History 104A, August 19th: Site Map Exercise

               The nice part about elementary school, it's so easy to get

          students quiet.  All you have to do is put your finger on your nose or

          go like this or put up a finger -- we won't say which one -- or flick

          on a light.  I love the way elementary school teachers do that.  When

          I'm down there and try that, it just doesn't work.  Speaking about

          scary enough, my mind flutters as you well know -- one of the problems

          and I think it's a problem that has occurred in the last two or three

          years, about two and a half years, is that years ago, for all the

          years that I taught here, the grade that students got on the midterm

          would be almost identical to the second exam -- well, first exam,

          second exam, and third exam -- at the most within five points.  And so

          it was pretty well good way to tell where you were at as far as your grade.  I don't know if it's the

          Ohlone College students recently or it's me and I think it's me.  The

          grades now are very low on that first midterm, I mean really low, and

          then all of a sudden people realize when I say that this is college

          and by that time it's difficult that they pull up their grade on the final.  For some people

          it's too late. 

                               I don't think I'm scaring people as much.  I gave it

          some thought to try and figure out why I'm not frightening you to

          really work on that first exam like you would on the final, because

          people have gotten 40s and 50s on the first exam and then gotten 80s

          or 90s on the second.  And there's no reason for that except they

          finally realized that I'm telling the truth that they need to work for

          the first one.  What happens I think when you're very young, as little

          child, you're cute.  Little kids are cute.  And then you grow up and


          you become your age and you become handsome or women whatever you call

          women that are handsome, handsome.  And then you get older and you

          become as a male, distinguished.  And that scares people when you're

          distinguished--especially if the distinguish guy is a college professor. 

          And then you reach a stage as a male that you've

          really gotten ancient and that means that you've returned to being

          cute again.  And I think I'm at the cute again stage and no longer distinguished,

          so I'm not scaring students anymore.  So please think of me as

          distinguished to scare you.  You see what those little things bring up

          when you start talking.

               All right.  You have a little assignment that you've been working

          on.  You became curious to do some work at home and try and figure it

          out.  I gave you I think six questions to try and analyze.  Did I ask

          one of the questions -- where was the site?

          A    No.

               THE PROFESSOR:  You can sort of add that to the age of the site

          when you're thinking and coming up with conclusions.  I do want to put

          you back in the same groups.  You can distribute yourselves in the

          same area.  We will come back here at about let's say 11:25 to

          11:30 and then we'll talk about it and show a small section of a

          video.  Go ahead and get into the groups.  If there's something who

          was not here Wednesday, please see me.

                                (Working in small group).

               Okay.  It's interesting.  Only two groups went outside today and

          yet it wasn't too bad in here as far as noise, so it's pretty much a

          quiet class.  You were active and involved. 


          Okay, obviously there were some reasons for giving this assignment, so

          before I ask some questions, what do you think my purpose was for

          setting you into these groups for this map assignment.

          A    To show us how much we don't know about western civilization.

               THE PROFESSOR:  Why would you call that site map western civilization?

          A    Because it's to the west.

               THE PROFESSOR:  I'm interested more in the world

          civilization than west, although, yeah.

          A    They haven't organized into city states yet.

               THE PROFESSOR:  They haven't organized into city states as such?

          Possibly.  Although again it could be considered some of the earlier

          elements of quote/unquote western civilization.  And how many you

          don't know -- no, I could have really given you some real stuff for

          that.  Why else might I have given it?  Nobody can speculate?

          A    To we could --

          A    To give us an idea of what we will know probably by the end of

          the semester.

               THE PROFESSOR:  By the end of the semester you should know where

          the site is, the age of the people?

          A    To know what this says about the people.

          A    To get to know each other in the groups.

               THE PROFESSOR:  To get to know each other?  Well, that's part of

          the reason for the group meetings we're going to do anyway.  You did

          get to know each other a little bit and get the names.                                                                           

          A    So you can go around and secretly laugh at us.

          A    He's laughing at us now.

               THE PROFESSOR:  You notice I'm not saying right or wrong on that.

          Any other speculation?

          A    To analyze and to like have comprehensive thinking began.

               THE PROFESSOR:  Thank you at least somebody's realizing it's

          college and our intent is to create a little critical thinking and

          analysis.  More specifically I sort of alluded to it previously, that

          precivilization, if you will, requires a certain inference and

          sometimes it can be very much a bias of the investigator as can

          history generally.  And we'll talk about that shortly. 

                      One of the most famous anthropologist

          was a woman named Margaret Meade.  How

          many of you have heard the name Margaret Meade?  It's a name that

          often appears in the anthropology classes.  She did many works out in

          the -- many studies in the Pacific Islands and Samoa and places like

          that among quote/unquote primitive peoples.  And she followed a guy

          who had been there previously and done some work on one of these

          areas -- I don't remember which it was -- and he had written how the

          society as patriarchal.  And her analysis was that it was matriarchal.

          Patriarchal meaning what?

          A    Man dominated.

               THE PROFESSOR:  And matriarchal meaning, marriage? Sorry, throw

          things at me -- women dominated.  Again, that kind of an analysis can

          make a big difference depending on how you see it.  It sort of reminds

          me of something that happened to me many years ago.  I was in Mesa

          Verde, the cliff dweller areas up in the Colorado region, and we were

          going through one of the tours and a kiva is where the indigenous

          people gathered in a quote/unquote hole in the ground.  And the guide

          was describing how many years ago there's a shelf in there and they

          sort of had speculated that that shelf had been used to place an idol

          for worshipping a figure.  And this was an old American Indian or

          indigenous person, whatever term you prefer, in the group.  And the

          guy said, well, that's interesting.  He says, that's what our

          ancestors did.  We always use that space for firewood.  So once again,

          it's speculation.  I want you to at least think about the site and how

          archaeologists/anthropologists come up with certain conclusions.  So

          let's see what you've got.

               Question one, the age of the site.  Group one -- who's group one?

          A    We're group one.

               THE PROFESSOR:  Okay.  In group one, what age did you come up and


          A    Around 4,000 years to present because the level of tools, the

          composite tools and metal tools, and that a there was like plant

          fibers that survived and animal skins that survived.

               THE PROFESSOR:  So you're saying that it might be a present site.

          It might be 4,000 years old.

          A    Essentially.

               THE PROFESSOR:  Essentially.  And because of the --

          A    The plants that survived and the composite tools, animal fibers.

               THE PROFESSOR:  Would animal fibers survive for 4,000 years?


          A    Probably not.

               THE PROFESSOR:  Well, there are some areas where they might.

          Where would they possibly survive?

          A    Australia.

               THE PROFESSOR:  Where is Australia?

          A    Down under.

               THE PROFESSOR:  Down -- certainly not in Sidney.  Down under


          A    Maybe in the Island of Tasmania.

               THE PROFESSOR:  The Tasmanian devil.  The climate in the ocean is

          an indication that it wouldn't survive.  The humidity would

          deteriorate the fiber.  Where does fiber survive and even skin on them

          for 4 or 5,000 years?

          A    Africa.

               THE PROFESSOR:  Where?

          A    Central Africa.

               THE PROFESSOR:  No.  Central Africa is rain forest.  We're having

          problems here.

          A    North Africa.

               THE PROFESSOR:  Where?

          A    Madagascar.

               THE PROFESSOR:  The Sahara Desert.  In part of the Sahara Desert

          or the Gobi Desert or what the hell is the name of the desert back

          down under in Australia in the outback, anybody?  It slips my mind.

          Those areas are so dry, lack humidity so dramatically.  One of the


          most amazing sites to me was going to the British museum and there

          they had a body that had been dug up that had been bird before 5,000

          BCE.  The textbook describes what BCE is.

          A    Before the common era.

               THE PROFESSOR:  In an attempt to get out of a Christian-Judea

          tradition of BC, before Christ.  It still really is not applicable to

          dating but BCE meaning that it was about 7,000 plus years ago and yet

          the body had all the skin and hair on it preserved because it had been

          out in one of those dry areas.  I think there was a plane called Lady

          Be Good that had gone down in the Sahara Desert in World War II.  And

          when they found it, about 40 years later, all the equipment was still


          A    Wow.

               THE PROFESSOR:  And that was am mazing.  You couldn't fly it but

          the wires and everything else hadn't corroded.  So yeah, obviously

          then, if that did survive, then it could be anywhere in anytime within


               Group four -- who was group four?  Let's go back in rows.  Let's

          go back to the row right behind this one here.  Who in that group took

          the notes?  What age did you speculate on?

          A    In Africa about heck a days ago.

               THE PROFESSOR:  Heck a days ago.  What is the number for HEC?

          Isn't hec a hundred or a thousand?

          A    I have no idea.

               THE PROFESSOR:  What's a hexagon.


          A    Just pretend that a you know what the question is.

          A    Renaissance period.

               THE PROFESSOR:  Actually hex time is more accurate, about 10

          years ago.

          A    Oh, what is it?

               THE PROFESSOR:  See, you guessed good.  Why?  How would you know

          from the site besides what he identified, if you had some sense of the

          fact that the leather quote/unquote still remain.  What else might be

          an indication that it was a recent site?

          A    There was a tin can there, canned food.

               THE PROFESSOR:  A copper can, isn't it?

          A    Yeah.  It was a cooper pipe.  I was thrown off by all the metal.

               THE PROFESSOR:  This archaeologist left a beer can there.  Copper

          and the concept of the use of copper there could have taken you back

          to 4,000, which I thought again was a pretty good speculation of.

          That was a period of time known as the copper age in western European,

          western Asian civilization in the mediterranean.  However, as I was

          talking before about Margaret Meade's investigation back in the 1930s,

          there are people who have not got into even the copper age.  And there

          are still well more or less, I doubt if there's many left, stone age

          people living in the world besides big foot.

          Q    This was 95?

               THE PROFESSOR:  Actually, the map is pretty old; but it would

          have been at the time it was done it was done pretty recently.  No.

          The interesting element was that -- let me tell the story.


               I had a big map and I had these big maps that I could hand out to

          the class and I had a whole kit of these various investigatory fiery

          approaches to learning.  And they were in the library on reserve for

          usage of students in the self-paced course and we got a new head

          librarian in a few years ago.  And one of the librarians on the staff

          really was mad at her and she had told him to weed the shelves which,

          in librarian terms is, get rid of stuff.  And he decided to dump

          everything and he dumped my whole kit.  And so I lost a lot of my

          little goodies including some statues I like passing around the

          classroom.  I was upset to say the least.  I had taken it with me from

          when I had taught high school and it was an old setup.  One of the

          students in class mentioned a year later that they had done the same

          exercise at Irvington High School.  And so she went back to her

          teacher who had got it from a book.  And the book's map, which you're

          using, doesn't have on it as you often find in these scales here -- I

          don't know if there's one on this -- in any case, it actually had the

          date in the little information item.  The site, in reality, was 1968,

          but I had gotten it in the 1970s about 10 years after.  So in reality,

          it's about 40 years old; but that's -- but it would have been within

          recent times when the map was made.  And the answer to that for

          inference, you infer from it is that there's still ash there.  An

          older site, the ash would have blown away and the area would have been

          buried.  There's no indication that it would have been buried here.

          Yeah, it is a current site.

               Now why did you say Africa?


          A    Well -- why did we say Africa?

          A    Ostriches.

          A    Presumably that they're only culture is primitive in Africa.

               THE PROFESSOR:  There's the aborigines in Australia.  Ostrichs.

          You actually answered it.  Ostrichs are found where?

          A    The Sahara Desert.

               THE PROFESSOR:  Not in the Sahara Desert, no.  There you find

          camels.  They're found in Africa, not in Australia.  How many of you

          put Australia because you saw the ostrich eggs?  What do they call

          that, emus or something?  You were at least thinking about it.

          Anybody know the desert that the ostrich eggs were found in?  It's

          called the Kalahari which is basically in Namibia or is that the site

          of the chronicles, southwest Africa, Namibia.

               What was their form of government?  Was that the next one?  How

          many people live there?  How many people lived in the site?  Let's go

          back to the back of the room, the last group.  Who was taking notes in

          the late group?  Anybody?  How many people live there?  Let's go up a

          row.  How many did you put down lived in the group?

          A    We got like seven families because --

               THE PROFESSOR:  Seven families based on the huts?

          A    Yeah.

               THE PROFESSOR:  Okay, that's a good speculation, figuring how

          many in a family?  Three, four, five.

          A    10, 13.

               THE PROFESSOR:  The site was 120 --


          A    60.

               THE PROFESSOR:  And each of those little areas -- they're pretty

          small.  They're only about 5-foot around.  More than likely it told

          you that they were mostly used for getting out of inclimate weather

          once in a while for getting out of the sun.  They probably slept

          outside.  What else?

               Political system?  Anybody?

          A    Probably like the oldest or wisest is the leader.

               THE PROFESSOR:  In most early societies, the oldest, wisest,

          magical, you know, respect for age -- not like America -- by the way,

          today's Clinton's birthday.  I think he turned 60, in case anybody

          wants to know about a wise old man.

          Q    Well, they do have that fireplace.  They probably have input from

          other societies, other families or whatnot.

               THE PROFESSOR:  What do you think they did around the fire?

          A    Some sort of religion.

               THE PROFESSOR:  What was the religion?

          A    Animus Deism.  The deism was a philosopher that said God set the

          worship in motion as a clockmaker in the sky and stepped aside.

          A    They worshipped nature.

               THE PROFESSOR:  They worshipped nature.  And had you worship the

          spirits in nature -- in rocks and trees -- what is that called?

          A    Animism.

               THE PROFESSOR:  The odds are, since there were no items found

          there, little sculptors like Jarmo, that they're dealing with an


          animistic religion.  And modern day primitive quote/unquote is a bad

          derogatory term times.

               The way they made their living?  Economic system?

          A    Gatherer.

               THE PROFESSOR:  What made you note the gathering?

          A    Nutshells.

               THE PROFESSOR:  Gathering.  Traditionally who did the gathering?

          A    The women.

               THE PROFESSOR:  And who did the hunting?

          A    The men.

               THE PROFESSOR:  Men are stronger?  You haven't seen some of the

          women I've encountered.  Because the women are --

          A    Because women can search better.

               THE PROFESSOR:  Women have sharper eyes.  Every woman will tell

          you the guys can't find anything around the house, that's why you need

          me the find things.  Part of the problem in many of the hunting

          societies and this may or may not have been, is that the women were

          taking care of the children or pregnant or whatever and seldom went on

          the hunts.  And that's not in all the cases.

               What else did I ask?

          A    Age they marry.

               THE PROFESSOR:  Oh yeah.  At what age did they marry?

          A    15.

          A    Puberty.

               THE PROFESSOR:  Puberty.  Now, at what age do people in Fremont


          enter puberty?

          A    17.  Well, for guys it's like 23/24.

               THE PROFESSOR:  I didn't ask about maturity.  I asked about


          A    12.

               THE PROFESSOR:  12 is about right.

          A    12?  That's kind of young.

               THE PROFESSOR:  No.  12 in modern society is probably the

          average.  As I was joking back there, when they said puberty and they

          got married at 13.  I said I entered puberty at 11, so I guess I

          should be married at 11.  Considering all the marriages I had, that

          would have just added a few more.  In any case, why is it that

          primitive people enter puberty later than modern society?

          A    They --

          A    Better sense.

               THE PROFESSOR:  The food.  The diet, food, hormones, whatever

          have certainly changed some elements of society.  And perhaps we may

          talk about nature and nurture and some of the changes some people have

          speculated have occurred to modern men and women through the last 30

          years based on hormones within the foods.

               In any case, I have about five minutes to actually show some

          little video of the people.  I had a DVD and I couldn't find it this

          morning.  And the video was made from the TV many many years ago.

          Some of you may remember it.

                                     (Showing video)


               Before you leave, does anybody know what film that comes from?

          A    The bushmen.

          A    PBS.

               THE PROFESSOR:  The Gods Must Be Crazy.  When they drop a coke

          bottle, it changes the whole society.  I'll talk more about

          comparisons the next time.  Enjoy your weekend.