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Megafloods and the Collapse of Cahokia

My first understanding of Cahokia and pre-Columbian cities of the Americas came from the book 1491. Between 1050 and 1200 … Continue reading ?

Ode (Owed?) to Baltimore

[Savage Minds is pleased to present an invited post from Mike Agar. Mike Agar left academia in 1996 with an early emeritus exit from the University of Maryland and now works in New Mexico as Ethknoworks ( for details on his checkered past and present). His long life on drugs is described in Dope Double Agent: … Continue reading Ode (Owed?) to Baltimore ?

Tansi! Tawnshi!

Savage Minds welcomes guest blogger Zoe Todd.  Tansi! or Tawnshi! These are, respectively, the nehiyawewin and Michif greetings of my home territory.  I grew up in amiskwaciwâskahikan/pêhonan in Treaty Six territory in central Alberta, also known by the colonial name Edmonton. Show More Summary

The hills of Nepal are crying, but why aren’t we listening?

[Savage Minds is pleased to publish this guest essay by Galen Murton. Galen is a PhD candidate in the Department of Geography at the University of Colorado at Boulder. His research examines of questions of identity, development, and material culture in the Himalayan borderlands of Nepal and Tibet. Show More Summary

Ancient mtDNA from Neolithic France

PLoS ONE 10(4): e0125521. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0125521When the Waves of European Neolithization Met: First Paleogenetic Evidence from Early Farmers in the Southern Paris Basin Maïté Rivollat et al. An intense debate concerning the nature and mode of Neolithic transition in Europe has long received much attention. Show More Summary

Facial reconstruction of Lord of Moken

I wonder when we will start seeing facial reconstructions that make use of ancient DNA. Ancient DNA isn't very good for reconstructing facial features, but it should be quite good at reconstructing pigmentation. Facial reconstruction...Show More Summary

Modern humans, not Neandertals made the Proto-Aurignacian

Science DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa2773 The makers of the Protoaurignacian and implications for Neandertal extinction S. Benazzi et al.The Protoaurignacian culture is pivotal to the debate about the timing of the arrival of modern humans in Western Europe and the demise of Neandertals. Show More Summary

Structure of Y-haplogroup N

arXiv:1504.06463 [q-bio.PE] The dichotomy structure of Y chromosome Haplogroup N Kang Hu et al. Haplogroup N-M231 of human Y chromosome is a common clade from Eastern Asia to Northern Europe, being one of the most frequent haplogroups in Altaic and Uralic-speaking populations. Show More Summary

Southern origins and recent admixture of Siberian populations

bioRxiv The complex admixture history and recent southern origins of Siberian populations Irina Pugach, Rostislav Matveev, Viktor Spitsyn, Sergey Makarov, Innokentiy Novgorodov, Vladimir Osakovsky, Mark...Show More Summary

Eye color and alcohol dependence

American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics DOI: 10.1002/ajmg.b.32316Eye color: A potential indicator of alcohol dependence risk in European Americans Arvis Sulovari et al. In archival samples of European-ancestry subjects, light-eyed individuals have been found to consume more alcohol than dark-eyed individuals. Show More Summary

Around the Web Digest: Week of April 26

It’s that time of year that makes you grateful for good students and good moments throughout the semester… we just had a great review session that helped put the whole course into perspective. If anything is happening online that I need to know about, send me the link at Show More Summary

Impressions of Russia

The Battle for Sevastopol, now showing in Russian theatres The young man shook his head. “No, I can’t say I’m pro-Putin. There’s too much corruption in Russia, with too much money going to the wrong people. We should become more Western. Show More Summary

Quote: The Sagan effect

Many people know the story that Carl Sagan was rejected for membership in the National Academy of Sciences of the United States. The story has given rise to the idea of the “Sagan Effect”, whereby scientists who are active in popularizing...Show More Summary

Quote: Dobzhansky on the hope of human knowledge

Theodosius Dobzhansky, “Man and Natural Selection” (American Scientist 49:285, 1961): By changing what man knows about the world, he changes the world he knows; and by changing the world in which he lives, he changes himself. HereinShow More Summary

What happened on Apollo 13

Ars Technica has a long article in honor of the anniversary of the Apollo 13 by writer Lee Hutchinson, giving background to the famous accident that the movie (and books that I’ve read about the space program) omitted: “45 years after Apollo 13: Ars looks at what went wrong and why. Show More Summary

A feeling of impeding doom

Esther Ingliss-Arkell has an interesting short description of “What Happens When You Get The Wrong Blood Type?” on io9. The first sign of a transfusion gone wrong is "a feeling of impending doom." This is a legitimate medical symptom, and doctors who regularly work with blood transfusions are told to look for it. Show More Summary

Gone: The Earthquake in Nepal

Gone. This one word is in heavy use right now. Heavy as in frequent, and heavy as in weighty. Gone are homes. Gone are temples. Gone are entire villages. Gone are animals. Gone are the thousands of people who died in the 7.8 earthquake which rocked central Nepal midday on Saturday, April 25. Felt across … Continue reading Gone: The Earthquake in Nepal ?

Kalash origins

This is an open access paper.AJHG The Kalash Genetic Isolate: Ancient Divergence, Drift, and Selection Qasim Ayub et al. The Kalash represent an enigmatic isolated population of Indo-European speakers who have been living for centuries in the Hindu Kush mountain ranges of present-day Pakistan. Show More Summary

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