People have been modifying Earth – as in these rice terraces near Pokhara, Nepal – for millennia.
Erle C. Ellis
Hundreds of archaeologists provided on-the-ground data from across the globe, providing a new view of the long and varied history of people transforming Earth's environment.
Is privacy what you can’t see, or where you don’t look?
Privacy starts with the body and extends to digital data. There are few rules governing what companies can do – yet people can't effectively protect their own privacy.
A study of Batek hunter-gatherers from Malaysia shows how laughter can shape our ethical values.
A new IPCC report has called for radical changes in food production to avoid catastrophic climate change. Rice-fish farming and mixed crops could help.
A man pushes a wheelbarrow past a sign in Liberia during the West African Ebola outbreak.
A proper understanding of community dynamics and local beliefs can inform medical interventions that are capable of establishing positive and productive relations with local communities.
The tortilla business can become an unexpected way out for former gang members.
Being part of a gang may increase the chance of dying young, but when gang members leave their old lives behind, they can find that their street smarts come in handy.
It’s unlikely your ancestors were the first to set foot here.
Fred Harvey, Kansas City/ Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
An anthropologist who's researched the dispossession of Native Americans and their enduring connections to ancestral places sees the value in asking 'whose land are you on?'
Alex Coan/MD_Photography/Ti_ser, Shutterstock.com
Far from being a technical, commercial instrument, money can be a social and political construct that has immense radical potential.
Archaeological visualization of Angkor Wat at sunset, with site map at upper right.
Tom Chandler, Mike Yeates, Chandara Ung and Brent McKee, Monash University, SensiLab, 2019
Many tourists hold an outdated romanticized image of an abandoned temple emerging from the jungle. But research around Angkor Wat suggests its collapse might be better described as a transformation.
Livestock, like these goats in the Rift Valley of Tanzania, are critical to household economies in East Africa.
Pastoralism is a central part of many Africans' identity. But how and when did this way of life get started on the continent? Ancient DNA can reveal how herding populations spread.
Stucco frieze from Placeres, Campeche, Mexico, Early Classic period, c. 250-600 AD.
Many people think climate change caused Classic Maya civilization to collapse abruptly around 900 A.D. An archaeologist says that view is too simplistic and misses the bigger point.
Despite our differences, when it comes to babies, we communicate the same way all over the world.
Research suggests that parents and babies communicate in remarkably similar ways despite striking variation in cultural practices.
Examining chicken intestines, reading the tea leaves, watching the markets – people turn to experts for insight into the mysteries that surround them.
Hidden forces are always at work in the world, and people always want to control them, a cognitive anthropologist explains. Enter the human universal of shamanism.
Human civilisation is threatened by long-dead organisms, whether as White Walkers or petrol.
Inmates, members of MS-13 and Barrio 18 gangs, wait upon arrival at the maximum security prison in Zacatecoluca, 65 kilometres east of San Salvador, on August 9, 2017.
Marvin RECINOS / AFP
Imaginaries of gangs as inherent forms of brutal anarchy promote particular political agendas and obscure the ways gangs can reveal the underlying dynamics of the contexts within which they emerge.
A modern mouse lemur
Microcebus sits upon the cranium of an extinct Megaladapis lemur.
Dao Van Hoang www.daovanhoang.com
A series of new studies sheds light on the population crash and extinction of the giant birds, lemurs and more that roamed the island until around A.D. 700-1000.
What came first – all-seeing Gods or complex societies?
God the Father and Angel, Guercino Giovan Francesco Barbieri via Wikimedia Commons
God only started watching over us quite recently, according to a new study that analysed 414 societies from 30 world regions.
New technology means accessing new information from ancient human remains, some which have been in collections for decades.
Ancient DNA allows scientists to learn directly from the remains of people from the past. As this new field takes off, researchers are figuring out how to ethically work with ancient samples and each other.
JC142 research cruise: reproduced with permission of the British Geological Survey, National Oceanography Centre ©UKRI 2018.
Deep sea mining could supply valuable rare minerals to green technology, but one project in the south-west Pacific is invoking the wrath of local spirits.
Philip Pullman can help us understand what smartphones are doing to people – here's how.