CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — College athletes are not the only ones who sometimes suffer at the hands of higher ups. A new report brings to light a more hidden and pernicious problem – the psychological, physical and sexual abuse of students in the field of biological anthropology working in field studies far from home.
The report is based on an online survey and telephone interviews that, in a period of less than two months, elicited accounts of abuse from dozens of women and men working in the field of biological anthropology.
This is a first attempt to systematically document the harassment, abuse or assaults young researchers sometimes face in the course of doing anthropological fieldwork at remote sites, said University of Illinois anthropology professor Kathryn Clancy, one of four researchers to present the new findings at the 2013 meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropology. Read more.
Archaeologists and anthropologists excavating a site in the south of Chile have uncovered stones that are believed to have been used as tools by humans 14,000 years ago.
Scientists from Universidad Católica de Temuco and Universidad Austral de Chile (UACh) were able to determine these were tools because they exhibit the marking congruent with ancient knives and cutting utensils.
“There are rock detachments from a simple, intentional blow that demonstrate that they were doctored, and that means this is a product of a human being. It lets us postulate that cultural diversity was present in this epoch,” UACh archaeologist Efe Ximena Navarro told El Mostrador.
The discovery occurred near Osorno by accident while paleontologists were studying the fossilized remains of gomphotheres, ancestors of modern elephants presumed to have been hunted by human communities in the area. Read more.
BOZEMAN, Mont. — Anthropology students are showing off a million-year-old discovery after ancient artifacts from Kenya turn up in an MSU basement.
The hand axes were made by early human ancestors and are examples of some of the oldest tool types.
They used to belong to famous paleoanthropologist Louis S.B. Leakey who, according to adjunct professor of anthropology Nancy Mahoney, “changed the way we understand human origins.”
Leakey sent the artifacts to Montana back in the fifties for special stone dating.
Two anthropology students researched how the stone tools came to the department’s teaching collection as part of an independent research course.
“She was giving the lecture when she passed around the stone tool and I was shaking when I held it because I couldn’t imagine. This was created over a million years ago and the person who made it and intended to use it looked completely different than I did and thought completely differently and it just fascinated me,” says anthropology student Betsy Garten. Read more.
Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii — There is a skull here, hundreds of fragments of bones there. Table after table is lined with human remains. One holds a near-complete skeleton, another has hundreds of tiny pieces of bone that could come from many different people. Together, it tells the story of life and death in the military.
At the world’s largest skeletal identification laboratory more than 30 forensic anthropologists, archaeologists and dentists of Joint POW-MIA Accounting Command are working to put names to the remains.
Based at Hickam Air Force Base — site of the Pearl Harbor attack — in Honolulu, Hawaii, JPAC is made up of all branches of the U.S. military and civilian scientists, united in the goal of bringing back all 84,000 U.S. service members who went missing during war or military action.
The unit researches old war records and combs battle sites and aircraft crash sites in some of the most remote locations around the world.
Any recovered remains are brought back to JPAC’s Central Identification Laboratory.
The mission is to bring answers to families who may have been waiting 60 years or more to hear anything about a loved one. Read more.
When it comes to human evolution, Europe and the Near East are crucial places: Europe has the first cave art, and the Near East has the first sightings of modern humans out of Africa, for example. Now a leading scientific body, the Munich-based Max Planck Society, is teaming up with Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science to create a joint center devoted to studying archaeology and human evolution, to be based in both Rehovot, Israel, and Leipzig, Germany.
On 11 January, Max Planck President Peter Gruss, and Daniel Zajfman, president of the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot, will sign a contract to create the new center, worth about €5 million over the next 5 years. It will be funded by the Max Planck’s Minerva Foundation, which has supported German-Israel collaborations since the 1960s. Read more.
The Destination Archaeology Resource Center is launching the “Archaeology Café,” a new event at the Leisure Club at 126 Palafox Place in downtown Pensacola.
The 5 p.m. Sept., 8 event will feature a lecture by Terry Prewitt titled “Holy Goatskins and Sacred Reeds.”
An anthropology professor at the University of West Florida, Prewitt’s lecture will focus on 2,000-year-old papyri fragments and what they are telling researchers about ancient civilizations and texts such as the Bible.
The lecture is free and open to the community, and seating is open and unreserved.
For more information, contact Destination Archaeology manager Mike Thomin at 850 595-0050, ext. 107. (source)
GEORGETOWN TOWNSHIP — Above a riverside ravine near the southern border of Grand Valley State University’s campus, anthropology professor Janet Brashler gestures around the dense forest and undergrowth at a place that was once a major hub of Grand River logging.
“We’re in downtown Blendon Landing right now,” Brashler said. “Or, maybe uptown.”
She can be forgiven for being unsure, because what remains of Blendon Landing, a Civil War-era shipbuilding and timber community, is either buried in the campus dirt or sits on shelves in the university’s anthropology department.
The village has been an archaeological dig site on campus for university students since the mid-1960s, when Richard “Doc” Flanders began excavating the logging town and its Ottawa County railroad line, which researchers believe was a first of its kind in the nation. Read more.
When Farid Rahemtulla and his anthropology students began to dig in the forest floor on Calvert Island, he pretty much knew what to expect – lots of clam and mussel shells.
But shortly after the team from the University of Northern British Columbia started to sink pits into a shell midden (refuse dump) on the Central Coast, he realized it was much bigger than anyone imagined – so large he now believes it is part of a long-lost, ancient village called Luxvbalis.
In the recently finished dig, Dr. Rahemtulla, an anthropology professor at UNBC, has found evidence of human occupation that may date back 10,000 years. Read more.