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Ch. 17 Anthropology


the process organisms undergo to achieve a beneficial adjustment to an available environment and the result of that process-the characteristics of organisms that fit them to the particular environmental conditions in which they are found


cultivation of crops using hand tools such as digging sticks or hoes


a system, or a functioning whole, composed of both the physical environment and the organisms living within it

convergent evolution

in cultural evolution, the development of similar adaptations to similar environmental conditions by peoples whose ancestral cultures were quite different

parallel evolution

in cultural evolution, the development of similar adaptations to similar environmental conditions by peoples whose ancestral cultures were similar

culture area

a geographic region in which a number of different societies follow similar patterns of life

culture type

the view of a culture in terms of the relation of its particular technology to the environment exploited by that technology

culture core

the features of a culture that play a part in matters relating to the society's way of making a living

cultural ecology

the study of the interaction of specific human cultures with their environment


anthropologists who seek to understand the principles behind native idea systems and the ways those principles inform a people about their environment and help them survive

carrying capacity

the number of people who can be supported by the available resources at a given level of technology

density of social relations

roughly, the number and intensity of interactions among the members of a camp or other residential unit

swidden farming

an extensive form of horticulture in which the natural vegetation is cut, the slash is subsequently burned, and the crops then planted amongst the ashes


member of a society in which the herding of grazing animals is regarded as the ideal way of making a living, and in which movement of all of part of the society is considered normal and natural way of life


pattern of strict seasonal movement between different environmental zones

preindustrial cities

the kinds of urban settlements that are characteristic of nonindustrial civilizations

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