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Latin America perspectives our series of information and comment about Latin America with Dr. C. Harvey Gardner research professor of history at Southern Illinois University. These programs are recorded by station w s r u FM. Here now is Dr. Gardner. The Almanac has the information and for that matter. So do some calendars. Sunrise 5:30 a.m. sunset 7:15 p.m. and thus given beginning and end you have the dimensions of the day sunlight and there's nothing you can do about it. You can't alter that moment the sun rises or the moment it sets. Even those changes that come with tomorrow the lengthening or shortening of the sunlight. According to the season or beyond the power of man in another area however. And it too is basically a time dimension. Man can and does do something about it.
At one end of the timeline some men usually clergyman interested in the sunset of human life remind us of days of judgement to come. Without being able to pinpoint the moment. Their appeal is to faith others interested in origins rather than phenolic is concerned themselves with the physical appealing to reason. In recent decades geologists have pushed the origin of the earth back into earlier and earlier moments and just as the geologists work with the basic physical setting. So the archaeologists strive to push back the timeline for the dawn of human experience. In recent years one locale which has played host to the intensive scrutiny of the archaeologist and anthropologist has been the Tate walk
on Valley of méxico. The two walk on Valley lies in southeastern Mexico. Indeed if you have motored from Mexico City to one haka and you have passed through the small valley in that section of the southern portion of the state of Puebla Jason to the State of the haka where the mountain systems farther to the north on both east and west of Mexico all come together. It's climate the climate in the valley of what con is hot and arid and the plant life the vegetation there may best be described as a cactus and spiny scrub a volume dealing with certain aspects that only the archaeologist can bring to us of life centuries ago in the valley of telecon has been
published under the title the non ceramic artifacts. This the work of our ass McNish and others published by the University of Texas press. This volume is one of a series treating with various aspects of the culture the prehistory of the valley of telecon. It's concerned this volume two in the series with some 20000 or so non ceramic artifacts found in the valley. He's have been found since 19 60 over half of these tools came from well controlled excavations. And the others were collected in archaeological reconnaissance. These non ceramic artifacts are part of the historic unscientific record and as such it behooves students to describe them. After
all they were associated with basic technologies and economic activities as well as with other social phenomena and were a facet of the ancient life that cannot be ignored. And yet it's perfectly obvious that 20000 artifacts can't be described individually but rather must be grouped. Part 1 of this volume deals with chipped stone artifacts and therein you have pictorial illustration. You have scientific description you have narration concerning blades and and scrapers and projectile points. Indeed any and all types of chipped stone artifacts and then there are those that were ground stone such as food preparation items and then there are miscellaneous ones neither chip nor ground bone an antler and Shell and copper and wood and
indeed baskets. Finally there is a section in the volume treating text tools in this part of. Mexico as of the period 2000 5000 7000 more than 7000 years ago the classifications of artifacts into groups of time is based on certain assumptions about a civilization or culture. For one thing culture is considered a continuum of interrelated concepts ideas and beliefs through time and space. In other words any group of people living at a particular time and in a specific place have received a set of concepts ideas and beliefs from their predecessors and ancestors. What is more their culture or that of their ancestors always has been
influenced by the culture of people surrounding them. In addition the culture of this particular group at this time in this place will be passed on to future generations. A second basic assumption about culture insists that culture is constantly changing owing to a variety of cultural mechanisms. This change may show considerable variation both as to the particular aspects of the culture which may change and in regard to the speed and the rate of change. The third basic assumption states that culture both patterns and gives consistency to customary behavior. In other words culture has an internal order at any one moment in time. A culture will have a certain core of ideas and beliefs about what is the right
way to make a pot or a tool. And this right way will appear to the maker is consistent with the other aspects of his culture and environment. It is this matter of the right way but causes among others the archaeologist who selects so many items when trying to establish facts dealing with the people in prehistory they must establish what becomes mean what becomes normal what becomes average or any other loose term that the layman might want to apply to it to find one item whether it be a tool a weapon or anything else is not to allow one to know whether this was natural normal or whether it was the exception. And so the quantitative approach 20000 artifacts classified into various groups is in part to allow
systematically this approach to what becomes the norm. The right way to make a tool or a pot to prove consistency within the culture. A fourth classification of the assumptions of culture which these men working in Mexico submitted themselves states that artifacts are reflections of culture. As such they are part of a cultural continuum. They are constantly changing and yet they reflect the internal order of the culture. I stated a moment ago that there were more than twenty thousand artifacts selected for the derivation of the pattern of life in this valley. More than 2000 of these were projectile points alone
and it is possible for that number to decide what becomes average what becomes desirable. Indeed what becomes the pattern of projectile points. There were more than 3000 blades found. Here again the number is great enough. But you are not trying to establish the law of averages from something that is too slender too thin to read to lean upon. The grinding implements were 2000 plus in number and the end scrapers were more than 2000 almost 3000 in number and so the quantitative approach to selecting the artifacts leads to a qualitative result. Your capacity to interpret just what it is that the culture has come to represent all of it of course means among other things. What conclusions about the prehistory of
Mexico can be drawn from the data. Archaeologists cultural anthropologists physical anthropology and others are tentative. They do not want to advance definite or final conclusions of course and they're not contemplated in this study because even comparing what they have found in this table conversely of Mexico with fines in the Valley of Mexico itself and a dollar goal to row Tamaulipas Waverley on call wheel or other areas that have been explored archaeologically in Mexico will almost be brought in reference to a broad spectrum of the cultural pattern. And so speculations rather than conclusions are entertained and the speculations are advanced in the hope that these hypotheses will lead to more validly based conclusions. The volume contains hundreds of illustrations and they are
supplemented by dozens of tables. And all this suggests that there is a wealth of material for a layman an expert a like the prehistory of the tale con Valley deals with artifacts other than pottery Oh yes another volume of this series will be dedicated completely to pottery. And so the volume the non ceramic artifacts is devoted to a discussion of stone implements Corti netting basketry sandals text tools indeed all of a great variety of materials fashioned by early inhabitants of the con Valley of Mexico. Throughout the book The emphasis is on the classification and distribution in time and space by means of these studies. A relative chronology for the table conversely has been constructed using 11 excavated
sites comprising a hundred fifty six zones as the basis for the speculations. The conclusions the hypotheses that are advanced text tools are treated in a detail by armed guard. Johnson. She discusses not only the simple weaves but also openwork embroidery and multiple component cloths. In the book to conclude with a discussion of the distribution of pre ceramic cultures in North America this title the non ceramic artifacts published by R. S. McNish and others comes from the University of Texas press. This was another programme in the series Latin America perspectives with Dr. C. Harvey Gardner research professor of history at Southern Illinois University. Join us for our next program when Dr. Gardner will comment on another interesting aspect of Latin American affairs. These programs are recorded by station
WFIU FM and are made available to this station by the national educational radio network.
Latin American perspectives II
Episode Number
Episode 21 of 38
Producing Organization
WSIU 8 (Television station : Carbondale, Ill.)
Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Series Description
For series info, see Item 3544. This prog.: Archaeology of the Tehuacan Valley
Global Affairs
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Producing Organization: WSIU 8 (Television station : Carbondale, Ill.)
Producing Organization: Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 68-31-21 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:13:39
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Chicago: “Latin American perspectives II; Episode 21 of 38,” 1969-02-04, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed May 29, 2024,
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APA: Latin American perspectives II; Episode 21 of 38. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from