Anthropology

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  • A Neandertal Ancestor for a Early European

    Anthropology.net
    Kambiz Kamrani
    15 May 2015 | 3:39 pm
    This 40,000–year–old human mandible, found in a Romanian cave, has a mix of human and Neanderthal traits; genetic analysis suggests the person had a close Neanderthal ancestor 4–6 generations back. At last week’s Biology of Genomes meeting in Cold Spring Harbor, New York, Qiaomei Fu, a palaeogenomicist at Harvard Medical School, raised the concept that modern humans were mating with Neanderthals right near the time they became extinct. She and her team estimate that 5–11% of the genome of the 40,000 year old mandible from Peștera cu Oase, Romania is Neanderthal, including large…
  • Ancient mtDNA from Neolithic France

    Dienekes’ Anthropology Blog
    Dienekes
    3 May 2015 | 2:19 pm
    PLoS ONE 10(4): e0125521. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0125521When the Waves of European Neolithization Met: First Paleogenetic Evidence from Early Farmers in the Southern Paris Basin Maïté Rivollat et al. An intense debate concerning the nature and mode of Neolithic transition in Europe has long received much attention. Recent publications of paleogenetic analyses focusing on ancient European farmers from Central Europe or the Iberian Peninsula have greatly contributed to this debate, providing arguments in favor of major migrations accompanying European Neolithization and highlighting…
  • 3.3 Million Year Old Stone Tools Predate Homo By 500,000 Years

    Anthropology.net
    Kambiz Kamrani
    20 May 2015 | 4:45 pm
    Tool unearthed at excavation site. Credit: MPK-WTAP 149 stone flakes, hammers and anvils, found off at the Lomekwi 3 site on the shores of Lake Turkana, appears to have been crafted more than 3.3 million years ago — 500,000 years before our genus Homo. The authors reported their findings in Nature this week. Sonia Harmand and her team accidentally stumbled upon the ancient artifacts after taking a wrong turn and found a different place with stone tools on the surface of a site called Lomekwi 3. You can read more about their discovery at The Conversation. Filed under: Archaeology, Blog…
  • The We and Them of Anthropology

    Savage Minds
    Zoe Todd
    16 May 2015 | 12:22 pm
    I think about the ‘we’ and ‘them’ of anthropology quite frequently. I have always found the royal ‘we’ a bit of funny notion. Who is included in this ‘we’? Such a simple word, all of two letters, and yet it has an ambivalent presence. It can be an act of loving kinship—we are here together. We look out for one another. Or it can be an act of violence through the denial of difference: ‘we’ are just like you, so your concerns are invalid. We know what’s best. We are not amused. The complex negotiation of simultaneous and often contradictory sameness and…
  • Indigenous scholar resists language hegemony

    Savage Minds
    Zoe Todd
    22 May 2015 | 4:38 am
    Just a quick update to share an example of a PhD student directly challenging the ways in which we evaluate thinking within the academy–enacting Indigenous pedagogy, language and legal orders in a tangible way within his discipline. Nisga’a architect Patrick Stewart recently submitted a dissertation for his PhD in architecture at the University of British Columbia without punctuation. A National Post story on Stewart’s dissertation explains that he originally submitted his dissertation in the Nisga’a language: “He wrote his first draft in the Nisga’a…
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    Anthropology.net

  • 3.3 Million Year Old Stone Tools Predate Homo By 500,000 Years

    Kambiz Kamrani
    20 May 2015 | 4:45 pm
    Tool unearthed at excavation site. Credit: MPK-WTAP 149 stone flakes, hammers and anvils, found off at the Lomekwi 3 site on the shores of Lake Turkana, appears to have been crafted more than 3.3 million years ago — 500,000 years before our genus Homo. The authors reported their findings in Nature this week. Sonia Harmand and her team accidentally stumbled upon the ancient artifacts after taking a wrong turn and found a different place with stone tools on the surface of a site called Lomekwi 3. You can read more about their discovery at The Conversation. Filed under: Archaeology, Blog…
  • A Neandertal Ancestor for a Early European

    Kambiz Kamrani
    15 May 2015 | 3:39 pm
    This 40,000–year–old human mandible, found in a Romanian cave, has a mix of human and Neanderthal traits; genetic analysis suggests the person had a close Neanderthal ancestor 4–6 generations back. At last week’s Biology of Genomes meeting in Cold Spring Harbor, New York, Qiaomei Fu, a palaeogenomicist at Harvard Medical School, raised the concept that modern humans were mating with Neanderthals right near the time they became extinct. She and her team estimate that 5–11% of the genome of the 40,000 year old mandible from Peștera cu Oase, Romania is Neanderthal, including large…
  • Megafloods and the Collapse of Cahokia

    Kambiz Kamrani
    5 May 2015 | 5:34 pm
    My first understanding of Cahokia and pre-Columbian cities of the Americas came from the book 1491. Between 1050 and 1200 A.D., Cahokia was North America’s largest and most prominent cultural center north of Mexico. It wielded economic power and religious influence from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico. A new paper published in PNAS describes a possible mechanism for its collapse; flooding. A map shows the central district of Cahokia (inset right) in the context of the water levels reached by the flood of 1844 (blue). (Credit: Sam Munoz) The authors stumbled upon this finding. They…
  • Were Protoaurignacian’s Modern Humans or Neandertals?

    Kambiz Kamrani
    23 Apr 2015 | 3:06 pm
    3D models of the two teeth. (Daniele Panetta, CNR Institute of Clinical Physiology) Many cultures existed in Europe about 40-45,000 years ago. About 42,000 years ago, in southern Europe, the Protoaurignacian developed and the culture that followed marked a turning point in modern humanity. They made the earliest instruments, the earliest art, and possibly the first representation of a human figure. It has been hard to conclusively prove that the Protoaurignacians actually were human since Neandertals were just ending their occupation of Europe during this time frame. In fact, only three…
  • Ancient Human Footprints Along Ileret, Kenya Lakeside

    Kambiz Kamrani
    19 Apr 2015 | 3:56 pm
    An ancient footprint from Ileret, Kenya: one of several sets showing evidence of Homo erectus males travelling in groups. In the late 2000s, 22 footprints were found near Ileret, Kenya. These prints are beleive to be 1.5 million years old. The study documenting this find focused on the anatomy of these footprints; Homo erectus who ambulated much like modern humans. Neil Roach, from the AMNH, returned to Ileret and have found more footprints — about 100. The findings were presented at this week’s annual meeting of the Paleoanthropology Society in San Francisco. These prints…
 
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    Savage Minds

  • Indigenous scholar resists language hegemony

    Zoe Todd
    22 May 2015 | 4:38 am
    Just a quick update to share an example of a PhD student directly challenging the ways in which we evaluate thinking within the academy–enacting Indigenous pedagogy, language and legal orders in a tangible way within his discipline. Nisga’a architect Patrick Stewart recently submitted a dissertation for his PhD in architecture at the University of British Columbia without punctuation. A National Post story on Stewart’s dissertation explains that he originally submitted his dissertation in the Nisga’a language: “He wrote his first draft in the Nisga’a…
  • anthropologies #21: climate change (call for contributors)

    Ryan
    22 May 2015 | 12:08 am
    The next issue of anthropologies focuses broadly on anthropology and climate change. We’re seeking contributions from cultural anthropologists, archaeologists, linguistic anthropologists–the more the better. We already have some contributors lined up, but there’s room for more! Also, I’m looking for a guest editor for this issue. I need help! Experience in environmental anthropology and/or archaeology would be a plus. Guest editors will help line up contributors for the final issue and edit essays before they are published online. Ideally, the guest editor will also…
  • Octopuses can see in the dark: Theme and variation

    Rex
    20 May 2015 | 4:46 pm
    The original: New York Times: For an Octopus, Seeing the Light Doesn’t Require Eyes Which in other formats would be: Scientific American: Octopuses Don’t Require Eyes To See American Ethnologist: Visibility of Surface and Surface of Visibility: Octopuses Don’t Require Eyes to See Cultural Anthropology: Entangled Skin and Vibrant Light: New Surfaces for Anthropology Twitter: 4 realz! http://nyti.ms/1AmvllU #for #an #octopus #seeing #the #light #doesn’t #require #eyes Feel free to add your own in the comments.
  • The We and Them of Anthropology

    Zoe Todd
    16 May 2015 | 12:22 pm
    I think about the ‘we’ and ‘them’ of anthropology quite frequently. I have always found the royal ‘we’ a bit of funny notion. Who is included in this ‘we’? Such a simple word, all of two letters, and yet it has an ambivalent presence. It can be an act of loving kinship—we are here together. We look out for one another. Or it can be an act of violence through the denial of difference: ‘we’ are just like you, so your concerns are invalid. We know what’s best. We are not amused. The complex negotiation of simultaneous and often contradictory sameness and…
  • Savage Minds: First Class

    Dustin (Oneman)
    15 May 2015 | 3:00 am
        Just over 10 years ago, Kerim contacted me with an idea. I’ve long since lost that first email but the gist was “Hey, this blogging thing seems to be going places, but there don’t seem to be many anthropologists doing it. We’re young and stupid, wouldn’t it be cool if we started a blog about anthropology?” It would be cool. The idea was simple: we’d collect a bunch of anthros, given them logins, and let them post whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted, so long as it was somehow about anthropology. Interestingly, none of us had ever met, and wouldn’t for…
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    Anthropology News -- ScienceDaily

  • Partly human yeast show a common ancestor's lasting legacy

    21 May 2015 | 11:39 am
    Despite a billion years of evolution separating humans from the baker's yeast in their refrigerators, hundreds of genes from an ancestor that the two species have in common live on nearly unchanged in them both, say biologists. The team created thriving strains of genetically engineered yeast using human genes and found that certain groups of genes are surprisingly stable over evolutionary time.
  • Our bond with dogs may go back more than 27,000 years

    21 May 2015 | 10:36 am
    Dogs' special relationship to humans may go back 27,000 to 40,000 years, according to genomic analysis of an ancient Taimyr wolf bone. Earlier genome-based estimates have suggested that the ancestors of modern-day dogs diverged from wolves no more than 16,000 years ago, after the last Ice Age.
  • World's oldest stone tools challenge ideas about first toolmakers

    20 May 2015 | 10:35 am
    Scientists working in the desert of northwestern Kenya have found stone tools dating back 3.3 million years, long before the advent of modern humans, and by far the oldest such artifacts yet discovered. The tools push the known date of such tools back by 700,000 years; they also may challenge the notion that our own most direct ancestors were the first to bang two rocks together to create a new technology.
  • Who left the dogs out? No trace of ancient colonizers' canines in Madagascar

    20 May 2015 | 5:33 am
    Their migration spanned half the globe and their culture was spread across the Pacific and Indian Oceans; but in Madagascar, the ancient Indonesians left behind a mystery.
  • What did the first snakes look like?

    19 May 2015 | 6:02 pm
    The original snake ancestor was a nocturnal, stealth-hunting predator that had tiny hindlimbs with ankles and toes, according to new research. Snakes show incredible diversity, with over 3,400 living species found in a wide range of habitats, such as land, water and in trees. But little is known about where and when they evolved, and how their original ancestor looked and behaved.
 
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    Dienekes’ Anthropology Blog

  • More Y-chromosome super-fathers

    Dienekes
    20 May 2015 | 11:00 pm
    The time estimates are based on a mutation rate of 1x10-9 mutations/bp/year which is ~1/3 higher than mutation rate of Karmin et al.  So the values on the table may be a little lower.There may be additional founders with recent time depths than shown in the table, e.g., a very shallow clusters within E-M35 (probably E-V13?) and a couple of shallow clusters within I-P215Also of interest is the fact that Greeks and Anatolian Turks do not show evidence of the recent Y-chromosomal bottleneck:The plots are consistent with patterns seen in the relative numbers of singletons, described…
  • Neandertal in the (immediate) family tree

    Dienekes
    13 May 2015 | 11:09 am
    Early European may have had Neanderthal great-great-grandparent One of Europe’s earliest known humans had a close Neanderthal ancestor: perhaps as close as a great-great-grandparent. The finding, announced on 8 May at the Biology of Genomes meeting in Cold Spring Harbor, New York, questions the idea that humans and Neanderthals interbred only in the Middle East, more than 50,000 years ago. Qiaomei Fu, a palaeogenomicist at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts, told the meeting how she and her colleagues had sequenced DNA from a 40,000-year-old jawbone that represents some of the…
  • mtDNA haplogroup A10 in Bronze Age West Siberia

    Dienekes
    12 May 2015 | 11:00 am
    PLoS ONE 10(5): e0127182. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0127182MtDNA Haplogroup A10 Lineages in Bronze Age Samples Suggest That Ancient Autochthonous Human Groups Contributed to the Specificity of the Indigenous West Siberian Population Aleksandr S. Pilipenko et al. Abstract Background The craniometric specificity of the indigenous West Siberian human populations cannot be completely explained by the genetic interactions of the western and eastern Eurasian groups recorded in the archaeology of the area from the beginning of the 2nd millennium BC. Anthropologists have proposed another probable…
  • 2,500-year old Etruscans

    Dienekes
    6 May 2015 | 11:00 pm
    From a Biology of Genomes poster (pdf) on "Assessment of Whole-Genome capture methodologies on single- and double-stranded ancient DNA libraries from Caribbean and European archaeological human remains" by Ávila-Arcos et al.All that can be said based on this is that they seem broadly southern European and not particularly Tuscan.
  • Ancient mtDNA from Neolithic France

    Dienekes
    3 May 2015 | 2:19 pm
    PLoS ONE 10(4): e0125521. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0125521When the Waves of European Neolithization Met: First Paleogenetic Evidence from Early Farmers in the Southern Paris Basin Maïté Rivollat et al. An intense debate concerning the nature and mode of Neolithic transition in Europe has long received much attention. Recent publications of paleogenetic analyses focusing on ancient European farmers from Central Europe or the Iberian Peninsula have greatly contributed to this debate, providing arguments in favor of major migrations accompanying European Neolithization and highlighting…
 
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    Material World

  • From Home Movies to Homs

    Haidy Geismar
    19 May 2015 | 5:08 am
    The amateur film is becoming a global visual lingua franca, a consequence of the conjuncture of the digital with new and widely accessible film technologies (notably the camera phone) and new methods of distribution (open access video platforms, typified by YouTube). Amateur film now saturates online media discourse as well as personal and social media communication. Its ubiquity is one visible example of the current radical shift in media systems, whilst the films themselves are both reshaping the formal language of the moving image and refashioning the representation, mediation, and even…
  • Popular Art and Portuguese Identity. Anatomy of an Exhibition

    Haidy Geismar
    19 May 2015 | 4:58 am
    An event with Professor Anthony Shelton Thursday 21 May 2015, 6pm, Room G01, School of Arts, Birkbeck, University of London, 43 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PD Between the 1920s-1950s, rural popular art became an important part of the government-sponsored re-creation of Portuguese national identity and history. Books and articles were written about popular art, films were produced on it and domestic and international exhibitions displayed it, creating a particularly Portuguese ‘taste’ that hid the dire conditions of poverty, suffering, and illiteracy that characterized many of its rural…
  • Online Archive of Ivan Karp’s Publications: New Address and Site Design

    Jo Aiken
    12 May 2015 | 6:34 am
    by Corinne A Kratz, Emory U The online archive of Ivan Karp’s published papers has moved and gotten a new look! Emory University launched the popular online archive in 2012 in order to keep Karp’s (1943–2011) work widely available. Karp was a social anthropologist and a leading scholar of social theory, museum and heritage studies, and African studies. He began his long-term research with Iteso communities in western Kenya in 1969. Karp wrote extensively about power, personhood and agency, about African societies and systems of thought, and he published groundbreaking work about…
  • Guggenheim Wikipedia Edit-a-thon

    Haidy Geismar
    12 May 2015 | 3:31 am
    Via Guggenheim.org This month, the Guggenheim Museum is proud to donate 100 images of artworks to Wikipedia, including selections from the museum’s collection by Edgar Degas, Paul Klee, and Vincent van Gogh. Join us at the Guggenheim to add information about these artworks and artists to Wikipedia, the world’s largest free source of knowledge. The event is an opportunity to explore the history of the Guggenheim’s collection, the impact of these works within the artistic movements of their time, and their legacy and influence on future artists. Using these 100 images as a starting point,…
  • Landmarks:a review

    Haidy Geismar
    6 May 2015 | 11:57 am
    Robert Macfarlane Landmarks (2015) London: Hamish Hamilton, 387pp. £20.00 rrp   Christopher Tilley, Department of Anthropology, University College London (c.tilley@ucl.ac.uk)   This is the fifth book by Macfarlane about British landscapes. The ‘landmarks’ of the title are not what one might expect: they are words. The book is about the power of words in place making. This reminds us that landscapes may be material topographic realities but they are simultaneously constituted in the mind. Traditionally, in academic debates, landscapes have been regarded as either reductively…
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    Museum Anthropology

  • Elgin Marbles Legal Action Ruled Out by Greece

    19 May 2015 | 12:58 pm
    BBC UK, 14 May 2015 Greece has ruled out taking legal action against the UK to reclaim the Elgin Marbles from the British Museum.In an unexpected move, Greece's culture minister said the country would pursue a "diplomatic and political" approach to retrieving the sculptures instead.In doing so, the country has rejected the advice of barrister Amal Clooney, who had urged Greece to take Britain
  • New Address and Design for Online Archive of Ivan Karp’s Publications

    15 May 2015 | 10:42 am
    The online archive of Ivan Karp’s published papers has moved and gotten a new look! Emory University launched the popular online archive in 2012 in order to keep Karp’s (1943–2011) work widely available. Karp was a social anthropologist and a leading scholar of social theory, museum and heritage studies, and African studies. He began his long-term research with Iteso communities in western Kenya
  • Citing lack of funding, New York’s Museum of Biblical Art to close

    12 May 2015 | 9:48 am
    RNS, David Van Biema April 28, 2015 On the heels of what seemed like its greatest triumph — a magnificent display of sculptures by the Renaissance pioneer Donatello — a small but important museum in midtown Manhattan that specialized in religious art regarded with a neutrally secular eye announced Tuesday (April 28) that it was going out of business.A press release from the Museum of Biblical Art
  • Stolen Artifacts from Roman Museum Recovered

    9 May 2015 | 9:46 am
    The Cairo PostApr. 28, 2015All stolen artifacts from the the Greco-Roman Museum’s store in Alexandria were recovered Monday, head of the central administration for antiquities Youssef Khalefa announced.Some 47 artifacts were stolen on Saturday, including a granite statute for a man and a woman, 31 metal coins of the Greco-Roman era and 15 pots and bottles used to store perfume, Khaleefa told
  • Workshop: Native Language Documentation: Partnering with Museums

    5 May 2015 | 9:34 am
    Native Language Documentation: Partnering with Museums Dates: June 4 & 5, 2015 Location: Arizona State Museum, University of Arizona, Tucson Registration fee: $200 ($100 for enrolled AILDI students) Join Rosalyn LaPier (Blackfeet/Métis) as she shares her experience using museum collections to document language and create new learning materials. The hands-on workshop will show you how to
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    A Hot Cup of Joe

  • The Underground City Hoax

    Carl Feagans
    12 May 2015 | 7:57 pm
    Back in 1885, The Monitor at Moberly, the newspaper for Moberly, MO, reported that coal miners discovered an elaborate underground city, complete with statuary, utensils, and even a skeleton of a giant. Recently, this story was “dug up” and reposted on the internet by several people this year, but the earliest I saw in 2015 was by Kristan Harris on the website of a radio station in Milwaukee. See, City Found 350 Feet Below Missouri City, Giant Skeleton Found for a couple graphics of the original newspaper articles from 1885. This is an interesting meme of pseudoarchaeology since a…
  • Sumerians in Bolivia? Probably not.

    Carl Feagans
    22 Mar 2015 | 10:59 pm
    I subscribe to a lot of archaeology related feeds on social media and one of the memes going around last week included one with the title, “3 ‘Forbidden Archaeology’ Discoveries That Will Rock Your Boat.” Let me set the record straight: it’s hard to rock a boat that already sank. First of the three was something called the Fuente Magna Bowl, a stone bowl that surfaced in the 1950s with both South American motifs and, what is alleged, to be Sumerian text. Such an artifact would be very significant and among the most note-worthy finds of the human past if: 1) it…
  • Pseudoarchaeology and Elongated Skulls

    Carl Feagans
    25 Jan 2015 | 10:40 pm
    Drawing of a figurine from Tiesler (2014, p. 81) that depicts a head splint used to shape an infant’s skull. Elongated skulls of ancient people like the Peruvians have long been a source of mystery and fascination, particularly for significance-junkies that find aliens wherever they can. The last Indiana Jones movie didn’t help matters either. Along that line, somebody sent me a link to a website that has a different view of cranial deformation than that of science knowing that I’ve previously written on the topic and wondered what I thought. So I thought I’d share my…
  • Vampires in the Archaeological Record?

    Carl Feagans
    13 May 2014 | 6:06 pm
    No. Not really. But the folks of Kamien Pomorski in northwestern Poland thought so in the 16th century. You can’t get blood from a rock. Find the story and at least one more photo at Kamienski.info. The bones aren’t of a real vampire, of course, but the belief in vampires was a very real phenomenon in 16th century Europe. Probable origins of the belief include the nature of corpses as the go through early stages of decay. The skin tightens and shrinks, giving the appearance of beard growth or growing fingernails. It isn’t the hair or nails that grow out, rather the skin…
  • Pseudoarchaeology: 3 Million Year Old Modern Man

    Carl Feagans
    30 Apr 2014 | 10:51 pm
    A woo-related post ended up on one of the Rock Art pages I subscribe to on FaceBook, with the author claiming a pebble exhibiting pareidolic features to be a figure carved from stone by “modern man” more than 3 million years ago. The FB post linked to this WordPress article on “TreasureBusiness.org,” the blog of a self-styled digger and treasure seeker that calls himself the “commander.” -I know right? The author keeps repeating, interestingly enough, that it is commonly held that “modern man” is between 6000-34000 years old. He doesn’t…
 
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    Kimberly Christian's Garcinia Cambogia

  • Nicotinamide Riboside Smart Investment For Your Health

    admin
    14 May 2015 | 12:23 am
    Investing in solar power is one of the finest investments someone can earn when in for you to saving money in the future. But with this semi-new technology the cost of solar panel can be extremely high. What you should consider is that to select from of great places you can buy used solar panels and even better there are cheap and easy methods that you can make your own. Here are something you really should know before you buy an used solar array. But explanations do you have we care so much about the extent of shading? You may not realize this, nevertheless the effect of shading is…
  • Top 5 Fish Oil Supplements as Recommended by AlivebyNature.com

    admin
    29 Mar 2015 | 12:10 pm
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    admin
    15 Dec 2014 | 11:43 am
    Weight Loss is certainly an obsession for millions. What is the best way to shed pounds? How can I lose weight quickly? What method can help me lose surplus weight? These burning questions keep many of us awake at nighttime. This article will explore some of probably the most frequently asked questions associated with reduction. For most of us, we need to have answers to our questions before deciding which approach will yield the outcomes. The following thing can need test is consume a reasonable diet while choosing HCA. Eating appropriate portions of healthier foodstuffs results in a steady…
  • Facts About alivebynature Weight-Loss Product

    admin
    11 Nov 2014 | 3:15 pm
    Eczema is actually definitely an inflammation of the skin wherein the patches of skin may be red, itchy and slough off. The cause of this disease is unknown as it can certainly occur on any part of the body but is typically found on an arms, knees, elbows and knees. For anybody who is looking for natural treating of eczema, it can be be serious. But some in the most common places you’re able to find things for these natural remedies, are place like the grocery store, vitamin stores such as alivebynature, other sorts of stores. Applying witch hazel towards affected area a few times a day…
  • 3 Raw Food Diet Secrets!

    admin
    24 Oct 2014 | 3:11 pm
    When Janet Lindvall sat in front of her computer, food obvious that she needed lower belly fat. It was an ugly sight to see rolls of fat bulging out from her ab. Fact 9: Metabolic disorders will cause weight realize. Diabetes and hypo thyroid are the most widespread. You need to be medically examined if believe any hang ups. As the cat ages, toxin damage occurs and the best way to make plant based protein supplement cat healthy is by supplying all of them herbs and anti-oxidants like quercitin and rutin sustain their energy. So do you want to get large, beautiful muscles? A person wish…
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    Somatosphere

  • Epigenetics and Society: Potential, Expectations and Criticisms – A Special Issue of New Genetics and Society by Francis Mckay

    Francis Mckay
    19 May 2015 | 7:56 am
    Hi all, Part 1 of this month’s In the Journals Roundup has already been posted here. Part 2 will be coming soon. In addition, you can find below a special issue of New Genetics and Society on the topic of “Epigenetics and Society: Potential, Expectations and Criticisms”. Epigenetics for the social sciences: justice, embodiment, and inheritance in the postgenomic age Maurizio Meloni In this paper, I firstly situate the current rise of interest in epigenetics in the broader history of attempts to go “beyond the gene” in twentieth-century biology. In the second part, after…
  • “The Chair is Our Feet:” Imagining Habitable Worlds in Highland Ecuador by Nicholas Rattray

    Nicholas Rattray
    18 May 2015 | 5:23 am
    On an evening in the summer of 2009, I was picked up by Norberto, a friend I had met during ethnographic fieldwork in Cuenca, Ecuador. Since it was my first time in his truck, Norberto showed me how he drove solely with his hands by braking and accelerating with his thumbs through the steering wheel. “Mira (Look), I don’t need my legs at all,” he laughed. When we arrived at the Coliseo Jefferson Perez, the main indoor arena in Cuenca, for his basketball practice, Norberto greeted several men who joked around as they lifted themselves out of their vehicles and into their wheelchairs that…
  • In the Journals May 2015 – Part 1 by Francis Mckay

    Francis Mckay
    17 May 2015 | 5:21 pm
    Hi all, here’s part one of this month’s roundup. Enjoy.   American Ethnologist Ethnography for aging societies: Dignity, cultural genres, and Singapore’s imagined futures Michael M. J. Fischer Social theory generated in and about Singapore lies in psychic depths and archive fevers of an immigrant society subjected to accelerated social changes that devalue the lives of those marked by aging. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork in Singapore, weaving together four kinds of data sets—gerontology psychiatric research and intervention; changing ritual forms; analytically…
  • Making Disability Count: Demography, Futurity, and the Making of Disability Publics by Faye Ginsburg

    Faye Ginsburg
    11 May 2015 | 7:55 am
    If one considers people who now have disabilities, people who are likely to develop disabilities in the future, and people who are or who will be affected by the disabilities of those close to them, then disability affects today or will affect tomorrow the lives of most Americans. The future of disability in America is not a minority issue. (Institute of Medicine 2007, p. 16) Disability is an ambiguous demographic, but one that is unambiguously increasing. (Fujiura 2001, p. 1) Disabled people have more than a dream of accessible futures: we continue to define and demand our place in political…
  • Policing at the Synapse: Ferguson, Race, and the Disability Politics of the Teen Brain by Julie Passanante Elman

    Julie Passanante Elman
    4 May 2015 | 7:58 am
    In February 2014, University of Missouri (“Mizzou”) students made national news when they formed a human wall to protest the Westboro Baptist Church’s presence on their campus. Westboro arrived to denounce Michael Sam, a gay “Mizzou Tiger” who would become the first openly gay NFL player. Mizzou students eagerly donned “Stand with Sam” rainbow buttons and “WE ARE ALL COMOSEXUAL” t-shirts (an homage to “COMO,” or how locals refer to Columbia, MO). The nation turned its collective eye to “The Middle,” a North American region that has been associated (at times,…
 
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    Visual Anthropology of Japan - 日本映像人類学

  • Logical Emotion Exhibition

    22 May 2015 | 4:00 pm
    Photo borrowed from Japan Today's Picture of the Day, 5/23/15. Caption reads: Visitors walk through the installation “Love is Calling” (2013) by Yayoi Kusama at the exhibition “Logical Emotion: Contemporary Art from Japan” in the Art Museum Moritzburg in Halle (Saale), central Germany, Friday. The exhibition, which presents the works of 13 Japanese artists, runs through July 26. Source: http://www.japantoday.com/category/picture-of-the-day/view/art-attack-4Exhibition description (from Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow): The leitmotif of the exhibition can be encapsulated in two…
  • "Wells Fargo Commercial: Learning Sign Language" and once again I'm not sure how to feel about this...

    28 Apr 2015 | 9:53 pm
    There's so much going on in this commercial I can't seem to get my head around it. The buzz seems to be centered on the portrayal of lesbian moms as ordinary and not so much about the use of sign language.
  • Two deaf women win seats in local assemblies in Sunday's elections

    27 Apr 2015 | 11:12 pm
    Photo borrowed from Mainichi on-line, 4/28/15. This is great news, especially within the bleak world of Japanese politics. It is also very good that this news is being widely reported in Japan's newspapers. Here's a sampling: With local government elections overwhelmingly remaining a man's domain, numerous women took on the challenge of declaring their candidacy for the second half of the nationwide race on April 26. One victory in this regard was Atsuko Yanetani, 55, from the city of Akashi, Hyogo Prefecture -- an independent newcomer who is also completely deaf. Yanetani, formerly a company…
  • 48

    19 Apr 2015 | 4:04 am
  • 桜 2015: This Year's Cherry Blossoms

    17 Apr 2015 | 1:32 am
    Rainy and cold weather didn't make for the best of ohanami this year. Here are some lazy yet beautiful shots from outside my window... See previous sakura-related posts on VAOJ: Spring 2010Spring 2011Spring 2012 pt.1Spring 2012 pt.2Spring 2012 pt.3Spring 2013 pt. 1Spring 2013 pt. 2Spring 2013 pt. 3Spring 2014 pt. 1Spring 2014 pt. 2
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    International Cognition and Culture Institute

  • Sign language as a window into universally accessible linguistic biases

    9 May 2015 | 3:19 am
    A very interesting new article: "Event representations constrain the structure of language: Sign language as a window into universally accessible linguistic biases" by Brent Strickland, Carlo Geraci, Emmanuel Chemla, Philippe Schlenker, Meltem Kelepir, and Roland Pfau to appear in PNAS(10.1073/pnas.1423080112) "Significance: One key issue in the study of human language is understanding what, if any, features of individual languages may be universally accessible. Sign languages offer a privileged perspective on this issue because the visual modality can help…
  • Scott Atran's address to the UN security council

    26 Apr 2015 | 11:29 pm
    It is not everyday that an anthropologist is asked to speak before the security council: Scott Atran did, on the 23d of April. See video here.
  • Astuti and Bloch on "Incest, intentionality, and morality"

    13 Mar 2015 | 2:18 am
    A thought-provoking article by Rita Astuti and Maurice BlochThe causal cognition of wrong doing: incest, intentionality and morality," in Frontiers in Psychology, 18 February 2015. From the Abstract: Anthropologists have claimed that, in certain non-Western societies, people ignore whether an act of wrong doing is committed intentionally or accidentally. To examine this proposition, we look at the case of Madagascar. We start by analyzing how Malagasy people respond to incest, and we find that in this case they do not seem to take intentionality into account: catastrophic consequences follow…
  • Should preferences based on authoritarianism and social dominance be treated as moral?

    6 Mar 2015 | 12:03 pm
    An interesting critical discussion of Jonathan Haidt's apprach to morality from a social psychology and political science point of view: "Another Look at Moral Foundations Theory: Do Authoritarianism and Social Dominance Orientation Explain Liberal-Conservative Differences in ‘‘Moral’’ Intuitions?" by Matthew Kugler, John T. Jost, and Sharareh Noorbaloochi (in Social Justice Research. 27.4 (2014): 413-431). Abstract: Moral foundations theorists propose that the moral domain should include not only ‘‘liberal’’ ethics of justice and care but also ostensibly…
  • Why reading minds is not like reading words

    22 Jan 2015 | 6:55 am
    Written by Brent Strickland and Pierre Jacob In a recent review paper in Science (2014. 344-6190) entitled “The cultural evolution of mind reading,” Cecilia Heyes and Chris Frith argue that human children learn to read minds much like they learn to read words, via explicit verbal instruction from knowledgeable adults. On their view, both abilities are inherited culturally as opposed to genetically. Their argument for this thought-provoking analogy rests on three basic claims: (1)  Mindreading exhibits as much cultural diversity as reading words. (2)  The case of word…
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    Anthropological Notebook

  • Cyborg anthropology: catching the sun (2)

    19 May 2015 | 11:42 pm
    If you've been waiting for updates on my adventures with the solar kit, it's a bit like watching the kettle boil. Little to report so far. I had some trouble with the V72 battery (the one that stores power from the solar panels); it seemed to be leaking power, with the lights on the charge indicator dropping overnight from 5 (100%) to 4 (80%) while sitting idle. Tony at Voltaic Systems helpfully
  • Cyborg anthropology: catching the sun (1)

    12 May 2015 | 11:08 am
    I've used solar kits in the field before: photo on left is from my 2005 Cambodia fieldwork, and shows the (monocrystalline) solar panels catching sunlight from the roof of the car (with bemused 4-legged audience). The kit worked fine, but obviously wasn't too portable (I mean walkable, for ambulatory fieldwork). For Sarawak fieldwork (2009–2010) I used Thin Film PV panels: again, worked great but
  • New blog: International Summer School in Southeast Asian Studies

    18 Mar 2015 | 5:10 am
    Interested in Southeast Asia, the study of, the thinking about, the living in? We have a new blog, mainly to showcase the work of our postgraduate participants in the International Summer School in Southeast Asian Studies, an annual two-week programme jointly-organised by Universiti Sains Malaysia in Penang (USM), the Institute of Asian and African Studies of Humboldt Universität zu Berlin (
  • Aliran Down the Ages

    30 Jan 2015 | 9:45 am
    Here's a bit of Malaysian social history, as seen through the work of Aliran, Malaysia's oldest human rights group. Watch how information dissemination styles have changed since the 1970s, when the group was founded. Past 2010, all the images (and video) were shot by me.  
  • Call for Papers: the Eleventh Conference on Hunting and Gathering Societies (CHAGS 11)

    21 Dec 2014 | 5:06 pm
    The Eleventh CONFERENCE ON HUNTING AND GATHERING SOCIETIES (CHAGS 11) will be held in Vienna, September 7-11, 2015. The CALL FOR PAPERS has been announced here: https://chags.univie.ac.at/ Deadline for submission of abstracts is February 20, 2015 "All accepted session abstracts can be viewed online at our CHAGS 11 website. We mandate that ALL individual participants need to register and
 
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    media/anthropology

  • 20. Hacking politics: civic struggles to politicize technologies

    John Postill
    1 May 2015 | 9:33 pm
    This is the 20th of 42 posts in the ongoing Freedom technologists series. By Sebastian Kubitschko via Civic Media Project Despite the longstanding equating of hacking as infused with political significance, the scope and style of hackers’ engagement with institutionalized politics remains poorly understood. Based on face-to-face interviews, participant observations and media analysis over three years (2011-2014), this case study of the Chaos Computer Club (CCC)—Europe’s largest and one of the world’s oldest hacker collectives—fills parts of this gap. It shows that hackers practice a…
  • 19. Freedoms and liberties in anthropological perspective

    John Postill
    21 Apr 2015 | 3:46 am
    This is nineteenth post in the Freedom technologists series. Republished from St Andrews Centre for Cosmopolitan Studies. The Centre is pleased to announce a forthcoming conference on Liberties and Freedoms organised with the assistance of the Ladislav Holy Trust. (May 31st – 2nd June 2013). Freedoms and liberties have been a theme of perennial concern across a range of human science disciplines – philosophy, history and political science – but curiously to a much lesser degree in anthropology. However, well-known anthropologists such as Boas, Malinowski and Leach have all written…
  • 18. Political technologists and civil society

    John Postill
    20 Apr 2015 | 2:31 am
    By Muzammil M. Hussain This is the eighteenth post in the Freedom technologists series. The following are some passages taken (with permission) from chapter 4 of Hussain, M. M. (2014). Securing Technologies of Freedom after the Arab Spring: Policy Entrepreneurship and Norms Consolidation Practices in Internet Freedom Promotion (Doctoral dissertation (Ph.D.) — University of Washington). https://dlib.lib.washington.edu/researchworks/handle/1773/26059 This quote captures the gist of Hussain’s ‘political technologists’ concept: I focus on the community of technology designers…
  • 17. Digital rights in Southeast Asia and beyond: a review of RightsCon 2015

    John Postill
    31 Mar 2015 | 7:45 am
    Update 1 April 2015: See also PDF version. Last week I was in Manila to attend the 4th meeting of the RightsCon series, held on 24-25 March 2015. This series of conferences seeks ‘to advance solutions to human rights challenges by concentrating on the possibilities within the tech sector’. The Manila conference was organised by Access, a digital rights NGO, in partnership with Engage Media and the Foundation for Media Alternatives. As stated on the conference website, the first ever RightsCon event to be held in Southeast Asia set out to pursue the following goals: • Protecting…
  • 16. A letter from Jakarta

    John Postill
    21 Mar 2015 | 8:22 am
    Many years ago, in 1987, I left Madrid and came to Jakarta to become a journalist. For about a year, I was a trainee at Tempo magazine and a stringer with Spain’s national newsagency, EFE. I lived with local host families and learned reasonably good Indonesian, but couldn’t quite figure out Indonesia. So I decided to become an anthropologist. (I was also a lousy journalist, too laid-back, or so I gathered from one of my mentors, the poet and journalist Goenawan Mohamad). After a long detour, I am back in Jakarta. This time as an anthropologist. I am still trying to figure out…
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    American Journal of Physical Anthropology

  • Assessing eye orbits as predictors of Neandertal group size

    Sarah Traynor, Alia N. Gurtov, Jess Hutton Senjem, John Hawks
    28 Apr 2015 | 10:54 pm
    ABSTRACT ObjectivesThe objective is to investigate the hypothesis that Neandertal eye orbits can predict group size and social cognition as presented by Pearce et al. (Proc R Soc B Biol Sci 280 (2013) 20130168). Materials and MethodsWe performed a linear regression of known orbital aperture diameter (OAD), neocortex ratio, and group size among 18 extant diurnal primate species. Our data were derived from Kirk (J Hum Evol 51 (2006) 159–170) and Dunbar (J Hum Evol 22 (1992), 469–493; J Hum Evol 28 (1995) 287–296). ResultsThere is a positive correlation between OAD and group size; a…
  • Performance analysis of deciduous morphology for detecting biological siblings

    Kathleen S. Paul, Christopher M. Stojanowski
    28 Apr 2015 | 10:53 pm
    ABSTRACT Objectives:Family-centered burial practices influence cemetery structure and can represent social group composition in both modern and ancient contexts. In ancient sites dental phenotypic data are often used as proxies for underlying genotypes to identify potential biological relatives. Here, we test the performance of deciduous dental morphological traits for differentiating sibling pairs from unrelated individuals from the same population. Materials and Methods:We collected 46 deciduous morphological traits for 69 sibling pairs from the Burlington Growth Centre's long term Family…
  • Skill ontogeny among Tsimane forager-horticulturalists

    Eric Schniter, Michael Gurven, Hillard S. Kaplan, Nathaniel T. Wilcox, Paul L. Hooper
    28 Apr 2015 | 10:53 pm
    ABSTRACT ObjectivesWe investigate whether age profiles of Tsimane forager-horticulturalists' reported skill development are consistent with predictions derived from life history theory about the timing of productivity and reproduction. Previous studies of forager skill development have often focused on a few abilities (e.g. hunting), and neglected the broad range of skills and services typical of forager economies (e.g. childcare, craft production, music performance, story-telling). Materials and MethodsBy systematically examining age patterns in reported acquisition, proficiency, and…
  • The Interdigital Brace and Other Grips for Termite Nest Perforation by Chimpanzees of the Goualougo Triangle, Republic of Congo

    Julie J. Lesnik, Crickette M. Sanz, David B. Morgan
    27 Apr 2015 | 10:01 pm
    ABSTRACT Studies of chimpanzee termite foraging enlighten our understanding of early hominin tool use not only by modeling the cognitive ability of our ancestors but also by emphasizing the possible role of social insects in the hominin diet. The chimpanzees of the Goualougo Triangle are known to have one of the largest and most complex tool repertoires reported for wild chimpanzees. One tool set habitually used by this population includes a perforating tool to penetrate the hard outer crust of elevated termite nests before fishing for termite prey with an herbaceous stem. Here, we report the…
  • Body height of mummified pharaohs supports historical suggestions of sibling marriages

    Michael E. Habicht, Maciej Henneberg, Lena M. Öhrström, Kaspar Staub, Frank J. Rühli
    27 Apr 2015 | 11:51 am
    Body height is an important factor in reconstructing health conditions and it serves as an indicator of socio-economic status. Researchers rely on ancient data to analyze evolutionary aspects of human health and its interrelation with environmental influences. This study presents body height estimates from all periods of ancient Egyptian history and compares the general population with the existing mummies of the members of royal families. A sample of 259 adult Egyptian mummies originating from various collections and published sources with body lengths (long bone measures or/and overall…
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    BOAS Network

  • Jane Goodall on Canada’s conservation record and being vegetarian

    BOAS
    22 May 2015 | 2:03 pm
    The Globe’s Ivan Semeniuk sits down with Jane Goodall to discuss her view on Canada’s environmental record under Stephen Harper and her vegetarianism.
  • Scientists Investigate a Medieval Mass Grave

    BOAS
    15 May 2015 | 12:02 pm
    An archeologist from Inrap excavates a mass grave below a supermarket in Paris (Denis Gliksman/Inrap) By Marissa Fessenden Retrieved from smithsonian.com May 13, 2015 Renovation work uncovered hundreds of individuals, perhaps all killed by disease at the same time When the Monoprix Réaumur-Sébastopol supermarket in Paris, France, decided to renovated their basement to get more storage space, they probably didn’t expect to uncover hundreds of human bones. But when they dug into the basement floor, that’s exactly what they discovered. The human remains are, apparently, the legacy of a…
  • Scientists discover first warm-bodied fish

    BOAS
    15 May 2015 | 11:26 am
    By Erik Stokstad retrieved from Science AAAS Researchers have discovered the first fish that can keep its entire body warm, much like mammals and birds. The opah, or moonfish, lives in deep, cold water, but it generates heat from its massive pectoral muscles. And it conserves that warmth thanks to body fat and the special structure of blood vessels in its gills. “It’s a remarkable adaptation for a fish,” says Diego Bernal, a fish physiologist at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, who was not involved in the study. Having a warm heart and brain likely allows the little-known…
  • Why Can’t We Get Rid Of Mosquitoes?

    BOAS
    14 May 2015 | 2:20 pm
    Mosquitoes are considered one of the deadliest animals on earth with their ability to spread diseases far and wide but why haven’t we already eradicated these killer bugs? Read More: A World Without Mosquitoes http://blogs.cornell.edu/bioee1610/20… “In my opinion, mosquitoes are honestly the most vile and useless species on Earth. Their ability to spread disease, cause death, and change any species’ life is detrimental and questionable. But given that every aspect and particle of nature has a purpose and plays a role, how important are mosquitoes?” Malaria Fact Sheet…
  • Talking Shit : Pitch Video For a Real Person Budget!

    Kohanya Groff
    6 Mar 2015 | 11:29 am
 
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