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Posts Tagged "archaeology"

Anthropology in Practice

How Did Patterns Help Reveal an Older Origin of Mummies?

Coffin and Mummy of Nesmin (Around 250 BC). Photo by Daniel Decristo. Click on image for license and information.

I want to talk about patterns. We take them for granted but they shape our lives. That morning coffee you need to start your day has more meaning than you think. We build our sense of self on repetition, and we draw upon continuity to shape our society. Patterns can provide valuable clues about our [...]

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Anthropology in Practice

What can teeth tell us about our prehistoric ancestors?

Photo by Justin Mclean.

Our distant past is just that: the distant past. It’s this murky place that science is slowly filling in but the landscape still largely exists just on the periphery of our imagination, and it’s dominated by raw, somewhat violent natures. And in this distant past, we’ve cast our ancestors with personalities and traits to match [...]

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Anthropology in Practice

The Missing Link that Wasn’t

Reconstruction of the Piltdown Skull. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

April Fools’ Day is not unique to Western cultures. People all over the world and all throughout history have celebrated the coming of Spring with festivals of deception and lightheartedness. In this spirit, all this week, we’ll explore themes of magic, fraud, and trickery. Today’s post is not quite so lighthearted, however, and looks at [...]

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Anthropology in Practice

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 [...]

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Anthropology in Practice

Editor’s Selections: Grave Goods, Mother-Fetus Burials, Taste, Ornaments, Hallucinations, And Fig Cakes

Featured in my ResearchBlogging.org column this week: At Bones Don’t Lie, Katy Meyers discusses what we can learn from grave goods. Kristina Killgrove examines biological and cultural processes of childbirth via the lens of mother-fetus burials at Powered By Osteons. Can the ways we eat influence our ability to taste? Possibly. At Inkfish, Elizabeth Preston discusses the independent evolution of taste (or lack [...]

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Anthropology in Practice

Editor’s Selections: Plants, Ancient Homes, Amazonia, Stick Figures, Death, And The Plague

Featured in my ResearchBlogging.org column this week: First, a fantastic discussion that encompasses our relationship to the environment and the importance of local knowledge: visit Safari Ecology to learn about the importance of the plant Commelina to the Maasai. The hop over to Originus to learn how archaeologists identify dwelling sites in the absence of physical remains. While we’re [...]

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Anthropology in Practice

Editor’s Selections: More on Syphilis, Education in India, and Classifying Things in Archaeology

Part of my online life includes editorial duties at ResearchBlogging.org, 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 ResearchBlogging.org News site. To help highlight this writing, I also share my selections here on AiP. This week [...]

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Anthropology in Practice

Tracing the Trickle-down in Roman Recycling

Citizens of the Ancient World seem to have made a solid go at “going green.” Ongoing research by Harriet Foster and Caroline Jackson (2010) revealed hints of color deriving from previously blown glass in colorless glass, indicating that Romans often reused glass, adding batches of broken vessels into the raw material from which they fashioned [...]

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@ScientificAmerican

Popular special edition adapted for eBook format: Becoming Human: Our Past, Present and Future*

Becoming Human cover

We humans are a strange bunch. We have self-awareness and yet often act on impulses that remain hidden. We were forged in adversity but live in a world of plenty. Who are we? What is to become of us? To these age-old questions, science has in recent years brought powerful tools and reams of data. [...]

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Observations

The Most Fascinating Human Evolution Discoveries of 2012

Australopithecus sediba skull

Recent years have brought considerable riches for those of us interested in human evolution and 2012 proved no exception. New fossils, archaeological finds and genetic analyses yielded thrilling insights into the shape of the family tree, the diets of our ancient predecessors, the origins of art and advanced weaponry, the interactions between early Homo sapiens [...]

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Observations

Caveman Couture: Neandertals Rocked Dark Feathers

Neandertal wearing feathers

GIBRALTAR—Jordi Rosell removes a thumbnail-size piece of reddish-tan bone from a sealed plastic bag, carefully places it under the stereomicroscope and invites me to have a look. Peering through the eyepieces I see two parallel lines etched in the specimen’s weathered surface. Tens of thousands of years ago, in one of the seaside caves located [...]

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Observations

The dawn of beer remains elusive in archaeological record

Pints of beer lined up on a bar

NEW YORK CITY—Who brewed—and then enjoyed—the first beer? The civilization responsible for the widely beloved beverage must have been a very old one, but we don’t yet know who first brewed up a batch of beer, Christine Hastorf explained in a March 10 lecture at New York University on the archaeology of beer. Hastorf, a [...]

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Observations

Back in style: An ancient shoe from 3500 B.C. looks like moccasins worn in the 1950s

Talk about vintage footwear—an international team of archaeologists has discovered the world’s oldest leather shoe. One thousand years older than the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt, the 5,500-year-old shoe was perfectly preserved by the cool, dry conditions in the sheep dung–lined cave in Armenia where it was found. "We thought initially that the shoe [...]

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Observations

Engraved Ostrich Eggshell Fragments Reveal 60,000-Year-Old Graphic Design Tradition

Archaeologists have unearthed 270 pieces of engraved ostrich eggshell dated to around 60,000 years ago from a site called Diepkloof in South Africa’s Western Cape province. The fragments constitute what the researchers say is the “earliest evidence of a graphic tradition among prehistoric hunter-gatherer populations.” As such, the finds help to illuminate the emergence of [...]

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Symbiartic

A September Afternoon on the Grand River, 1825

Damstra_Davisville_mini

One of the most powerful contributions of scientific illustration is to give us an informed visual where it is typically impossible to find one. While creating images for for a nature walk along the Grand River Walter Bean Trail near Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, illustrator Emily Damstra incorporated archaeological evidence as well as records about the [...]

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Symbiartic

Unchanging Art Supplies

Find the stone age pigment!

Technology in art supplies moves fast, and there are tons of amazing ways to enable new creative explorations appearing all the time. Wacom Inkling Pen. Lytro Light-Field Cameras. Terraskin paper made from stone. Innovations, especially digital ones, leave a swath of devastatingly outdated art materials in their wake. The Museum of Forgotten Art Supplies curated [...]

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