Anthropologica (Old Series) 1961
Campbell, John M. The Kogruk Complex of Anaktuvuk Pass, Alaska. Anthropologica, 1961. III(1): 3-20.
In this article the author, John M. Campbell, talks about the stone artifacts found at a site called Kogruk at the summit of Anaktuvuk pass, in Arctic Alaska, and about certain properties of the site. He sets out to find out why there is no earth staining at Kogruk, to explain the distribution of the artifacts, to classify the artifacts according to tool types, to account for the abraded quality of certain artifacts and to determine the age of the site.
The larger intellectual concern that frames the author’s argument is the relationship – the cultural connections – of the Kogruk site to other sites in North America and Eurasia.
Earth staining is typically associated with old hunter’s camps in the Anaktuvuk region. It is caused by organic materials such as flecks of charcoal, lenses of ash, decomposed bone and antler, and oil or grease. The absence of earth staining at Kogruk is unusual because earth staining is present at a site a few yards away, called Kayuk. Topographically and geologically Kogruk is nearly identical to Kayuk.
The distribution of artifacts at Kogruk is noteworthy because it is very uneven. About sixty percent of the total Kogruk collection was found in one area of five square feet and many of the flints were found tightly wedged between glacial cobbles. This distribution is not readily explainable. There is no evidence that the artifacts were intentionally hidden.
Campbell classifies the stone tools based on their appearance – shape, size, mass, and whether the scars from retouch or use are present or not. He tentatively divides the artifacts into nine categories. There are also three artifacts, which possibly do not belong to any of those categories.
A small percentage of the artifacts are eroded and worn along the edges of flake scars. However, this wear and erosion does not seem to be the result of use. The author uses the geological record, specifically looking at the glaciations in the Anaktuvuk area, to establish the age of the site.
The main point that the author wants to convince the readers of is that slight, but significant, erosion by snow melt water and glacial melt has occurred at Kogruk during the last glaciation in the Anaktuvuk region. The pieces of evidence that support his argument are the absence of earth staining, the uneven distribution of artifacts at Kogruk, the abraded quality of some artifacts, and the absence of tundra sod thousands of years ago, when the site was inhabited by humans and the stone tools, which are the topic of this article, were made and used. In Campbell’s opinion, erosion by water is the most plausible explanation for these things.
NATALIYA POTAPOVA York University (Maggie MacDonald).
Cohen, Ronald. The Success that Failed: An Experiment in Culture Change in Africa. Anthropologica, 1961. 3(1): 21-36.
In his article, Ronald Cohen provides an analysis of a European technological innovation upon non-Europeans that succeeded technically, but failed culturally. The purpose of the innovation was to maximize the agricultural production among the traditional practices of the Kanuri of northern Nigeria using super-phosphate fertilizer. Cohen argues that the innovation experiment failed because its European advocates did not account for the human factors among the Kanuri. Further, he claims that the human side of innovation is of equal importance to the technical side, and is necessary to the successful operation of an experimental innovation. The issue in the article demonstrates the problem with attempts to `westernize’ of the `non-western’ world.
In his argument, Cohen contrasts two ideas of economic success: that of the peasant Kanuri and that of the Europeans. He first demonstrates how the European notion of success was fulfilled. Of the Kanuri who properly used the super-phosphate fertilizer, the mean increase totaled 30.3% for the millet crops and 35.1% for the groundnut crops. Despite the exceptional rate of increase, the Kanuri reached a negative consensus: the Europeans knew nothing about Kanuri methods of agriculture.
Cohen outlines the reasons that the Kanuri did not accept the success into their agriculture system. While the Europeans define their success by an increase in production, the Kanuri define economic success by social relationships. The Kanuri believe that the most desirable way to increase one’s economic status is through social interaction. If a loss in production occurs, it is attributed to the personnel in the household rather than the agricultural techniques
Cohen uses Linton’s theorizing to demonstrate the importance of the human factors in this case. Linton explains that people will normally work towards improvement unless there have been negative experiences in the past. Also, Linton claims that peasants view attempts by their rulers to alter their economic position with suspicion. First, the peasant Kanuri had had bad experiences with the same super-phosphate fertilizer in the past, and this permeated into the second trial. Second, the peasant Kanuri are suspicious of European attempts to alter current economic relations. Because of the power dynamics between the two cultures, the Kanuri fear that the success may only serve the interests of the Europeans. Cohen adds that had the human factors been accounted for, the experiment may have had more positive results.
CAROLYN STONE York University (Maggie MacDonald).
Fried, Morton H. Warfare, Military Organization, and the Evolution of Society Anthropologica, 1961. III(2): 134-147.
Morton H. Fried begins his discussion by defining terms such as how warfare and military organization has helped shape, create and identify social systems, ranked societies, egalitarian system and stratified societies. According to Fried, ranking is a socio-cultural activity which assigns different statuses to different individuals who are members of a common social system. Fried defines a stratified society as distinguished by the differential relationships between various members of the society and the strategic resources of the society. People in a stratified society are economically differentiated. A widespread hypothesis has been established on the notion of warfare. Fried makes reference to E.R. Leach’s idea of warfare. He considers it necessary and justifiable to assume that a conscious or unconscious wish to gain power is a very general motive in human affairs. Fried holds that patterns of warfare found among egalitarian societies shows weakness of development such that some theorists have claimed that “real” warfare does not exist at this level. Fried refers to Turney High’s definition of how traits in organization enable a society to perform coordinated activities instead of the absence of technology.
For ranked societies, Fried points to E.R. Leach’s argument about static representation of shifting networks of behavior and relationship. Warfare seems to institutionalize rank differences. Warfare brings about new kin units to the force and may establish the legitimate and preexisting head of such kin group as the new chief or paramount chief. This way, societies are categorized in some order of rank. Fried believes that, with the evolution of stratification and the state, warfare assumes utmost importance in the development of the social structure. In a stratified society individuals get involved with differential access to productive property thereby creating, at least potentially, a class of people whose subsistence can be marginal even when others in the society are consuming far above subsistence levels.
Concurring with Sahlins, Fried implies that warfare serves a primary role in the development of super-stratification. He also strongly believes that warfare has played an essential role in the process of the emergence of social structure.
ARIFUR RAHMAN York University (Maggie MacDonald).
Lowther, G. R. Relations Between Historical Theory and Archaeological Practice in the Work of R. G. Collingwood. Anthropologica, 1961. III(2): 173-180.
G. R. Lowther in this article critiques R. G. Collingwood’s philosophy on the Idealist view of history, prehistory and its relationship with archaeology.
Although Collingwood was well known as a philosopher most of his writings were on archaeology and early history showing his philosophical viewpoints. Idealist philosophy is mainly that the study of history is the study of ideas by “rethinking the thoughts of the past”.
As a specialist in Roman Britain, Collingwood was the “leading synthesizer of all work concerned with the Roman occupation of Britain”. Lowther states that Collingwood’s work revealed that in prehistory, with only a small amount to study, only a little culture is shown making it difficult to know the people’s thoughts. In contrast, using the Idealist method he brought the Roman occupation to life, because of the wealth of material available. Using exactly the same method with the Anglo-Saxon period Collingwood was unsuccessful due to the lack of documented material.
Lowther believes that Collingwood did not have the universal appeal he claimed to have. Collingwood felt that excavations should only be made to answer a specific question. With the Romans in Great Britain he could get away with that because there was so much written material to formulate the question. Collingwood criticized archaeologists who dug for curiosity’s sake. Lowther disagrees stating that in areas where very little excavation has been done, such as in Canada, one would not have the knowledge to ask the question, and must dig to find what is there. Digging to answer a specific question brings with it the danger that one will only find what one is looking for.
Prehistoric artifacts do not reveal enough information to enable us to understand the ideas of the people who used them. With historic archaeology there is sufficient background material to assist in the understanding of the people’s thoughts.
HARRY JOHNSON York University (Maggie MacDonald).
Oschinsky, Lawrence. A Short Note on Upper Lateral Incisor Tooth Crowding Among the Eskimos. Anthropologica, 1961. 3(1): 90-94.
Oschinsky refers to his joined work on a previous paper with Dr. Roy Smithurst dating to 1960 that states that Eastern Canadian Arctic Eskimos have a specific kind of anterior tooth crowding called “instanding lateral incisor”. This is where the lateral maxillary incisors are located in the wrong place with regards to the tongue and also in the wrong spot when in relation to the central incisors. Only that type of anterior tooth crowding persists in Eskimos and new findings also suggest irregularities in one of the pointed teeth of either the upper or lower incisors. Most consistently amongst Eskimos, as found in different geographical spots of the Canadian Arctic, is the crowding of an upper lateral incisor tooth. This type of tooth crowding is found to be rare universally and basically only found in Japan and areas of Eskimo inhabitation, though studies have not been conducted elsewhere.
Research from Sapporo Medical College in Japan have concluded that only a small percentage of the Japanese have instanding lateral incisors, ranging from 5% to 10%, while a greater percentage exists in Eskimo populations.
Oschinsky concludes that it is rare for Caucasians or African Americans to have this type of tooth crowding, but there is a definite trend among Eskimos. Causes of this condition are not known as well as why it is located at these geographical locations. Oschinsky’s hypothesis might be that there is a connection to the historical physical traits of the Eskimos having abnormal projecting jaws. But this is, after all, just a hypothesis and further studies need to be conducted.
FIONA TSANG York University (Dr. Maggie MacDonald).
Scott, J.P. Commentary on “Subhuman and Human Fighting” Anthropologica, 1961. 3(2): 164-172.
This article is a commentary on the publication by Dr. Suttles as well as the presentation of particular ideas that J.P Scott omitted from his book on Aggression (1957). After submitting his thesis from his book he continues on with the reason for his commentary. Here he wants to show how animal behaviour has relevance to warfare and the association with human aggression. The reason for this is that animal primates have a connection to humans through biology.
Scott investigates a number of different groups of animals such as prairie dogs, ungulate mammals, carnivores, herd animals, and anthropoids and the different types of fighting behaviour that are considered agonistic with characteristics such as defensive and aggressive fighting. Animals are researched for their different traits associated with fighting behaviour and how they are connected to categories such as dominance-subordination and reproductive fighting. One of the groups of animals researched was carnivores which included wolves and dogs. These carnivores have agonistic traits that allow them to work as a group in hunting and keeping predators away. Under natural conditions this group sustains a behaviour that is well organized, cooperative and peaceful within their own group. An interesting aspect discovered that was consistent within the groups of herd animals and carnivores is “reproduction fighting” in which males battle over the possession of females. This characteristic was also associated with human beings. The author also makes a number of connections between human and animal characteristics on aggression.
The author concludes with the emphasis of two factors: a society that is structured for warfare and social disorganization is the cause for destructive fighting. Social disorganization is also the cause of fighting among the animal kingdom. However, destructive fighting is unnatural and is elicited through the disorganization and confinement of animals. Considering the social disorganization in human societies, individuals can no longer allocate destructive fighting as an innate characteristic. It is not biology that causes’ fighting it is the organization of warfare.
FRANCA SEBASTA York University (Maggie MacDonald).
Suttles, Wayne. Subhuman and Human Fighting. Anthropologica, 1961. 3(2): 148-163.
In this article, the author, Wayne Suttles, addresses the types of animal fighting and human fighting. He hypothesizes that by studying animal fighting, the basis of human warfare can be understood. The two types of fighting Suttles make reference to are that of interspecific fighting, and intraspecific fighting. He defines interspecific fighting as fighting between different species and he defines intraspecific fighting as fighting between the same species. He argues that these fighting behaviours are present in humans as well as animals. According to Suttles, interspecific fighting can occur in “predation and defense against predators”, or it can occur as “competition for the same `ecological niche’”. Intraspecific fighting, however, can occur “between members of `separate social units’”, more specifically, “reproductive or territorial fighting”, or it can occur “between members of the `same social unit’”, more specifically, “peck-order fighting”, in other words, status within a given group.
Suttles idea of “predation and defense against predators” within animals does not always assume fighting. The predator will, of course, hunt its prey, however, in many situations; the prey will try to escape. If the prey has no chance to escape, the hunt will end in battle, the prey will use any means necessary to survive when cornered. This idea of predation can be compared to humans because humans are social predators themselves. In order to survive, humans will hunt for animals to obtain the food and resources necessary for survival.
The idea of competition for the same “ecological niche” is different between herbivores and carnivores. Herbivores from different species are more competitive in the sense that they will either “out-eat” or “out-breed” their competitors. However, competition between carnivores of different species will fight over food and resources necessary for survival. The reason for this competition between carnivores is possibly that it takes more effort to hunt and kill prey rather than residing in and area with an abundance of food and resources, such as the area in which herbivores reside. Humans can be compared to carnivores in that they attack their competitors for the means of food and resources.
The idea of “Reproductive or Territorial fighting” stems from Tinbergen. He defines it as the “fighting that occurs between members of the same species particularly in the breeding season”. This type of fighting in animals is the way for animals to maintain specific boundaries and defend their territory. This type of fighting in animals can be compared to human warfare because humans fight each other more of less for power and glory in relation to territories, whether they need it or not, they fight to win.
The idea of “peck-order” fighting occurs between both animals and humans for the same reason. The reason is simply for a specific status or hierarchy within the social group. Fighting may not always contribute to the rise in status, but if given the reason or challenge, it may be.
Although Suttles does not prove his hypothesis to be true, he only asks to formulate new questions regarding the idea that animal fighting can possibly help to understand human warfare.
KATHERINE LEONI York University (Maggie MacDonald).
Vayda, Andrew P. and Anthony Leeds. Anthropology and the Study of War. Anthropologica, 1961. III (2): 131-132.
This article addresses the overall subject of anthropology and the use of anthropological methods in the study of war. The article is basically an introduction to subsequent papers that pertain to the topic of the investigation into war using the stated anthropological method or intellectual framework of cross-cultural and evolutionary perspectives.
Vayda and Leeds’ intention with the piece is to set a sort of conceptual foundation for the reader in order to better understand the following works by different writers. Vayda and Leeds also touch upon the topics or issues that are to be discussed.
Additionally, the article’s purpose is to bring attention to the organisation, causes, and consequences of war rather than on supplying museums with material artefacts such as weapons. According to the authors, the necessity for such attention is due to the implications of warfare throughout the history of humanity.
Vayda and Leeds go on to state that anthropologists deal with war in a unique perspective, that of going beyond specifics, particularly addressing issues of the role of warfare in the transformation of societies, the link between kinds of warfare and ecological conditions, and links between warfare and social organisation/disorganisation.
Further issues considered include the possibility of functional alternatives to warfare (i.e. games, rituals) taking into account a function of war being to preserve or maintain socio-political systems.
ALFREDO L FIGUEROA York University (Maggie McDonald).