Anthropologists Are Lowest Paid & Least Respected Scientists In the United States

Ann Gibbons has a piece in today's Science where she writes of the troubles the field faces, "In the fall of 2011, Florida Governor Rick Scott proclaimed that his state didn't need any more anthropologists, and that public money would be better spent educating scientists. Then in January, a study found that the unemployment rate among recent... Continue Reading →

There’s Always Next Year…

Thanks to the Maya Long Count calendar, the year 2012 has become something of a pop culture phenomenon.  You’ve probably seen plenty of TV, movie, and internet references to the upcoming “end of the world” on December 21st or December 23rd (it depends).  It’s a real bummer because the hope of “next year” is the... Continue Reading →

The Diversity of the African Genome & Traces of an Unknown Hominin

The most comprehensive look at the genome of Africans is published in the journal Cell today. The paper titled, "Evolutionary History and Adaptation from High-Coverage Whole-Genome Sequences of Diverse African Hunter-Gatherers," focused on three hunter-gatherer populations; Pygmies from Cameroon and two groups from Tanzania, the Khoesan-speaking Hadza and Sandawe. The publication covered each of the genomes of five... Continue Reading →

Moving The Moai

The July 2012 edition of the National Geographic magazine features a cover story on Easter Island's statues and how these enormous 33 feet tall and 80 ton statues or moai came to existence. Just how the moai were constructed, transported and erected on Easter Island remains a mystery, one leading to a lot of speculation. To my count, there have been five or... Continue Reading →

Google Supports The Endangered Languages Project

On this site, we've covered endangered languages before, and in doing so we discussed the challenges faced in trying to preserve these priceless forms of cultural heritage and expression. It is a daunting task. I am happy to announce that Google has decided to help out the cause by funding and launching the Endangered Languages Project. The... Continue Reading →

Neolithic Class Divisions of Central Europe

This week PNAS published evidence of social stratification and hereditary inequality from over 7,000 years ago in Central Europe. Lead author, R. Alexander Bentley and team took strontium 86/87 isotope ratios of the enamel of teeth of over 300 early Neolithic humans from seven different sites (Aiterhofen, Ensisheim, Kleinhadersdorf, Nitra, Souffelweyersheim, Schwetzingen, and Vedrovice). The ratio... Continue Reading →

American Heads are Getting Larger

On the coat tails of Matt Ridley's statement that humans are no longer evolving, comes news presented at last month's annual meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists that the heads of white Americans are getting bigger. Lee Jantz, Richard Jantz  and Joanne Devlin, took about 1,500 skulls dating all the way back to the mid-1800s... Continue Reading →

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