Kristina Killgrove has an interesting post on the numerous broken Cycladic figurines on the Greek island of Keros that have been documented over the past few years by the prominent British archaeologist Colin Renfrew. Renfrew’s interpretation seems to be that these figurines were deliberately broken in various Cycladic communities, then deliberately brought to Keros to [...]... Read more »
Renfrew, C. (2001) Production and Consumption in a Sacred Economy: The Material Correlates of High Devotional Expression at Chaco Canyon. American Antiquity, 66(1), 14. DOI: 10.2307/2694314
On the six-square-mile island of Keros, a part of the Cycladic island chain of the Aegean Sea, thousands of broken sculptures and pottery dating to about 2,500 BC have been discovered since archaeologist Colin Renfrew started excavating there in the 1960s. The caches of broken figurines are especially interesting, as archaeologists have been unable to find joins - pieces that fit together:
2500-year-old Broken Cycladic Figurines from Keros
(credit: Cambridge University via The Guardian)........ Read more »
G. Papamichelakis, & C. Renfrew. (2010) Hearsay about the "Keros Hoard". American Journal of Archaeology, 114(1), 181-185. info:/http://www.atypon-link.com/AIA/doi/abs/10.3764/aja.114.1.181
A. Selkirk. (2011) Keros: Sanctuary of the Cycladic Figurines. Current World Archaeology. info:/http://www.world-archaeology.com/features/keros-sanctuary-of-the-cycladic-figurines/
By most accounts, Anthony Weiner thinks highly of himself. Filled with bravado, Weiner considers himself to be a political warrior. Regaling one 17 year old girl with stories about congressional battles, he likened himself to Superman: “I came back strong. Large. In charge. Tights and cape shit.” Weiner even took cape-less photos of his pecs [...]... Read more »
Moore, J. (1990) The Reproductive Success of Cheyenne War Chiefs: A Contrary Case to Chagnon's Yanomamo. Current Anthropology, 31(3), 322. DOI: 10.1086/203846
There’s a persistent archaeological meme about there being a “lack of burials” at Chaco Canyon. The idea is that not nearly enough burials have been found there to account for the size and magnificence of the architecture, so something odd is going on. This has been interpreted in various ways and used as support for [...]... Read more »
Marden, K., & Ortner, D. (2011) A case of treponematosis from pre-Columbian Chaco Canyon, New Mexico. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, 21(1), 19-31. DOI: 10.1002/oa.1103
A few months ago, the news media carried a story about "Bones of Leper Warrior found in Medieval Cemetery" in central Italy. The publication by Mauro Rubini and Paola Zaio was in early view at the time and was just published in the July issue of the Journal of Archaeological Science (see citation below). I noticed that Katy Meyers blogged about it today over at Bones Don't Lie, but I'm afraid I can't be as charitable as she is in pointing out the flaws.
8th c Avar Warrior
(credit: Wiki........ Read more »
M. Rubini, & P. Zaio. (2011) Warriors from the East. Skeletal evidence of warfare from a Lombard-Avar cemetery in central Italy (Campochiaro, Molise, 6th-8th century AD). Journal of Archaeological Science, 38(7), 1551-1559. info:/http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2011.02.020
K. Killgrove. (2009) Rethinking taxonomies: skeletal variation on the North Carolina coastal plain. Southeastern Archaeology, 28(1), 87-100. info:other/
Stephen Jay Gould famously argued in his best-known work, The Mismeasure of Man, that Samuel Morton unconsciously manipulated his data on cranial capacity in different populations to fit his own preconceived, racist notions about human variation. Gould undertook a reanalysis of Morton's data and leveled a variety of accusations against Morton: he incorrectly measured skulls, made mathematical errors, picked and chose his sample populations, and didn't report all of the data he collected. I w........ Read more »
J.E. Lewis, D. DeGusta, M.R. Meyer, J.M. Monge, A.E. Mann, & R.L. Holloway. (2011) The Mismeasure of Science: Stephen Jay Gould versus Samuel George Morton on Skulls and Bias. PLoS Biology, 9(6). info:/10.1371/journal.pbio.1001071
In 1977, Stephen King published his short story “Children of the Corn” in Penthouse. Seven years later, movie audiences across the nation were horrified by the ritual doings of small town Nebraska kids who worshiped something malevolent in the corn.
It surely was no coincidence that later in the year, Nebraska experienced a sharp drop in [...]... Read more »
Atkinson, Quentin D., & Whitehouse, Harvey. (2011) The Cultural Morphospace of Ritual Form: Examining Modes of Religiosity Cross-Culturally. Evolution and Human Behavior, 32(1), 50-62. DOI: 10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2010.09.002
One of my favorite paleoanthropological sites is Dmanisi, in the Republic of Georgia. It is the oldest securely dated hominid site outside Africa (just under 1.85 million years ago), and the hominids found there display a neat mix of primitive Homo habilis and derived H. erectus features. I consider myself lucky to have had the opportunity to excavate at Dmanisi last year, and to return to Georgia (lamazi Sakartvelo! [I hope I translated that correctly]) for more fieldwork next month.
Recently, ........ Read more »
Ferring R, Oms O, Agustí J, Berna F, Nioradze M, Shelia T, Tappen M, Vekua A, Zhvania D, & Lordkipanidze D. (2011) Earliest human occupations at Dmanisi (Georgian Caucasus) dated to 1.85-1.78 Ma. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 21646521
Does anthropological evidence support the idea of a universal moral grammar?... Read more »
Saba Mahmood. (2001) Feminist Theory, Embodiment, and the Docile Agent: Some Reflections on the Egyptian Islamic Revival. Cultural Anthropology, 16(2), 202-236. DOI: 10.1525/can.2001.16.2.202
We've all been there—the "Oh, [expletive]" moment. Perhaps the door just shut and your keys are still sitting on the counter. Or you get to the subway/bus stop just as your mass transit mode of choice is pulling away. Perhaps you've left your wallet at home, and there are blue lights flashing in your rear view mirror. Or maybe your expletive moment is a bit darker: a broken promise, a hurt friend, or a damaged relationship through some fault of your own. After all, regret is all about you and........ Read more »
Gilbert DT, Morewedge CK, Risen JL, & Wilson TD. (2004) Looking Forward to Looking Backward: The Misprediction of Regret. Psychological science, 15(5), 346-50. PMID: 15102146
John Sabini and Maury Silver. (2005) Why Emotion Names and Experiences Don't Neatly Pair. Psychological Inquiry, 16(1), 1-10. info:/
There's a widespread belief that mental illness is getting more common, or that it has got more common in recent years.A new study in the British Journal of Psychiatry says: no, it's not. They looked at the UK APMS mental health surveys, which were done in 1993, 2000 and 2007. Long-time readers will remember these.The authors of the new paper analyzed the data by birth cohort, i.e. when you were born, and by age at the time of the survey. If mental illness were rising, you'd predict that people ........ Read more »
Spiers N, Bebbington P, McManus S, Brugha TS, Jenkins R, & Meltzer H. (2011) Age and birth cohort differences in the prevalence of common mental disorder in England: National Psychiatric Morbidity Surveys 1993-2007. The British journal of psychiatry : the journal of mental science, 479-84. PMID: 21628710
Actually, Papa Bear, humans are a bit similar to trees.... Read more »
E. Kerley. (1965) The microscopic determination of age in human bone. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 23(2), 149-163. DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.1330230215
Kerley ER, & Ubelaker DH. (1978) Revisions in the microscopic method of estimating age at death in human cortical bone. American journal of physical anthropology, 49(4), 545-6. PMID: 216268
Imagine you are dining at a friend’s home. Your host is excited because she has prepared a special dish for you. When dinner is finally served, you are surprised to see a whole egg on your plate and when you open the egg, you are even more surprised to see this:
That’s balut, a dish of [...]... Read more »
Ritter, Ryan, & Preston, Jesse Lee. (2011) Gross gods and icky atheism: Disgust responses to rejected religious beliefs. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. info:/10.1016/j.jesp.2011.05.006
The Marseille plague group has been suggesting for some time now that human lice could be a major vector of medieval plague. To test their hypothesis the group devised a multiplex PCR screening method to rapidly screen many aDNA samples for seven pathogens that could cause medieval epidemics, including relapsing fever and trench fever transmitted by human lice. ... Read more »
Tran TN, Forestier CL, Drancourt M, Raoult D, & Aboudharam G. (2011) Brief communication: Co-detection of Bartonella quintana and Yersinia pestis in an 11th-15th burial site in Bondy, France. American journal of physical anthropology. PMID: 21541920
Tran TN, Signoli M, Fozzati L, Aboudharam G, Raoult D, & Drancourt M. (2011) High throughput, multiplexed pathogen detection authenticates plague waves in medieval venice, Italy. PloS one, 6(3). PMID: 21423736
Ayyadurai S, Sebbane F, Raoult D, & Drancourt M. (2010) Body lice, yersinia pestis orientalis, and black death. Emerging infectious diseases, 16(5), 892-3. PMID: 20409400
Veganism – it’s just something for middle-class ‘hippies’ right? Vegans are those tree-hugging, hemp-wearing festival-goers who say ‘man’ far too much. Well perhaps it’s time for a rethink on that stereotype. At least if you care about environment, that is. If you had thought you could do your bit to fight global warming by getting … Continue reading »... Read more »
Campbell TC, Parpia B, & Chen J. (1998) Diet, lifestyle, and the etiology of coronary artery disease: the Cornell China study. The American journal of cardiology, 82(10B). PMID: 9860369
Fengxia Dong . (2007) Changing Diets in China's Cities: Empirical Fact or Urban Legend?. Center for Agricultural and Rural Development at Iowa State University. info:/
Few books in the history of anthropology are better known (but never read) than James George Frazer’s The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion. First published in 1890 (2 volumes), Frazer published a second edition in 1900 (3 volumes), and a rolling third edition between 1911 and 1915 which ballooned to 12 volumes.
Though [...]... Read more »
When is killing yourself not suicide?In the British Journal of Psychiatry, two psychiatrists and an anthropologist discuss recent cases of self-immolation as a form of political protest in the Arab world:Since ancient times there has been a difference between suicide (an act of self-destruction) and self-immolation which, although self- destructive, has a sacrificial connotation. Self-immolation is associated with terrible physical pain (burning alive) and with the idea of courage... It is, howe........ Read more »
Cheikh IB, Rousseau C, & Mekki-Berrada A. (2011) Suicide as protest against social suffering in the Arab world. The British journal of psychiatry : the journal of mental science, 494-5. PMID: 21628715
There is a sense in which we are all cultural narcissists. By this, I mean that because all of us are acculturated at a particular time and in a particular place, we have a strong tendency to view other times and places through our own cultural lens. These lenses are prismatic and what we see [...]... Read more »
Bird-David, Nurit. (1999) "Animism" Revisited: Personhood, Environment, and Relational Epistemology. Current Anthropology. DOI: 10.1086/200061
Bergman, I., Ostlund, L., Zackrisson, O., & Liedgren, L. (2008) Varro Muorra: The Landscape Significance of Sami Sacred Wooden Objects and Sacrificial Altars. Ethnohistory, 55(1), 1-28. DOI: 10.1215/00141801-2007-044
I’ve recently come across the story of Chibana Shoichi, who burnt the Japanese flag in 1987 to commemorate the Okinawan victims of WWII Japanese militarism. The story is intriguing not because of the flag-burning incident but because Shoichi also keeps … Continue reading →... Read more »
Heinrich, P. (2004) Language Planning and Language Ideology in the Ryūkyū Islands. Language Policy, 153-179. DOI: 10.1023/B:LPOL.0000036192.53709.fc
In a comment on my last post, Maju who's a regular commenter on this blog, pointed out that recent finds in the Arabian Peninsula and the Persian Gulf suggest that modern humans might have been present in the Middle East by the time Shanidar 3 was killed. Some of the specific evidence in support of this that has come out in the past year include that presented by Armitage et al. (2011) and Rose (... Read more »
Armitage, S., Jasim, S., Marks, A., Parker, A., Usik, V., & Uerpmann, H. (2011) The Southern Route "Out of Africa": Evidence for an Early Expansion of Modern Humans into Arabia. Science, 331(6016), 453-456. DOI: 10.1126/science.1199113
Petraglia, Michael D., & Alsharekh, Abdullah. (2003) The Middle Palaeolithic of Arabia: Implications for modern human origins, behaviour and dispersals . Antiquity, 77(298), 671-684. info:/
Petraglia, M., Alsharekh, A., Crassard, R., Drake, N., Groucutt, H., Parker, A., & Roberts, R. (2011) Middle Paleolithic occupation on a Marine Isotope Stage 5 lakeshore in the Nefud Desert, Saudi Arabia. Quaternary Science Reviews. DOI: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2011.04.006
Rose, J. (2010) New Light on Human Prehistory in the Arabo-Persian Gulf Oasis. Current Anthropology, 51(6), 849-883. DOI: 10.1086/657397
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