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NGO-graphies: On Knowledge Production and Contention

The NGOs and Nonprofits Special Interest Group held its second biennial conference before the AAAs last week. It’s designed to give anthropologists and practitioners working in and with NGOs a chance to engage with each other in a more intimate, focused way before diving into the chaos of the AAAs. Show More Summary

The Genetic Impact of the Agricultural Revolution

The agricultural revolution 8,500 years ago in Eurasia, changed the way people lived right down to their DNA, as outlined … Continue reading ?

What really happened on Thanksgiving

(This is the second annual posting of a short, edited snippet of pages 55-66 of Charles Mann’s   1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus. In it Mann describes the history of Indian-European relations that existed before...Show More Summary

Getting Free in Cleveland

[Savage Minds is pleased to present the last essay in the series “Making Black Lives Matter: Reflections on the Declaration and the Movement.” In the past week, events have taken place in Minneapolis and Chicago which demonstrate the...Show More Summary

Should journals should do post-pub review?

Nikolai Slavov recently published an opinion piece in eLife arguing the advantages of post-publication review of scientific papers: “Point of view: Making the most of peer review” As with referee reports, I often read blogs and comments and find many—but not all—of them helpful. Show More Summary

Link: Ghostly face emerges from averaging photos of inanimate objects

From Ethan Siegel: I’m weirdly fascinated by the ghostly image of a human face that emerges after averaging dozens of inanimate objects: “Averaging Inanimate Objects Can Produce Human Faces”. The trick is that objects around us, from...Show More Summary

US Government Finally Banning Chimp Research

Biomedical and invasive research on chimpanzees will no longer be supported by the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH). They further decided last Wednesday that they will retire the 50 chimps reserved for future studies."We...Show More Summary

What Happened at #AAA2015: The Good, The Bad, and the Bibs

Last week, Denver welcomed about five thousand anthropologists to its Gilded Age (and Gilded Age revival) downtown for the massive anthropological blowout that was the Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association. So what...Show More Summary

Google Doodle commemorating Lucy's 41st anniversary

Google today (November 24) is running a Google Doodle commemorating the 41st anniversary of the discovery of the famous “Lucy” skeleton of Australopithecus afarensis. I really like this moving graphic for two reasons: First, the figures are female. Show More Summary

Around the Web Digest: Week of November 15

Forgive the lateness, dear readers… AAA fatigue is real. Help me out by sending me links you want featured here at This post by a linguist in The Conversation points out that Norwegians’ emergent useShow More Summary

The Ruination of Written Words

[Savage Minds is pleased to publish this essay by guest author Gastón Gordillo as part of our Writers’ Workshop series. Gastón is Acting Director of the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies and Professor of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia. Show More Summary

Young adults in the U.S. increasingly accept evolution by natural processes

After many years of stasis, the acceptance of evolution has taken a noticeable uptick for American adults. Most of this increase comes from the change in young adults 18 to 29 years of age. Since its 2014 survey of the U.S. public, the...Show More Summary

Link: Lee Berger interviewed in Nautilus

Nautilus is running a nice interview with Lee Berger about Homo naledi and other things: “The Man Who Used Facebook to Find an Extinct Human Species”. From the interview: We had senior anthropologists saying there was nothing left to...Show More Summary

Evolution of long head hair

Swan princess, John Bauer (1882-1918). Human head hair is of relatively recent origin, reaching incredible lengths in some groups but not in others. I've published an article on the evolution of long head hair in humans. The following is the abstract: In many humans, head hair can grow to a much greater length than hair elsewhere on the body. Show More Summary

A Day of Action: Justice for Black Women and Girls on May 21st, 2015

[Have a powerful Trans Day of Resilience! Savage Minds is pleased to present the fourth essay in the series “Making Black Lives Matter: Reflections on the Declaration and the Movement.” Erin M. Stephens, the author, is a doctoral student...Show More Summary

Did humans approach the southern tip of South America more than 18,000 years ago?

Tom Dillehay has for many years investigated the archaeological remains at Monte Verde, Chile. These provide some of the earliest evidence of human habitation in the Americas, with well-documented cultural material from 14,500 years ago (calibrated). Show More Summary

Link: The variable genetic mixes of the coywolf

From Roland Kays in The Conversation: “Yes, eastern coyotes are hybrids, but the ‘coywolf’ is not a thing”. Coyotes in the Northeast are mostly (60%-84%) coyote, with lesser amounts of wolf (8%-25%) and dog (8%-11%). Start moving south or east and this mixture slowly changes. Show More Summary

Notable: Beeswax found in Neolithic pottery vessels across Europe

Notable paper: Roffet-Salque, Mélanie et al. 2015. Widespread exploitation of the honeybee by early Neolithic farmers. Nature 527: 226–230. doi:10.1038/nature15757 Synopsis: Roffet-Salque and colleagues sampled organic residues from Neolithic-era pottery sherds across much of Europe, Turkey and the Levant. Show More Summary

Devils, Angels, Spanking, Lice, a See-through Nighty, and a Prayerful Principal. Welcome to Bill Rich!

“Any kind of downer is pretty much forbidden for school administrators. Got to be upbeat and positive all the time. Can do, no problem, got it all under control, don’t worry about a thing, just leave it to me…..”

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