Anthropology 150

Instructions: In an essay, respond to ONE of the questions below.  Your essay should be at least three pages, but should not exceed five pages.  Please remember that your answer is to be in the form of an essay.  An essay is not a two-sentence response, but rather a well-developed argument supported by citations of evidence. An essay gives you the opportunity to demonstrate what you know; don’t be terse. If you are uncertain how to write an essay and/or develop a written argument, please visit, or make an appointment with the course Writing Tutor.

Essays should be prepared without the use of any resources other than the assigned readings, lectures, and lecture presentations (the Powerpoint files).  You may not use any texts or online resources except electronic journals that accessed through the library, or resources provided by the textbook publishers. Any outside resources used should supplement, rather than replace, the assigned readings and lectures. It is expressly prohibited to use or other online encyclopedia. Do not use or other online dictionary for definitions; use the assigned readings for definitions. If you are found to have cut and pasted material from any web site, your will receive a grade of “F” on the midterm.  

You will upload your responses via MOODLE, using a link to, located in the Week 10 block.  From MOODLE, Select the “Submit Midterm 2″ link.  Clinking on the link will open a window within the system.  Follow the instructions there to upload your file. Make sure that the file has been submitted as well as uploaded. If the file is properly submitted you will receive a receipt  from

The title of the document you submit should be “”. Permissible formats for submission include MS Word, WordPerfect, and RTF (Pages is not supported). Submission of your file will generate a receipt that will be sent to you via e-mail. Please retain that receipt in case of any questions.

Please be sure to review the course policies on plagiarism, which are contained in the syllabus

Essay Questions

1. Would it be correct to say that language is a distinguishing feature of Homo sapiens sapiens?  Contrast human language and communication systems with those of other animals. You should include a discussion of the communication systems and language capabilities of non-human primates.

2. In Guns, Germs and Steel, Jared Diamond discusses the “Collision at Cajamarca.”  Analyze the collision at Cajamarca and its outcome in terms of Diamond’s discussion of proximate and ultimate factors. Your answer should include a discussion of the differences between the Neolithic revolution in the Old World and the New World.