Articles on Anthropology

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The universal sign for ‘Look over there!’ isn’t so common in some cultures. Helena Ohman/Shutterstock.com

The way humans point isn’t as universal as you might think

It was long thought that humans everywhere favor pointing with the index finger. But some fieldwork out of Papua New Guinea identified a group of people who prefer to scrunch their noses.
A connection can be made in between Ursula Le Guin’s fiction and her father’s groundbreaking work in anthropology. Oregon State University

The education of Ursula Le Guin

Le Guin's father, Alfred Kroeber, was at a forefront of a movement that rejected social Darwinism and cultural superiority. In his daughter's fiction, we see these ideas come to life.
Fossilized teeth from a modern human who lived in Israel close to 200,000 years ago. Israel Hershkovitz, Tel Aviv University

Fossil jawbone from Israel is the oldest modern human found outside Africa

New discoveries are changing archaeologists' ideas about the origins of our own species and our migration out of Africa. This fossil pushes Homo sapiens' African exodus date back by 50,000 years.
What sounds did the people of Chaco Canyon hear during daily life? David E. Witt

Soundscapes in the past: Adding a new dimension to our archaeological picture of ancient cultures

We tend to think of archaeological sites as dead silent – empty ruins left by past cultures. But this isn't how the people who lived in and used these sites would have experienced them.
People currently speak 7,000 languages around the globe. Michael Gavin

Why do human beings speak so many languages?

There's little research into origins of the geographic patterns of language diversity. A new model exploring processes that shaped Australia's language diversity provides a template for investigators.
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In Japan, pillows can be a sex partner

The Japanese sex-toy market for men includes a curious category of objects: pillows. These "bodies" create a paradoxal link between desire and sleep.

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