Illustration: Robert Krulwich/NPR
[…]On Easter Island, people learned to live with less and forgot what it was like to have more. Maybe that will happen to us. There’s a lesson here. It’s not a happy one.
As MacKinnon puts it: “If you’re waiting for an ecological crisis to persuade human beings to change their troubled relationship with nature — you could be waiting a long, long time.”
The full article by Robert Krulwich is mind food.
Help my friend out with her project and answer some (if not all) of these questions!
(You don’t have to give your name. Any questions answered would help!)
-School or profession
-How long have you been in Anthropology
-Why did you choose to be a part of it
-What kind of community is anthropology
-How do you see others in the field
-What are words, terms, or vocabulary you connect to the field
-What do those mean
-Is there a standard of writing?
-How did you learn it
-How do you communicate with others in the field
-Is there a hierarchy
-What are the shared goals of the anthropology community
-List all mechanism used to communicate? (from emails to articles to field journals, anything you can think of)
-What is the purpose of each and when are they used? (more so than to further anthropology but rather to make money or improve performance are better examples)
-Why does anthropology exist and what does it do?
-Difference in the field between old timers and new comers
-How does one feel truly accepted in the field
-What is the apprentice stage like
-Particular likes and dislikes of the field
-Any other opinions of anthropology
Anthropology is a pretty diverse field. In America, there are four subfields (cultural anthropology, biological anthropology, linguistics, and archaeology). Elsewhere archaeology and linguistics tend to be their own discipline. Actually, even in America linguistics is its own discipline. Linguistic anthropologists just approach linguistics from a more socioanthro perspective. But anyways, because anthropology is pretty broad, that’s a lot of things he can do with the degree.
You can of course go the traditional route. If he decides he likes the cultural aspect the best, he can go out into the field and maybe either join an organization to help those demographics or become a scholar. Overall, being a professor is the “traditional” route.
Careers for cultural anthropologists:
- interpreter/consultant/cultural broker
- working at organizations (the UN, conservation programs, human rights, etc)
- working in companies (consultants for marketing)
- research (usually hired by companies to study demographics)
- working with the military (very controversial)
- working in hospitals (more for medical anthropologists)
- public and global health (also more for medical anthropologists)
- economics and business (for realsies)
- political science (again not joking)
Careers for biological anthropologists:
- bioarchaeologist/paleoanthropologist (coincides with archaeology)
- curator/museum conservation (also coincides with archaeology)
- forensics (more for forensic anthropologists)
- medical examiner (usually need an MD depending on place)
- coroner (no MD required. for most places it’s an elected post)
- digger of human bones (see also archaeologist)
- paid spelunker with expectation to find and study human bones (see also archaeologist)
- research (either in universities, museums, hospitals, research facilities, etc for stuff like human evolution research, preservation, epigenetics, human life histories, etc)
Careers for linguists:
- research (hired by companies for marketing, etc)
- liason/translator (military/govt/international relations/etc)
- libraries/museums for translating awesome stuff (like balls old religious text)
- i know there’s more but i honestly can’t think of any right now
Careers for archaeologists:
- professional dirt lover
- professioner caver
- some archaeologists are also geologists but prefer archaeology more
- lots of archaeologists are also biological anthropologists
- potsherd expert
- CRM (cultural resource management) basically working for companies and letting them know that they probably shouldnt recklessly dig up that place bc that’s sacred. also called heritage management in the UK
- curator (preservation work (mummies and bog bodies!), historian, research)
- underwater archaeology (i think that’s hella cool man)
I know there’s a lot I forgot, but anthropology is a really broad field (sometimes, imo, it’s too broad). It’s more of a matter of tailoring his major for his specific interests, getting the internship/work experience in his relevant field, and building the connections/network system needed for employment. That’s the difficult part. Anthropology is literally one of those majors you can do anything with but you can just very easily do nothing with it. Best of luck for your brother!
Human Universe will study humanity’s destiny as part of new season of programmes that includes Eddie Izzard docu-drama.
Professor Brian Cox will return to BBC2 with a new five-part series asking what it is to be human in a 2014 season of science programmes that will also feature an Eddie Izzard docu-drama about the invention of radar and the dissection of a human hand and foot.
Cox has become one of the BBC’s most important faces following the success of his three Wonders … series looking at the solar system, the universe and life on earth.
His next series, Human Universe, will attempt to answer who we are, whether we are alone, and what is our destiny
The BBC, announcing the new season of programmes on Wednesday, said Cox’s new series would “tackle the biggest questions that we can ask from who are we and are we alone, to why are we here and what is our destiny”.
"As humans, we have long sought to understand our place in the cosmos, looking for answers in the heavens and the earth, discovering clues in the endless forms of living things and wondering at the precious nature of human life," it said.
Source: the guardian
Wow. That post got an awesome reception. Jangojips agreed to art with me.
If you have a sketch or an idea, send it to me at: email@example.com
I will relay things to jangojips and she and I can try to get something started.
What about a motto? For those of you who are more creative with words.
We need to cover:
- Bioanth (forensics, osteoarch)
- Arch (artefacts, lithics)
- Palaeo (human evo, fossils)
- Cultural anth
Reblogging to spread the word.
All things anthropogeny
Established in 2008 by co-founders Ajit Varki, Margaret Schoeninger and Fred Gage, the Center for Academic Research and Training in Anthropogeny (CARTA) promotes transdisciplinary research in the study of human origins.
Anthropogeny is not a synonym for human evolution, but rather encompasses investigation of all factors involved in human origins, including climate, cultural, geographic, social and ecological. The word was popularized by the noted German zoologist Ernst Haeckel.
Not surprisingly, it’s a rich and diverse topic of conversation. Consider CARTA’s regular symposia, which have produced more than 150 scholarly presentations on subjects ranging from language and the biology of altruism to the evolution of nutrition and whether the human mind is unique. Future symposia will discuss child-rearing in human evolution and the role of male aggression and violence.
Recently, the number of online hits of CARTA videos topped 10 million in just four years – a big number in a blink of geologic time.
Physiology of Tattoos
First, a quick history:
Tattooing (permanently marking the skin with pigment) is an ancient tradition, going back thousands of years. Many traditional cultures - from the Picts of Scotland, to the Fulani of Nigeria, the Ainu of Japan, the Maori of New Zealand, the Scythians of Central Asia, and even the culture that Ötzi the Iceman belonged to - used tattoos in either a symbolic way (as an identification or status symbol) or as a form of traditional healing and protection from evil spirits or disease.
Though tattoos have also been used as forms of permanent demarcation of a crime (such as burglary or military desertion), the people of Europe rediscovered a fascination with the artform after many of Captain Cook’s men returned to their home port in 1770, newly tattooed by the Tahitian natives they had encountered in their voyages.
Associated with mariners, lower, and criminal classes for much of the time between the return of Cook’s crew and the 1960s, European gentry went through a phase of great interest in the practice between the 1870s and very early 1900s. As it was both expensive and painful to receive what was considered a high-quality tattoo, it was a sign of wealth and toughness, and in 1898, Harmsworth Magazine estimated that 1 in 5 members of the gentry had at least one tattoo.
Today, though still considered taboo by some, tattoos are not uncommon or (generally) considered a sign of “criminality”. Not that there isn’t discrimination against the tattooed - there definitely is - but it is not what it used to be. Janis Joplin displaying her wristlet tattoo without shame is often considered one of the major turning points for tattoo acceptance in popular culture and Western society. Many people of various ethnic origins have also begun to “reclaim” their heritage and revitalize their previously-suppressed traditional culture, by getting the tattoos that their ancestors wore proudly.
HISTORY LESSON OVER
Tattoos are actually not that complicated! I used to wonder why they didn’t disappear over time (at least not totally), given that every 10 years, every single cell in your body outside of your brain has been replaced at least once.
As it turns out, tattoos create their own little place under your skin. When they’re first applied, the ink is injected into the epidermis and upper dermis, and the body does not like that. Phagocytes flock to the site of the tattoo, and eject the foreign substance from the epidermis - this is what causes the flaking and scabbing over the first couple weeks after a tattoo - and engulf the ink injected into the dermis. As the ink in the dermis is too far down to easily eject, it’s engulfed in a granulation (healing) layer, which turns into connective tissue.
Eventually, the pigment is trapped in fibroblasts, in a discrete layer created between the upper dermis and the epidermis. Fibroblasts, like scar tissue, do not regenerate like regular cells, and tend to stay in one place for an entire lifetime. Some upper dermis layers may form on top of the fibroblasts, leading to fading of the tattoo, but they never completely disappear if they were done in a fashion that created the proper healing conditions.
Laser removal of tattoos currently involves utilizing certain wavelengths of light to shine through the epidermis and break up each pigment shade into particles that are small enough for the body to eject during the normal healing process (initiated by the damage caused by the laser). Previous methods of tattoo removal included dermabrasion, cryobrasion, chemabrasion, and complete excision - all of which either destroyed the epidermis and then the tattoo itself, or which cut out the tattoo entirely. All of those methods tended to produce a significant degree of scar tissue. While some scarring is common with current laser removal, it is nowhere near as extreme as previous methods.
Tattooed: The Sociogenesis of a Body Art. Michael Atkinson, 1971.
"Skin Stories: The Art and Culture of Polynesian Tattoo". Pacific Islanders in Communication for PBS Studios, 2003.
Skin and Bones: Tattoos in the Life of the American Sailor. 2011 Exhibit at Independence Seaport Museum
Tattooed Maori Chief, 1784. From Captain Cook’s first voyage in 1769.
Adult Maori Female, 1890. Portrait by Bohumír Gottfried Lindaur.
"A marriagable girl", 1912. From The Melanesians of British New Guinea, by George Brown.
Kayan (Borneo) Tattoo, 1912. From Customs of the World, photographed by W. H. Furness III.
Mrs. M. Stevens Wagner, Half Length, 1907. One of the first “Tattooed Ladies” who performed as a circus “sideshow freak”.
Ainu woman with traditional tattoo, ca. 1880. “Ainu: Forgotten Indigenous People of Japan.”, 2013.
"Betto, or Groom", ca. 1880. Yamato Japanese man with hair in topknot. Attributed to Adolfo Farsari.
Norman T. Collins, aka Sailor Jerry, ca 1950. Note the heavy Japanese influence in the works of one of the most iconic tattoo artists in history.
If I was to figure out a way to do a anthro tumblr community holiday card exchange…would there be the teeniest bit of interest? I’m thinking something like a rebloggable post and you send a card to the person who reblogged the post before you (and I send a card to the final…
I’ve offered this to my followers and got some offers for exchanges. Looking forward to it!
I am so interested in doing this, I have so many themed cards I would love to send!
Wondering what to wear to the AAAs? We’ve got you covered. For women: throw a few scarves in your suitcase, a suitable range of black clothes, a kick-ass pair of shoes or boots, and some anthropological “flair, and you should be good to go. Men need to pack their nice jeans, a good buttoned shirt, and the pièce de résistance: a stylish jacket. Unless you’re an archaeologist. Then all you need are jeans.
Anthropologists around the world are packing for the annual American Anthropological Association meetings (“the AAAs”) being held this year in balmy Chicago from November 20-24. What, you might wonder, are they packing? What look do anthropologists go for at the AAAs where thousands of anthropologists gather each year? We’ve turned to our social media networks to find out, posting this question on Twitter and on multiple Facebook accounts to learn just what fashion choices anthropologists are making this week.
We’ve identified six categories of anthropological fashion and/or fashion concern:
- Wearing one’s fieldsite, or, the “anthropological” flair requirement.
- Looking professional, but not too formal or business-y.
- Capitalism, consumerism, & fashion for the critical anthropologist.
- Stages of one’s career: from grad student to job market to professor.
- Differences across the subdisciplines.
- Scarves. (Yes, scarves get their own category.)
[READ MORE] [you won’t regret it]
Anthro tumblr and other science-interested people, listen up!!!!
Royal Society Publishing has just published a theme issue ‘Tool use as adaptation,’ compiled and edited by Dora Biro, Michael Haslam, and Christian Rutz.
Click here to go straight to the issue.
Best part: Right now the issue contents - and ALL Royal Society content- is FREE, but only until 30 November 2013. So click the link and check out these sources!!!
Anthropology of the Other should only ever relate back to ourselves when it decentralizes our own ontology.
Indigenous people do not exist to become cute little anecdotes to tell ourselves as some sort of valuable, facebook-share-worthy life lesson.
If you disagree with either of the above statements, go masturbate to a Jared Diamond bestseller.
Sure-fire Anthropologist Pick-Up Lines
Hey Baby, I wanna see your bedrock!
Let’s pretend you’re full of C14 so I can date you.
Baby, you must have time distortion powers because you’are turning me into Homo Erectus!
Would you like to examine my bone?
What a nice pair of platform mounds you got there!
Wanna extract some minerals from my bone?
Let’s forget the carbon and move straight to the dating!
Hey baby, Can I probe your moist area?
My, my you are a special find.
Are you an excavation site? Because I dig you.
I’m a linguistic anthropologist, may i study your tongue?
Hey baby, I wanna go down today… about 10 centimeters.
Fancy rimming my sherd?
Hey baby, can i use my GPR on you?
I sure would like to calibrate your curves.
Baby you’re more precious than an artifact!
Wanna share a trench?
I would never bury our love in a coniferous forest, because the acidity of the soil would ruin any chance of preservation.
So, wanna get dirty?
I’d like to excavate your site.
You know, you really match my culturally constructed beauty standard !
Care to shine my trowel?
You like petrology? Well, check out this cleavage!
Would you like to see my totem ?
Come here and let me demonstrate how to shovel probe.
My, what a large ranging pole you have!
Hey baby, could i have a look at your artifacts?
Can I excavate your mounds?
Hey, I’ve just discovered a bone in my pants, and I was wondering if you could date it.
Hey baby, can I survey your features ?
I find your culture fascinating…I’d like to learn more about your mating rituals.
Can I touch your tanglible heritage?
Is that an increment borer in your pocket or are you happy to see me?
Wow, and all this time I thought nothing was sexier than archaeometry!
Did it hurt when you fell from your culture’s dogmatic view of an afterlife?
Let’s have a debate. I’ll be a cultural relativist, and you assume the missionary position.
If I told you that you had some nice secondary sex characteristics, would you hold them against me?
You remind me of the Kennewick Man, I’d do anything to claim you for my own.
Baby, your hotness is a social fact!
I like your hotspot.
Baby, I’ve got a huge grant !
- by Rachel Flynn
Towards a Comparative Collection
"In 1914, the Museum of Science and Art, as the Kildare Street building was then known, purchased a collection of objects at the recommendation of the Keeper of Irish Antiquities, George Coffey, from a Swiss amateur archaeologist, Ernest E. Roulin. Both the museum and the Royal Irish Academy were, at this time, assembling a comparative collection of artefacts that would attempt to link Ireland to Europe.
Roulin presented an account of the excavation along with a list, in elegantly handwritten French, describing the objects as follows (translated from French);
“Two cranial amulets, i.e. produced with fragments of human cranium. Such revered amulets are of great rarity- only a few have been found in Switzerland. These two specimens are heavily scorched- one of them was fragmented in situ in a very carbonaceous layer”.
Both amulets are sub-oval and have been perforated towards one end- possibly for suspension. The smaller of the two measures 47mm x 38mm compared to c.75mm x 55mm for the larger, fragmented specimen. The edges have been well finished and rounded, which suggests they were worn or displayed as pendants- possibly to draw strength or protection from the world of the deceased or perhaps simply to commemorate past members of the community…
The Significance of the Human Head
Although Vouga could only theorise, his ideas do have good grounding. The Neolithic has produced a wide variety of perforated objects that may have served as amulets. We have numerous Irish examples in stone, with the neatly formed axe or pestle pendants being some of the most instantly recognisable. The Neolithic practice of using human remains for such purposes is not unique to the Neuchâtel region either. Excavations at the Greek lakeside site of Dispilio revealed a perforated human molar, with a similar artefact discovered during this season’s excavation in Çatalhöyük, Anatolia. The practice of wearing or suspending human teeth appears to continue into the Bronze Age with one example from La Tombe des Anglais, Espeyroux, France. Wearing or displaying pieces of the human body in this manner may appear unusual. However, the still-practised tradition of retaining human ashes is a similar way of maintaining a physical connection with departed loved ones.
Vouga’s second theory, about a headhunting tradition in Neolithic Europe cannot be supported with much evidence. However, its practice in Central Europe appears in some of the earliest Graeco-Roman historical records. In his “Bibliotheca Historica”, Greek historian Diodorus Siculus described the Celtic habit of collecting heads with a certain morbid fascination:
“They cut off the heads of enemies slain in battle and attach them to the necks of their horses. The blood-stained spoils they hand over to their attendants and carry off as booty, while striking up a paean and singing a song of victory; and they nail up these first fruits upon their houses, just as do those who lay low wild animals in certain kinds of hunting”.
This practice extended to all corners of Iron Age Europe, including Ireland, where the mythical figure, Cú Chulainn, proudly displayed the heads of the three fearsome sons of Nechtan on his chariot, thus establishing himself as the subject of Cathbad’s prophecy; Ulster’s most famous and valiant warrior" (read more).
(Source: National Museum of Ireland)
Welp, 1k followers? Jeez, you guys!
I’m not deriving value from a follower count, but it is lovely to know that there is an anthro community on tumblr, whether active or lurking, and lovelier still to know that I am apart of it.
I know my blog mostly consists of crying over juvenile primates and cringing at fractures, but let me know if there is something anthro related you’d like to hear about!