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Our production weekend are designed specifically for and Social ! Learn video to improve your fieldwork!

"Life in the Bones of Londoners - what we can tell about the lives written in their bones."

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Each culture has its own . In people get a ‘sky burial’ where birds eat the dead body. In families often have a grave where the coffins are placed above eachother, above the ground.

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"Anthropology, if it is to be worth anything at all, must be ethically grounded" - Nancy Scheper-Hughes

Charles Klein, faculty, and Christina Sun, faculty, received a portion of a $1.49 million grant from the for their work titled, “Trans Women Connected: A Mobile app Delivered Sexual Health Promotion Program.”

Had a great time speaking to a full house at the Paleo Institute. Thanks for the invite, the interesting conversation, and (of course) the tasty pizza 🍕🍕!!

Taking examples from Asante, Shona, and Wolof heritage discover how to strengthen the African community for our political, social and economic progress. Register here

Attended my last and was proud to see my students challenge their institution and community in a loving way by focusing on the operation of racism, colonialism amongst others

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. Was it the modern human need to socialize that drove the shape of our faces?

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The Illustrated London News issue about Krakatoa Eruption - September 8, 1883 [2523 × 3896]

My favourite archaeology conspiracy theory...

…was this one video I watched looking at the inside of Petra, in Jordan. This guy was an American, with full access to a slew of cathedrals and abandoned buildings and the internet to observe basic architecture and human behaviour, but instead, he decided that the reason the inside of the Petra structures were so tall… was that giants lived there. 

How could they get up to the dais-like platforms unless they were giants? People in the comments were like “uh, wooden ladder?” And his responses were like “they didn’t need it.” He didn’t even try to defend his idea with evidence, he just shoved it all together and yelled fight me at science lol.

I guess if you’re going to stick with a conviction, at least understand that your evidence is ridiculous. He went on to explain that the holes about halfway up the walls, what most of us would probably consider cross-beam ports for a second floor or rafters, were, in fact, cubby shelves for the giants to put their things in! 

Maybe this is wrong or rude, but some days when I am struggling to wrap my head around a concept or frustrated with a lack of any provable supporting evidence, I just remember the giants and their cubbies that this full grown man believes in, and I try to piece whatever I’m working on together as best I can and leave the unknowns just… unknown. 

Plus, picturing giants walking into Petra and adding some artful carvings to the outside, then ducking in and putting like, an apple and a hat into a little cubby and then just sitting in the room doing absolutely nothing makes me smile. ^-^

What are your favourite archeology conspiracy theories?


Izamal - The Yellow City - Part 2

Also while I’m in a ranting opinionated mood. Let’s talk about cave men.

One thing I have never seen when we talk about Neanderthals and Homo Erectus and early paleolithic homo sapiens is reverence. I don’t understand.

People think of these people as interesting, for sure. But I don’t really see a lot of respect to their humanity. I barely hear them referred to as people at all, despite the fact they made tools, had cultures that were passed down from generation to generation, and more than likely had spoken languages, with all the complex thought and cultural aspects that go along with it.

Primitive or not, these were definately complex beings who lived rich and storied and emotional lives, as full and beautiful and tragic as our lives today. And they should at least be referred to as people.

Museums certainly do not treat their skeletons as human remains. It certainly is one thing to study their bones, good and neccessary to study them. But to display them and keep then in drawers and dig them up willy nilly when many of these people had been BURIED ON PURPOSE WITH OBVIOUS LOVE AND CARE. That seems a bit crass to me.

And it is even worse when you remember these are OUR ancestors. Yeah they didn’t have our knowledge and technology. But we still come from them. Homo erectus, maybe, early homo sapien, definately. Neanderthals, well our species is more of a cousin of neanderthals than descendants. However sizable chunks of neanderthal DNA exist in modern human populations. You reading this probably do have one or two neanderthal ancestors, especially if your family hails from Europe (s. Europe especially) or the middle east.

Because of the “"primitive”“ survival tools that these people had, their stone axes, their bone tipped spears and arrow heads and simple leather clothes. They survived. And if they hadn’t survived, you here wouldn’t be alive to read this.

These are people who left their home climate of central Africa with its warm temperatures. They made homes in deaserts, cold boreal forests, Asian stepps, Pacific islands, the ARCTIC. Places their bodies were not adapted to. And they made it work. They mastered the art of taking nothing but what they could find in the world around them and turning it into a life. I dare you to try to make an axe from flint. I dare you to go out with your family into the woods and survive there generation after generation. And we call them primitive.

We owe these people our thanks and unrestrained gratitude and respect.

Even the way early humans are artistically depicted makes me a bit uncomfortable. We always depict them as dirty and unshaven and poorly dressed. Hunter gatherer peoples don’t usually look like that today, at least the pictures ive seen. Most pictures ive seen of indigeonous hunter gatherers show people who have kept themselves basically clean, and even wear jewlry and cosmetics, earrings, necklaces, body paint, things that require time and effort and cultural knowledge. Their clothes are usually a lot more put together than throwing a skin blanket over your back and thinking you can go out hunting and working in that. Sewing and weaving and cutting clothes to fit are things that exist in hunter gatherer civilizations. You know who does look dirty and unkempt and smelly? White people who fancy themselves to be survivalists, who leave all their social support and cultural knowledge behind to live in nature where they weren’t trained from birth to live.

And this brings me to the most important point I think. The way we think of our early ancestors has a lot to do with how we think of people on earth today. Modern Hunter gatherers are also dismissed as inhuman, and if their humanity is acknowledge, their intelligence, thoughts, feelings, and rich cultures are not. Hell. Even non-European COMPLEX AGRARIAN cultures, like a good chunks of africa, asia, pre Columbian america, those people are also dismissed as primitive and savage just for living a different life style than the europeans.

Fuck, you can also argue the way europeans talk about their Mideaval ancestors carries some of those same tropes. Though that’s a post for another day.

So TLDR. Appreciate the fuck out of ”“cave men.”“ Appreciate the marvelous things they accomplished and the stupendous challenges they overcame. Appreciate that we, alive today, are their descendants, and we owe them our thanks. And also, stop dismissing their way of life as humanity’s wierd adolescent phase that we are glad we grew out of, and start acknowledging the fact they had actual cultures that served them well for thousands if not millions of years. And most importantly, start referring to them with humanizing language. Stop being cowards and talk about them like they were people. Which they were. Because when it comes down to it, my problem with how we talk about early humans is my strong distaste for dehuminization, and how dangerous that is for how we talk about people who are alive today.