Anthropology in Practice

Anthropology in Practice

Exploring the human condition.

Editor's Selections: Roman health, Anatomical offerings, and Mental illness


Part of my online life includes editorial duties at, where I serve as the Social Sciences Editor. Each Thursday, I pick notable posts on research in anthropology, philosophy, social science, and research to share on the News site. To help highlight this writing, I also share my selections here on AiP.

This week:

  • First, medical conditions are often influenced by social context. At Bones Don't Lie, Katy Meyers compares osteoporosis in Ancient Rome to modern times highlighting the effect of lifestyle on this condition.

  • Kristina Killgrove has a fascinating posting at Powered By Osteons on the use of anatomical votives in the Ancient World—that is, small offerings shaped like body parts used in prayers. The question at hand is whether a recently uncovered votive represents a uterus.

  • And finally, the Neuroskeptic asks whether the stigma associated with mental illness really exists. A study investigated the perception of friendliness and competence associated with certain mental illnesses producing some interesting results.

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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