Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Four Stone Hearth - 69th Edition

Welcome to another edition of the Anthropology Blog Carnival known as the Four Stone Hearth. Named for the four fields of Anthropology, I plan to offer this edition's blog posts by those categories, which a bonus fifth category at the end.

Sociocultural Anthropology

We're pretty light on posts involving the observation of extant cultures, but Paddy K has done some informal ethnography at his work place: He wonders if the shared behavior he observed is universal in The Milk Leavers.

Here's another look at ordinary people: The Ordinary People Project at Ethnography.com (found via Savage Minds). Mark Dawson says he is "taking a few months off to drive to Alaska and have conversations with the random people that I meet along the way." He has already posted videos of his first three interviews.


I recently took a seminar on the ancient built environment, so I was immediately intrigued by Theoretical Structural Archaeology. The sad part for me is that I didn't have time to even read post #30 before I pulled all of this together, let alone posts one through twenty-nine (which are all intended to be read in order). This is no fluffy blog with a few tidbits from Geoff Carter's work-- it IS his work. He is using his blog as the primary vehicle to further his research and share it with us.

Tim Jones at Remote Central takes us beneath the waters of Lake Huron where evidence of Paleoindian hunters has been found. Tim not only summarizes the recent discoveries, he places them in the context of the very different environment that existed 10,000 years ago in the area of the Great Lakes (among other things, many parts were clearly above water!).

Under another lake in Sweden (Vänern, the country's largest), a 20-meter-long wreck was discovered and almost immediately touted as the remains of a Viking ship. Martin Rundqvist (the coordinator of this fine blog carnival) was lucky enough to receive photos and x-rays of the Viking weapons recovered from the ship, and rains on the parade when he points out they are neither "Viking," nor "weapons." Read the whole story (and hear Martin's radio appearance on the subject) ar Aardvarchaeology.

Greg Laden sets the record straight on a recent paper proposing a new contributor to changes in the Earth's magnetic field (archaeometric dating is the loose tie-in for our purposes, and it's a good read).

It's Summer time, and that means Field Work. Some arhcaeologists are using their blogs to chronicle their excavations (I'll bet you know of a lot more-- maybe we should compile a more complete list for next time).
  • Mark Henshaw, the Archaeology Dude, will be reporting on his season at the Father Angel Site in Pennsylvania. He's posting videos, too.
  • Brian, at Old Dirt - New Thoughts, reports on his already-completed field season in the Aleutian Islands.
  • Checkout RECAP, sponsored by the Archaeology Data Service (ADS) in the UK, which will be publishing digital materials from completed projects over the last decade.

Biological Anthropology / Human Evolution

More secrets revealed from the waters: Tim Jones also has an excellent writeup on a Neanderthal fossil dredged from the North Sea over at Anthropology.net. This is the first time a find like this has been made.

The news of Darwinius masilae set the press and the internet all atwitter (did I say that?), and Carl Zimmer reports that the online journal PLoS One will be publishing a corrected version of the article which formally announced the find. His post at The Loom is titled Darwinius: Science, Showbiz, and Conflicts of Interest

Daniel Lende points us to a list of posts created by his students in his course "Alcohol and Drugs: The Anthropology of Substance Use and Abuse" at Neuroanthropology. They were assigned to look into human compulsion, and wrote some compelling stuff, including this one on Compulsive Internet Use. Daniel also provides some details on how he structured the course and the assignments.

Another post at Neuroanthropology provides links to Trances Captured on Video, providing "film footage of trance states of various kinds–rituals, dance, shamanic, etc."


Wanna be a Linguist? The Linguistic Aanthropology blog has a post listing Universities Offering Graduate Programs in Linguisitics.

Anthropology on the Internet (Bonus Topic)

The internet is changing everything. Information comes to us in many new forms and avenues now that we have the internet, shunting aside not only printed news but even Television sources (for example, people have turned to Twitter to follow current events in Iran, and bashed CNN while they were at it). These posts address the way the internet is changing the way we do anthropology.

John Hawks (what 4SH is complete without a post from him?) discusses a recent controversy about bloggers at scientific conferences, although it doesn't seem to have hit the Anthropology field... yet.

The proliferation of open access journals published online is considered a boon to the open sharing of research, but it looks like "Buyer Beware" still applies. Mike Smith (an Aztec archaeologist) alerts us to the story about a supposedly peer-reviewed Bentham OA Journal which accepted a hoax paper for publication. The submitted paper was created by a very clever article-generating program which puts together very professional-looking articles with figures and tables, and every sentence is technical nonsense.

It's amazing to believe that the Open Anthropology Cooperative already boasts over 900 members, and is about three weeks old. If you haven't heard about it, please visit anthropologie.info for a great introduction. It is a marvelous use of the internet to provide greater access and interaction for anthropologists around the world.

Lastly, Neuroanthropology has an annotated list of various internet tools and resources to help you integrate social networking into your anthropological practice. Anthropologists out there on the interwebs are using Twitter, Ning networks, Wikis, blogs, Livejournal, and more to keep in touch. To be honest, bythe time this blog carnival comes out every two weeks, the people who are really plugged in via these tools have probably already seen it all... are 4SH's days numbered?

Okay, that's it for this time. Be sure to keep your eyes open for the 70th Edition of the Four Stone Hearth in two weeks, hosted at the new home of Afarensis.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Four Stone Hearth #68

Jump on over to Remote Central to read the latest edition of the Four Stone Hearth Anthropology Blog Carnival. This is a big one-- it took me several minutes just to scan it without clicking through!

Oh, and if you like reading the Four Stone Hearth every two weeks, imagine how cool it must be to join the Open Anthropology Cooperative!