Anthropology

Neanderthals from Spain may have consumed more vegetables than previously thought, according to a dietary reconstruction.


A group of archaeologists, mathematicians, chemists and physicists, has shed new light on the use of mollusc shells as personal adornments by Bronze Age people. 

The research team used amino acid racemisation analysis, light microscopy, scanning electron microscopy and Raman spectroscopy to identify the raw materials used to make beads in a complex necklace discovered at an Early Bronze Age burial site at Great Cornard in Suffolk, UK.

They discovered that Bronze Age craftspeople used species like dog whelk and tusk shells, both of which were likely to have been sourced and worked locally, to fashion tiny disc-shaped beads in the necklace. 


Many people are familiar with the trophy wife stereotype - a wealthy successful man marries an attractive new spouse and she gets money. 

The presumption is that women only care about money while men only care about appearance. But it's selective observation, according to a sociologist, and they should know. In reality, for every Anna Nicole Smith, there are hundreds of examples where that isn't the case.

The stereotype  reinforces sexist stereotypes and trivializes women's careers. Ironically, it is most often perpetuated by women 


Fermentation Came First


Evidence mounts almost daily that beer started humans on the path to civilization even before the invention of agriculture some twelve thousand years ago. A paper in Evolutionary Anthropology says that, based on tests of artifacts, cereal grains were collected (sometimes from areas as far as sixty miles away) “for the purposes of brewing beer” to be used in feasts, which then “led to domestication...”

Expectant mothers, a paper by social science scholars suggests that having an ultrasound to find out your child's gender may be giving subtle sociology clues about your views on proper gender roles and social psychology.


For some time now in Britain, our “great and good” have been belabouring the more conservative part of our population [1] with accusations of Islamophobia and Homophobia.  The implication of those two epithets is that they are some kind of medical or — by extension — moral pathology.  I will attempt in this short blog to raise the subject of what I consider to be some errors of our “great and good.”

People exercise quite a lot, society has access to diverse fresh fruits and vegetables and yet most economic, educational, and racial or ethnic groups have seen their obesity levels rise at similar rates since the mid-1980s, so there is no demographic correlation to obesity. Yet the social sciences draw maps to city parks and farmer's markets and claim more of those would keep people from getting fat, or tout that economic redistribution would lead to less fast food.

Cars, fast food, iPads, city living, even women in the work force - if it is something in culture, someone has implicated it. 


The Deadliest Catch details the work travails of Bering Sea crab fishermen, but African wives of fishermen may be having adventures of their own.

The authors of a recent paper estimated that up to 60% of men and 50% of women report extra-marital partnerships in their lifetime - and they believe those numbers are under-reported, especially among women, due to cultural constraints. In reality, range estimates are so broad as to be almost meaningless but even if it's 20% it's a lot.

An article in the feminist, scientific, peer-reviewed journal Psychology of Women Quarterly says that when women in developing countries own land, they are less likely to experience violence.

Psychologists Shelly Grabe, Rose Grace Grose and Anjali Dutt analyzed anecdotes Grabe cataloged by speaking with 492 women in Nicaragua and Tanzania in 2007 and 2009 respectively. 


Grabe wanted to show that the power dynamic between men and women changes when women own land and that gender-based violence against women drops with property ownership.  

"Women in both countries connected owning property to increased power and status within their communities and to having greater control within their relationships," the authors write.


The 1918 Flu Pandemic infected over 500 million people and killed up to 50 million. 

Scholars have analyzed the pandemic in two remote regions of North America, finding that despite their geographical divide, both regions had environmental, nutritional and economic factors that influenced morbidity during the pandemic.

By analyzing death records and community history, they found that both Labrador and Alaska were devastated by the 1918 pandemic. Beginning in January 1918 and lasting through December 1920, both regions experienced higher mortality rates than most other parts of the world—34 percent and 8 percent, respectively.