Four Stone Hearth #120

FSH_small.jpgWelcome to the 120th edition of Four Stone Hearth! It’s been a while since SOS has played host to this august gathering, so my warmest welcome to newcomers.

For the “locals” needing a refresher on the background of FSH, let’s quote a bit from the shiny new home page for the carnival:

The Four Stone Hearth is a blog carnival that specializes in anthropology in the widest (American) sense of that word. Here, anthropology is the study of humankind, throughout all times and places, focusing primarily on four lines of research:

  • archaeology
  • socio-cultural anthropology
  • bio-physical anthropology
  • linguistic anthropology

Each one of these subfields is a stone in our hearth.

But without further ado, let’s dive into the past fortnight’s selection of anthropological blog posts…

Plague and pestillence and disease, oh my!

Powered by Osteons has this topic down pat with two posts. First there’s Sickle-Cell Disease, Oxygen Isotopes, and Malarial Romans. Meanwhile, some interesting bones get mentioned in the middle of a discussion (read the comments) of inadvertently racially-charged language in The Leper Warrior: Persistence of Racial Terminology in Biological Anthropology. Not to be left out, Gambler’s House tackles the issue of Syphilis at Chaco.

Being (re)productive

Even in anthropology, there’s little to beat the attention-grabbing power of sex. Neanderthal news is always a big deal, too. So when you combine the two, you’ve got a story with legs! No surprise, then, that even the mainstream press is covering the news that the first modern humans may have helped their passage into new lands by interbreeding with the locals (often Neanderthals). On this topic, contributes Boost your Immune System: Breed with an Extinct Human Species, and Sexy Archaeology writes Breeding with Neanderthals helped humans go global.

Anthropology in Practice discusses the different meanings placed on the term “monogamy” in To Be or Not to Be Monogamous? But of course, there’s a more prosaic meaning to the term “getting around.” Sexy Archaeology nails it with two posts — Early Americans helped colonise Easter Island, and Were ancient human migrations two-way streets?

Different ways of getting the job done

Love him or hate him, a lot of people got a taste of (some semblance of) archaeology from Indiana Jones. June 12 was the 30th anniversary of Raiders of the Lost Ark, so sends out a big Happy Birthday Indy!

What if you’ve got a permit for a project, but not enough funding? Crowdsource your cash! At least, that’s the approach taken by The Maeander Project, using Kickstarter to round up some needed funding (I’ve already pledged, please swing by if you’ve got a few extra dollars in your pocket that you’d be willing to contribute — they’re about 1/3 of the way to their goal with 3 weeks to go).

In The New Yorker, Jennifer Egan writes of wanting to be an archaeologist in “Archeology.”

Chris Webster provides a cautionary tale in How To Get Fired Writing a Blog (I can feel for him, I barely dodged that bullet myself once).

Funereal bling

You might not be able to take it with you, but that hasn’t stopped many from trying (and it certainly hasn’t stopped anybody from decorating skeletons of the long-since deceased)! From the Fortean Times comes Bones with Bling about the jeweled skeletons of Europe. Locally, I gave folks a quick look at the funeral mask of Palenque’s “Red Queen” in The scientific tourist #178 — the Red Queen’s looking green. Zenobia: Empress of the East contributes a discussion of The Underground Tomb of the Aureli.

Odds and ends

A few posts just wouldn’t fit into my tidy categories this time ’round, but let’s not let them drift off alone!

Sexy Archaeology nicely covers new discoveries of people making tools (vs. merely honeymooning) by Niagara Falls in Ancient Toolmakers Plied Craft Near Niagara Falls.

Powered by Osteons discusses the largely-unappreciated contributions of Roman sanitation engineering in the wonderfully titled Friends, Romans, Countrymen… Lend Me Your Rears!

Testimony of the Spade contributes two posts (the start of a series?) about a rune stone on Öland in Sweden — In search for runes, and The Karlevi rune stone, Vickleby parish, Öland (Öl 1).

Well, that’s it for this edition of Four Stone Hearth, I hope you found some new reading material that struck your fancy. Thanks to all the contributors for their good work. FSH’s next outing will be on 6 July, at a still-to-be-determined host (maybe you’d like to volunteer?).

And again, please remember to change your bookmarks for the carnival to the new site, since the old one will go away on the 28th of this month.

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