Frequently, wars erupt on the internet over the perennial question of ‘Where are the women”. lexis2praxis, one of the more interesting and insightful anthropology bloggers, asks that question about The evolution of Women in Anthropology:
Anthropology has, like most other sciences, been traditionally male-dominated. However, there have been a number of influential female anthropologists, the most popular of course including Margaret Mead, Ruth Benedict, and some more contemporary women like Sherry Ortner. Other prominent female anthropologists can be found here.
Yet, as lexis2praxis points out, most portrayals of human evolution revolve around males.
Will Klinger at Nomadic Thoughts also looks at the question in Portrayal of Woman in Prehistory.
As lexis2praxis and Will both point out a lot of these stereotypical views about the evolution of humans revolve around food. Chris O’Brien at Northstate Science tells us about the meetings of the Society for California Archaeology. One symposium involves the meat for sex theory emanating from California archaeologists, more importantly, he demonstrates how a theory gins support in the face of “…militant foraging theorists…” (Chris, seriously I almost fell out of my chair I was laughing so hard at that line).
In line with the food theme that ties the three posts above together, Jason Fox looks at paleodiets and the whole eat like a caveman craze in Ancient Diets
Switching gears, Greg Laden has a post about Global Warming. What is the connection with global warming and anthropology?
One practical application of this phenomenon, for humans, is the manufacture of caves. Erosion along the shorline will sometimes form caves in the intertidal zone. Humans can’t live in these caves, because they become filled with water a couple of times a day. But eventually a glacial period comes along, and the sea level drops, the continent continues to erode (and in fact erodes more quickly because the shelf is exposed) and raises up. In this manner, the cave rises up. So even with the next high sea level stand, during an interglacial, that cave may be high and dry.
Yann Klimentidis mentions an interesting debate over how to analyze the Neanderthal Genome, which appeared in the letters section of Science in Genetics of Neanderthals vs. Modern Humans. Interestingly enough, there is a food angle (can you tell I haven’t had supper yet), but I will let you figure out what the food angle is.
Andrew Cochrane updates us on the 2007 meeting of the Theoretical Archaeology Group. (food here too – they took a coffee break)
Brian Hoffman at Old Dirt – New Thoughts provides us with an interesting project in historical archaeology in Hamline Village History – A Christmas Tragedy, But an Archaeological Treasure? (apparently the church burned when materials from a Christmas celebration were left on a furnace)
Moving into more controversial waters, Alun reviews 300 – the Persian War film that has created quite a controversy:
There’s a point in the film where one of the councilmen of Sparta is angry because the Queen hasn’t taken her top off recently. He tells her he’s a politician rather than a warrior. Ouch! The film itself makes clear that to be a Spartan was to be a warrior. He also says that not all Spartans were born equal. But the Spartans, as opposed to the perioikoi or helots (slaves) called themselves the Homoioi, the Equals.
Speaking of controversy, and Neanderthals, Tim Jones updates us on the fate of those poor, maligned, Geico Cavemen in Neanderthal TV: Can the Geico Cavemen Make It In Prime Time?
Tim also gives us a pre-review of Scientists Confront Intelligent Design and Creationism. I am glad to see the anthropology community standing up and taking notice of the intelligent design movement. Paleoanthropology and archaeology are in the firing line everybit as much as evolutionary biology is and we ignore it at our peril.
In another post about controversial subjects Lucy Jr. reviews the new book on Homo floresiensis (Note: I have the book myself and it is quite fascinating – haven’t finished it yet).
Finally, my own contribution, an issue I feel quite strongly about, concerns the looting of Iraq’s archaeological sites (the same problem is occurring in Afghanistan as well).
Filed under: Four Stone Hearth