A tumblr for interesting articles, blogs, photos and websites related to anthropology.

 

1956- Gordon Parks documented the everyday lives of an extended black family living in rural Alabama under Jim Crow segregation for Life magazine’s photo-essay “The Restraints: Open and Hidden.” (via)

(Source: vintagegal)

ancientart:

The petroglyphs in the landscape of Tamgaly, Kazakhstan, dating from approximately 1400 BCE to the 20th century.

Offering us unique insight into the rituals and social organization of the pastoral peoples who inhabited this site through time, the archaeological landscape of Tamgaly contains about 5,000 petroglyphs (rock carvings), which are distributed throughout 48 complexes largely associated with burial grounds and settlements.

The central canyon has the densest concentration of petroglyphs, contains ‘alters,’ and has been interpreted to have had ritual significance. The central canyon is devoid of dwellings, and is thought to have been a place for sacrificial offerings.

During the Middle Bronze Age we see Tamgaly-type petroglyphs, which include zoomorphic beings, people, a huge variety of animals, and ‘solar deities (sun-heads).’ During the Late Bronze Age the petroglyphs become smaller in size, and display less variety in what is depicted. Here scenes of pastoral life are popular, reflecting the prominence of nomadic cattle breeding activities during the time. During the Early Iron Age, scenes showing the hunting of wild animals remain present, but we also see camels starting to appear in the art.

If you are interested in reading more about the ‘solar-headed’ petroglyphs I would recommend The Archaeology of Shamanism (2001, Routledge), specifically chapter 5. This publication is edited by Neil Price, professor of archaeology at the University of Aberdeen, who is a specialist on shamanism in archaeology.

The petroglyphs within the archaeological landscape of Tamgaly are listed as an UNESCO World Heritage Site -their article on the landscape was of great use to me while writing up this post. Photos courtesy of & taken by Ken and Nyetta.

in-the-horniman:

These swords from the Gilbert Islands, Kiribati, are made from wood and have sharks’ teeth attached along the edges.

medievalpoc:

Math and Science Week!

aseantoo submitted to medievalpoc:

Kamoya Kimeu

[x], [x]

Yet another Paleontologist of Color! And a really important one, too,

Kamoya Kimeu (c. 1940-) began life in Kenya as a peasant, but was hired as a labourer on the paleontology expeditions of Louis and Mary Leakey. As soon as he got over the taboo of digging up human remains (associated with witchcraft in his culture), he distinguished himself as a particular talent for discovering and identifying fossils.

He went on to become the right-hand man for Richard Leakey's expeditions, then took over operations, and was named the National Museums of Kenya's curator for all prehistoric sites in Kenya.

His discoveries include a nearly complete Homo habilis skeleton in 1959, as well as Turkana Boy, the most complete Homo erectus skeleton ever found, in 1984.Two fossil primates have been named after him: Kamoyapithecus hamiltoni and Cercopithecoides kimeui.

Sadly, almost all the credit for Kenyan paleoanthropology has gone to the British-born Leakey family. Let’s change that, shall we?

[x], [x]

Neanderthals, Humans Interbred—First Solid DNA Evidence

Turns out not only were our ancestors just so darn sexy we wiped out a species, we still carry some of that population with us today. European and Asian people specifically. Since Neanderthals evolved outside of Africa, there’s no opportunity for their genetic legacy to exist in Africa (until, of course, Europeans bring it with them). 

Sex With Humans Made Neanderthals Extinct?

I mentioned in a pervious post that sexy, sexy humans may have played a role in Neanderthal extinction. Here’s the full case: 

Some theories suggest Neanderthals disappeared about 30,000 years ago because the species wasn’t able to adapt to a cooling world as well as Homo sapiens. (See a prehistoric time line.)

Barton tells a different tale, suggesting that Neanderthals reacted to the onset of the Ice Age the same ways modern humans did, by ranging farther for food and other resources.

"As glaciation increased, there was likely less diversity in land use, so Neanderthals and modern humans alike focused on a particular survival strategy that we still see today at high latitudes," Barton said.

"They establish a home base and send out foraging parties to bring back resources. People move farther and have more opportunity to come into contact with other groups at greater distances. The archaeological record suggests that this became more and more common in Eurasia as we move toward full glaciation."

More frequent contact led to more frequent mating, the theory goes, as the two groups were forced to share the same dwindling resources.

"Other things might have happened," Barton said. "But in science we try to find the simplest explanation for things. This theory doesn’t include massive migrations or invasions—just people doing what they normally do."

To estimate the effects of the assumed uptick in interspecies mating, Barton’s team conducted a computational modeling study that spanned 1,500 Neanderthal generations.

In the end, the model results supported the not entirely new idea that Neanderthals were “genetically swamped” by modern humans.

Turns out we might be more appealing than we thought, ;) 

all-thats-interesting:

Check Out These Incredible Recreations Of Ornate Native American Masks

In addition to being an incredibly resourceful and hardy people, the Native Americans were deeply spiritual and always creative. These masks were given as gifts and used for ceremonial purposes. Many Native American tribes believed that their clan, their ancestors, and even their own souls were represented by and embodied with a spirit animal, which they would carve into these beautiful handcrafted masks.

Source: Imgur

I don’t usually do this, but this set off a nerve and I feel is symptomatic of an issue that comes up on this tag every so often. 

To point:

Check Out These Incredible Recreations Of Ornate Native American Masks These aren’t recreations, they’re contemporary works by living artists. 

In addition to being an incredibly resourceful and hardy people, the Native Americans were deeply spiritual and always creative. Essentializing native people with broad stereotypes is offensive, even if they are “positive” stereotypes. 

These masks were given as gifts and used for ceremonial purposes. Many Native American tribes believed that their clan, their ancestors, and even their own souls were represented by and embodied with a spirit animal, which they would carve into these beautiful handcrafted masks. If you’re talking about the entirety of North America, no, that’s completely untrue. If you’re talking about the Pacific Northwest, then this is somewhat closer to the reality. But referring to all Native Americans with a broad brush goes back to point two. Stereotypes are harmful, untrue, and frankly make for bad blog copy. 

Source: Imgur  If you are going to post in the anthropology tag please be respectful to the people you’re posting about. Giving credit to the place you found these images online was good etiquette, but whoever made that album went through the trouble of labeling each image with that name of the piece, the name of the artist and their tribal affiliation, so there’s less of an excuse for ignoring that information.

30 seconds of googling the name of the first artist, Tom D. Hunt or Watawidi, Kwakwaka´wakw ( Kwagiulth), brought me here, to the gallery that is selling these works as contemporary Native art.

The Spirit Bear Mask by Mr Hunt is for sale at $6,500. Referring to these objects as #artifacts and, more offensively #curiosities, is dismissive to the artists who make them, insensitive to the history of colonization, and lazy blogging.

Every once and a while I see posts that paint with a very broad brush on this tag. Anthropology is fun, and its exciting in big part because its about something new you may never has seen before. But its a disservice to the people who are being represented and to the people creating this content to not fairly represent the people you’re writing about for the sake of using an interesting image. 

I’m not trying to write a sassy tumblr style take down, but I feel like I should make this point before we see a surge of new anthropology posts in the fall. Thank you. 

…and now back to Neanderthal Week.

amnhnyc:

Laura Watson Benedict (1861–1932) was the first anthropologist to travel to the Philippines in 1906 to study the Bagobo people. In 1910, the Museum purchased Benedict’s collection of 2,534 Bagobo artifacts for $4,000 and she was hired to accession it.
Four years later, Benedict became the first woman to earn a doctorate in anthropology from Columbia University, publishing her thesis, Bagobo Ceremonial Magic and Myth, in 1916. According to anthropologist Jay H. Bernstein in a 1985 article on Benedict, her study of the Bagobo “remains a forgotten treasure of 20th-century anthropology.”
Learn more about this pioneering anthropologist. 

amnhnyc:

Laura Watson Benedict (1861–1932) was the first anthropologist to travel to the Philippines in 1906 to study the Bagobo people. In 1910, the Museum purchased Benedict’s collection of 2,534 Bagobo artifacts for $4,000 and she was hired to accession it.

Four years later, Benedict became the first woman to earn a doctorate in anthropology from Columbia University, publishing her thesis, Bagobo Ceremonial Magic and Myth, in 1916. According to anthropologist Jay H. Bernstein in a 1985 article on Benedict, her study of the Bagobo “remains a forgotten treasure of 20th-century anthropology.”

Learn more about this pioneering anthropologist

The BBC explains how the analysis of DNA from 13 Neanderthal Individuals may explain their disappearance. (and no, it wasn’t from boning us sexy, sexy humans)

An international team of researchers studied the variation, or diversity, in mitochondrial DNA extracted from the bones of 13 Neanderthals.
…
The scientists found that west European fossils with ages older than 48,000 years, along with Neanderthal specimens from Asia, showed considerable genetic variation.
But specimens from western Europe younger than 48,000 years showed much less genetic diversity (variation in the older remains and the Asian Neanderthals was six-fold greater than in the western examples).
…

Neanderthals may have been more sensitive to the dramatic climate changes… than was previously thought”

Love Dalen
Swedish Museum of Natural History



I also want to call attention a scientist who has to sign off on every paper with the most affectionate name in the world. 
-Love Anthrocity

The BBC explains how the analysis of DNA from 13 Neanderthal Individuals may explain their disappearance. (and no, it wasn’t from boning us sexy, sexy humans)

An international team of researchers studied the variation, or diversity, in mitochondrial DNA extracted from the bones of 13 Neanderthals.

The scientists found that west European fossils with ages older than 48,000 years, along with Neanderthal specimens from Asia, showed considerable genetic variation.

But specimens from western Europe younger than 48,000 years showed much less genetic diversity (variation in the older remains and the Asian Neanderthals was six-fold greater than in the western examples).

Neanderthals may have been more sensitive to the dramatic climate changes… than was previously thought”

Love Dalen

Swedish Museum of Natural History

I also want to call attention a scientist who has to sign off on every paper with the most affectionate name in the world. 

-Love Anthrocity