly rocks. I mean just the name archaeology sounds a little boring and slightly dated. I don’t think this is necessarily wrong, but I think the fascinating part of archaeology comes in learning that it is truly a science. The exciting part is uncovering the mysteries that lie beneath the surface, literally.

Taking the scientific aspect of archaeology and the many cultural variances described by anthropology; I believe that archaeology is truly unique in that there is so much to learn, further beyond what anyone could ever know. I am officially curious and intrigued to learn about what this class has in store for me.