We usually think of farmers as sturdy, Midwestern types who raise their ruddy-cheeked children on a balanced diet of eggs, potatoes, and chores. A study from researchers at Emory University, though, suggests that our farming ancestors weren't the picture of health. When humans transitioned from hunting and gathering to farming and living in cities, the authors say, they became malnourished and more prone to disease. Oh, and they were shorter.Scientists use height as a rough yardstick of a popula........ Read more »
Mummert, A., Esche, E., Robinson, J., & Armelagos, G. (2011) Stature and robusticity during the agricultural transition: Evidence from the bioarchaeological record. Economics , 9(3), 284-301. DOI: 10.1016/j.ehb.2011.03.004
Our contributor in Karachi, Md. Ali Khan, has alerted me to what seems to be a fascinating book: The Tyranny of Language in Education by Zubeida Mustafa published by Ushba Books. I’d love to read the book but trying to … Continue reading →... Read more »
Han, Huamei. (2011) Social inclusion through multilingual ideologies, policies and practices: a case study of a minority church. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 14(4), 383-398. info:/
Southwestern archaeology, especially in the Chaco area, is structured chronologically primarily by the Pecos Classification. This system was initially worked out at the first Pecos Conference in 1927, and it was originally interpreted as a series of stages in cultural development, with the assumption that sites with similar characteristics and material culture were roughly contemporaneous. [...]... Read more »
Potter, J. (1997) Communal Ritual and Faunal Remains: An Example from the Dolores Anasazi. Journal of Field Archaeology, 24(3), 353. DOI: 10.2307/530690
Schachner, G. (2001) Ritual Control and Transformation in Middle-Range Societies: An Example from the American Southwest. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, 168-194. DOI: 10.1006/jaar.2001.0379
The journal Applied Geography and the journal Land Use Policy have recently published two papers, “Spatiotemporal modeling of the expansion of mechanized agriculture in the Bolivian lowland forests” and “Deforestation dynamics and policy changes in Bolivia’s post-neoliberal era” respectively, that depict a desolating panorama. The rate of deforestation under Evo Morales’ government is even higher than it was during the previous governments. Muller et al. say that “While overall dyn........ Read more »
Daniel Redo, Andrew C. Millington, & Derrick Hindery. (2011) Deforestation dynamics and policy changes in Bolivia’s post-neoliberal era. Land Use Policy. info:/10.1016/j.landusepol.2010.06.004
Robert Müller, Daniel Müller, Florian Schierhorn, & Gerhard Gerold. (2011) Spatiotemporal modeling of the expansion of mechanized agriculture in the Bolivian lowland forests. Applied Geography. info:/10.1016/j.apgeog.2010.11.018
Umberto Lombardo, & Heiko Prümers. (2010) Pre-Columbian human occupation patterns in the eastern plains of the Llanos de Moxos, Bolivian Amazonia. Journal of Archaeological Science. DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2010.02.011
Everyone knows the experience: you happen upon a wreck and know you shouldn’t look but can’t help it. You know there is a chance of seeing something you don’t want to see and which may haunt you, but you look regardless. There should be a word for this and in the absence of one, I [...]... Read more »
Reser, Jared E. (2011) Conceptualizing the Autism Spectrum in Terms of Natural Selection and Behavioral Ecology: The Solitary Forager Hypothesis. Evolutionary Psychology, 9(2), 207-238. info:/
The first in a series on hormonal contraception. This post explores why human women menstruate and how that may impact their contraceptive decisions.... Read more »
Jasienska, G., & Thune, I. (2001) Research pointers: Lifestyle, hormones, and risk of breast cancer. BMJ, 322(7286), 586-587. DOI: 10.1136/bmj.322.7286.586
Strassmann, B. (1997) The Biology of Menstruation in Homo Sapiens: Total Lifetime Menses, Fecundity, and Nonsynchrony in a Natural-Fertility Population. Current Anthropology, 38(1), 123. DOI: 10.1086/204592
Vitzthum VJ, Spielvogel H, Caceres E, & Miller A. (2001) Vaginal bleeding patterns among rural highland Bolivian women: relationship to fecundity and fetal loss. Contraception, 64(5), 319-25. PMID: 11777494
Vitzthum VJ, & Ringheim K. (2005) Hormonal contraception and physiology: a research-based theory of discontinuation due to side effects. Studies in family planning, 36(1), 13-32. PMID: 15828522
Last year, I discussed the controvery over the proposed new childhood syndrome of "Temper Disregulation Disorder with Dysphoria" (TDDD). It may be included in the upcoming revision of the psychiatric bible, DSM-V.Back then, I said:TDDD has been proposed in order to reduce the number of children being diagnosed with pediatric bipolar disorder... many people agree that pediatric bipolar is being over-diagnosed.So we can all sympathize with the sentiment behind TDDD - but this is fighting fire wit........ Read more »
Van Meter AR, Moreira AL, & Youngstrom EA. (2011) Meta-analysis of epidemiologic studies of pediatric bipolar disorder. The Journal of clinical psychiatry. PMID: 21672501
Axelson DA, Birmaher B, Findling RL, Fristad MA, Kowatch RA, Youngstrom EA, Arnold EL, Goldstein BI, Goldstein TR, Chang KD.... (2011) Concerns regarding the inclusion of temper dysregulation disorder with dysphoria in the DSM-V. The Journal of clinical psychiatry. PMID: 21672494
I mentioned earlier that there was a new paper out on chocolate at Chaco that I needed to read. I read it today, and it’s quite interesting. One of the most interesting things about it is that it’s by a different group of researchers than the first one and uses somewhat different methods. As far [...]... Read more »
Washburn, D., Washburn, W., & Shipkova, P. (2011) The prehistoric drug trade: widespread consumption of cacao in Ancestral Pueblo and Hohokam communities in the American Southwest. Journal of Archaeological Science, 38(7), 1634-1640. DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2011.02.029
What does it mean to be monogamous?Sexual exclusivity between two partners?
A two-party partnership, characterized by cooperation where resources are shared and children are produced?
A genetic commitment to producing offspring with a single partner?
A social system in which only two people are contracted to marriage at a time?
Or is it perhaps some combination of these four?
For some people, establishing yourself in an exclusively committed relationship where you wake up next to the same perso........ Read more »
If you have ever suffered through an episode of “Ancient Aliens” on the History Channel, you might believe that every megalithic structure in the world was constructed by extraterrestrials:
Apparently inspired by the show, one credulous soul posted this question over at Answers.com: “Can scientists prove that Stonehenge was not built by ancient astronauts?” The pithy [...]... Read more »
Two articles published last month in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology are starting to greatly complicate bioarchaeologists' use and interpretation of stable oxygen isotope ratios in an attempt to understand migration and mobility in the past. Science is constantly progressing, and it can be challenging to keep up with the latest research. The real challenge for me, though, is in interpreting the isotope analyses I have done on populations from Imperial Rome - first becau........ Read more »
Bianucci, R., Mattutino, G., Lallo, R., Charlier, P., Jouin-Spriet, H., Peluso, A., Higham, T., Torre, C., & Rabino Massa, E. (2008) Immunological evidence of Plasmodium falciparum infection in an Egyptian child mummy from the Early Dynastic Period. Journal of Archaeological Science, 35(7), 1880-1885. DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2007.11.019
Pollard AM, Pellegrini M, & Lee-Thorp JA. (2011) Technical note: Some observations on the conversion of dental enamel δ(18) o(p) values to δ(18) o(w) to determine human mobility. American journal of physical anthropology. PMID: 21541927
Prowse TL, Schwarcz HP, Garnsey P, Knyf M, Macchiarelli R, & Bondioli L. (2007) Isotopic evidence for age-related immigration to imperial Rome. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 132(4), 510-9. PMID: 17205550
Reitsema LJ, & Crews DE. (2011) Brief communication: Oxygen isotopes as a biomarker for sickle-cell disease? Results from transgenic mice expressing human hemoglobin S genes. American journal of physical anthropology. PMID: 21541922
Recent excavations in a sewer at Herculaneum uncovered a massive deposit of, well, poop. What can feces tell us about the ancient Romans' diet, diseases, and medicine?... Read more »
S.C. Bisel. (1988) Nutrition in first-century Herculaneum. Anthropologie, 26(1), 61-66. info:/
Capasso L. (2002) Bacteria in two-millennia-old cheese, and related epizoonoses in Roman populations. The Journal of infection, 45(2), 122-7. PMID: 12217720
Capasso, L. (2007) Infectious diseases and eating habits at Herculaneum (1st century AD, southern Italy). International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, 17(4), 350-357. DOI: 10.1002/oa.906
By Greg Downey
As any fan of the adventures of Daredevil, being blind in comic books can give you superpowers. Matt Murdoch was blinded by a radioactive accident that he befell because he tried to save a blind pedestrian from the truck carrying the waste (ah, the irony…). Murdoch developed a kind of ‘radar’ sense that allowed him to prowl Hell’s Kitchen, rooting out the miscreants and lowlifes who, like the blind Man Without Fear, preferred to lurk in the dark.
Although his personal li........ Read more »
COTZIN M, & DALLENBACH KM. (1950) "Facial vision:" the role of pitch and loudness in the perception of obstacles by the blind. The American journal of psychology, 63(4), 485-515. PMID: 14790019
Kellogg, W. (1962) Sonar System of the Blind: New research measures their accuracy in detecting the texture, size, and distance of objects "by ear.". Science, 137(3528), 399-404. DOI: 10.1126/science.137.3528.399
Merabet, L., & Pascual-Leone, A. (2009) Neural reorganization following sensory loss: the opportunity of change. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 11(1), 44-52. DOI: 10.1038/nrn2758
Rosenblum, L., Gordon, M., & Jarquin, L. (2000) Echolocating Distance by Moving and Stationary Listeners. Ecological Psychology, 12(3), 181-206. DOI: 10.1207/S15326969ECO1203_1
Schenkman, B., & Nilsson, M. (2010) Human echolocation: Blind and sighted persons’ ability to detect sounds recorded in the presence of a reflecting object. Perception, 39(4), 483-501. DOI: 10.1068/p6473
Stroffregen, T., & Pittenger, J. (1995) Human Echolocation as a Basic Form of Perception and Action. Ecological Psychology, 7(3), 181-216. DOI: 10.1207/s15326969eco0703_2
Thaler, L., Arnott, S., & Goodale, M. (2011) Neural Correlates of Natural Human Echolocation in Early and Late Blind Echolocation Experts. PLoS ONE, 6(5). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0020162
WORCHEL P, & DALLENBACH KM. (1947) Facial vision; perception of obstacles by the deaf-blind. The American journal of psychology, 60(4), 502-53. PMID: 20273385
Many recent interpretations of Chaco Canyon see it as a site of pilgrimage, and this is often specifically seen as taking the form of regular region-wide ritual events involving communal feasting, construction work on the massive buildings in the canyon, trade involving various mundane and exotic items, and ritual breakage of pottery and deposition of [...]... Read more »
Wills, W. (2001) Ritual and Mound Formation during the Bonito Phase in Chaco Canyon. American Antiquity, 66(3), 433. DOI: 10.2307/2694243
Sci has to say she’d have LOVED to take the data for this study. Get to go to Spain, hang out, put some heart monitors on people and watch some fire walking…sounds like a good time. Much more glamorous than my own daily life in the lab. Can I get a little glamour around here? [...]... Read more »
Konvalinka, I., Xygalatas, D., Bulbulia, J., Schjodt, U., Jegindo, E., Wallot, S., Van Orden, G., & Roepstorff, A. (2011) Synchronized arousal between performers and related spectators in a fire-walking ritual. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108(20), 8514-8519. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1016955108
In July 1914 Earl Morris, the pioneering Southwestern archaeologist who would later become famous for his excavations at Aztec and other sites in the region, happened to visit one Eudoro Córdoba, who owned a farm on the Animas River a short distance upstream of the major ruins at Aztec. On his mantelpiece were various artifacts [...]... Read more »
Morris, E. (1915) The Excavation of a Ruin near Aztec, San Juan County, new Mexico. American Anthropologist, 17(4), 666-684. DOI: 10.1525/aa.1915.17.4.02a00040
The Journal of Archaeological Science has just published a new study on ADE. The study, of Birk et al. is entitled: “Faeces deposition on Amazonian Anthrosols as assessed from 5b-stanols”. I have just read it and this is my very first impression:The new data are extremely interesting. The authors look at the presence of coprostanol (a marker for faeces) in Amazonian Dark Earth (ADE). They have found a clear change in the index used to asses different sources of stanols, when comparing sample........ Read more »
Jago Jonathan Birka, Wenceslau Geraldes Teixeirab, Eduardo Góes Nevesc, & Bruno Glaser. (2011) Faeces deposition on Amazonian Anthrosols as assessed from 5β-stanols. Journal of Archaeological Science, 38(6), 1209-1220. info:/doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2010.12.015
On June 7th, 2011, one of the world's pioneering primatologists, Toshisada Nishida, passed away at age 70. A look back at his career and his accomplishments.... Read more »
NISHIDA, T. (1973) The ant-gathering behaviour by the use of tools among wild chimpanzees of the Mahali Mountains. Journal of Human Evolution, 2(5), 357-370. DOI: 10.1016/0047-2484(73)90016-X
Nishida, T. (1976) The Bark-Eating Habits in Primates, with Special Reference to Their Status in the Diet of Wild Chimpanzees. Folia Primatologica, 25(4), 277-287. DOI: 10.1159/000155720
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/
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