Anthropology in Practice

Anthropology in Practice

Exploring the human condition.

Editor's Selections: Properties of eyeliner, Rituals, Tales told by pottery, and Roman diets


The selection for this week covers the last two weeks:

  • We might not give much thought to eyeliner today, dismissing it as a beauty product that highlights and enhances the eye, but the ancient Egyptians had a different purpose for lining their eyes: preventing eye infections. At Body Horrors, Rebecca Kreston has the scoop on the antibacterial properties of kohl.

  • Rituals permeate our daily lives. Why do certain rituals persist over others? Eric Horow reports on a recent study at Peer Reviewed by My Neurons investigating how we evaluate the effectiveness of rituals.

  • Researchers are tracing ancestral links between the Philippines and the Marianas through pottery. A study discussed at Imprints of Philippine Science traces the connections revealed by pottery shards.

  • Want to eat like a Roman? At Powered by Osteons, Kristina Killgrove prepares a meal based on skeletal isotope information highlighting the wealth of data that can be drawn from different sources.

Until next time, folks. I'll be back next week with more from anthropology, philosophy, and research.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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