1. Gandhara relics: Stolen or not, police and archaeologists can’t agree on one number


    KARACHI: The police and archaeology experts seem to be at loggerheads over the actual number of Gandhara relics seized earlier in the month.

    Amid press reports that some artefacts have been stolen from the Awami Colony police station, both parties associated with the case are coming up with a different total for the statues.

    While National Museum’s director Mohammad Shah Bokhari claims to have photographed and documented around 330 pieces earlier, the newly posted SHO at the police station, Hatim Marwat, says there are only 308 artefacts.

    The police had seized a container full of Buddhist relics on July 6 and then found some more in a Korangi warehouse on July 8. As the police were investigating the case, archaeology experts, including officials from Sindh culture department and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s archaeology department, were called in to record the details of the seized relics. Read more.

  2. Brazil unearths old slave relics, painful history


    RIO DE JANEIRO — In a rundown part of Rio de Janeiro’s harbor district, archaeologists are digging up fragments of a history many Brazilians would rather ignore.

    Up to a million men and women forced into bondage in Africa emerged from the bellies of ships onto the Valongo wharf of what was once the world’s busiest slave-trading port. Today, as Brazil surges forward on the world stage, scholars hope the trove of beads, bracelets and statuettes they are finding will also prompt Brazilians to look backward with greater interest at their slave heritage.

    The wharf that was intentionally buried in 1840 and replaced by a beautiful new port is coming back to light as part of a $5 billion project remaking Rio’s port region for tourism and business ahead of the 2016 Olympic Games.

    “There was a real desire to erase Valongo, to erase this history, to take it right off the map,” said Tania Andrade Lima, chief archaeologist of the dig, as she pointed out Valongo’s rough, uneven stones. “These were sidewalks made for slaves to tread,” she said, contrasting them with the checkerboard of polished flagstones of the replacement wharf that replaced it. Read more.

  3. Of Headhunters and Soldiers: Separating Cultural and Ethical Relativism

    by Prof. Renato Rosaldo

    "To understand is not to forgive. Just because you come to terms with how something works in another culture doesn’t mean you have to agree with it; it means you have to engage it.

    "That’s the sense in which I’d separate cultural and ethical relativism. I don’t think that in order for me to hold a position as ethical, it needs to be universal. In this way, the relativist position becomes emancipating. It means I’m free to think what I think because I’m not going to wait for a consensus of the whole world, of every form of life, every language, every culture. But I want to be challenged by what other people are doing, saying, thinking—by their ethical systems." [Read Full Article]

    An interesting article, but I’m not sure how much it really affects methodology in the end. I guess it boils down to being more reflexive with one’s own tacit condonation/condemnation.

  4. prostheticknowledge:

    Biodigital Human 

    Online browser-based interactive resource allows you to examine human anatomy:

    The BioDigital Human is a 3D platform that simplifies the understanding of anatomy, disease and treatments. Explore the body in 3D!
    The BioDigital Human is a 3D platform that simplifies the understanding of anatomy, disease and treatments. Interactive tools for exploring, dissecting, and sharing custom views, combined with detailed medical descriptions provide an unprecedented new visual format to learn about your body.
    This app uses the exciting new web standard for 3D - WebGL.

    You can try it out here - if you use Chrome, you can get the Chrome app here

    (via anthrocuriosities)

  5. New report reveals high prevalence of betel, tobacco chewing in Western Pacific

     A new report by the World Health Organization (WHO) reveals a shockingly high prevalence of areca nut (also called betel) and tobacco chewing in the Western Pacific Region and urges governments and other stakeholders to make people aware of the dangers to health.

    "Although people understand the harms of smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke, they don’t generally appreciate the dangers of tobacco and betel nut chewing,” says Dr Shin Young-soo, WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific. “People need to know that chewing tobacco and betel nut are highly dangerous, too, whether taken together or separately.”

    "The increasingly common practice of chewing betel nut quid mixed with tobacco greatly increases a person’s risk for bleeding gums, periodontal disease and oral lesions and cancer,” says Dr Shin. “Indeed, countries of the Western Pacific where this practice is common have high rates of oral cancer. I’m greatly concerned that this problem may worsen due to the increasing prevalence of betel and tobacco chewing among young people," he adds. [Read More]

  6. Les classiques des sciences sociales

    Hey Francophones! This page from the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi has downloads of seminal social science texts, including works by Fanon, Mauss, Boas, Mead, Levi-Strauss, and over a hundred other authors.

    It’s pretty awesome, and you can download in PDF or Word document. (WARNING: some of the PDFs are in Comic Sans, bleeech.)

  7. A lost world? How zooarchaeology can inform biodiversity conservation


    A new study of tropical forests will provide a 50,000-year perspective on how animal biodiversity has changed, explored through an archaeological investigation of animal bones.

    As dawn breaks, a Cantor’s Roundleaf bat flies through the lush rainforest canopy searching out its colony. Its home is the Great Cave of Niah, Sarawak, in northern Borneo, where it accompanies tens of thousands of other bats, careening through the cave after a night’s work hunting insects. It’s a scene that has probably been replicated daily for tens of thousands of years.

    Evidence for the longevity of bat colonisation of the cave has been revealed through analysis of some 12,000 bat bones, as well as 1,400 bird bones, uncovered by archaeologists digging in Hell Trench at the West Mouth of the cave, and examined and dated by Cambridge zooarchaeologist Dr Chris Stimpson. His recently completed study, which was funded by the Natural Environment Research Council, suggests that bats have been living there for 50,000 years. Read more.

  8. anthrocuriosities:

Egyptian tomb holds singer Nehmes Bastet’s remains
  9. Angela Davis Calls DREAM Act One of Today’s ‘Most Important’ Fights


    In an interview uploaded three days ago to SoundCould by Derek Washington, Chairman of Stonewall Democrats of S. Nevada, Davis explains why she believes the African-American community has a historical “responsibility” to support the DREAM Act.

    “It’s important because it represents one of the most important arenas in the ongoing struggle for civil rights in this country and particularly for those of us who have a history of struggling for civil rights—I’m speaking very specifically about the African-American community—it is our responsibility to support,” Davis said in the interview.

    (via praxis-makesperfect-deactivated)

  10. PHOTO link: Cambodian diaspora photographs by Pete Pin

    (Source: cseasucb)

  11. openaccessarchaeology:

New Article from Anthropological Science
DRD4 VNTR polymorphism in Oceanic populations
More open access archaeology materials at

[SPOILER] “Slow boat” hypothesis gets another point. openaccessarchaeology:

New Article from Anthropological Science
DRD4 VNTR polymorphism in Oceanic populations
More open access archaeology materials at

[SPOILER] “Slow boat” hypothesis gets another point.
    High Resolution


    New Article from Anthropological Science

    DRD4 VNTR polymorphism in Oceanic populations

    More open access archaeology materials at

    [SPOILER] “Slow boat” hypothesis gets another point.

  12. Magic Sounds of Peru's Ancient Chavín de Huántar



    New findings of a recent archaeoacoustic study suggests that the ancients of the 3,000-year-old Andean ceremonial center at Chavín de Huántar, in the central highlands of Peru, practiced a fine art and science of manipulating sound with architecture to produce desired sensory effects….

    This isn’t really NEW news, is it?

    Ugh, had to sit through a million boring lectures on Chavín’s acoustics during undergrad, so yeah, I can confirm that there is absolutely nothing new in this article. Seriously, if I ever have to listen to another static-y .wav of a conch shell horn…

    Also, I kind of hated all the professors who dig at Chavín, so there’s that, too, lol.

  13. New programme brings SE Asia's young archaeologists together

    Participants spent two weeks in Cambodia’s existing and potential excavation sites this month, and are finishing up a two-week stint here, attending workshops and studying artefacts.

    Dr John Miksic, who heads the Archaeology Unit, said the programme aims to provide a platform for emerging historians and archaeologists to network and gain exposure. ‘Young people are now more keen on international collaboration in general,’ he said, and noted also the spike in interest in the Chinese connection in South-east Asia’s history, thus far not very well recorded.

  14. Battle Creek museum gives back artifacts to Native Americans


    In the basement and back rooms of Kingman Museum, the remains of people from long ago wait to return home.

    That’s the goal of the federal Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, which became law in 1990. Since then, the museum has been working to return the remains of Native American people and artifacts back to the tribes from which they originated.

    It can be a daunting task, correctly identifying and returning such materials for any institution; notices of the remains have to be sent to the relevant tribes and the National Park Service’s NAGPRA Program, which then publishes notices for Native American tribes to review to see if there are remains to be repatriated to them. Read more.

  15. Teeth could unlock toi moko secrets


    New technology tested on possum teeth enamel may help Waikato University researchers to pinpoint the origins of Maori human remains.

    Te Papa Museum in Wellington has been responsible for the country’s international repatriation efforts since 2003. It holds hundreds of bone fragments, and has recovered about 85 toi moko (preserved heads) from foreign institutions.

    On Monday, Te Papa will receive 20 toi moko in a Paris ceremony and on Thursday will formally welcome them home to New Zealand.

    The scrupulous records of some colonial collectors have made it relatively easy for some pieces to be reburied.

    However, in other cases, grave robbers left no clues and researchers have to trawl through ships’ logs and other records for leads and to piece together journeys. Complicating matters is that slaves’ heads were used and regional patterns in tattoos do not provide a reliable guide to origins. Read more.