The advantages of coins as currency were clear.
Currency first hit the scene thousands of years ago. An anthropologist explains the early origins and uses of money – and how archaeological finds fill in our picture of the past.
Sergey Nivens / shutterstock
Our huge brains help maintain complex social relationships, suggests research.
Luxury exists in most human societies throughout the world but in different forms.
Luxury is a global phenomenon present in all societies in various forms.
One of Japan’s biggest food trends right now is Bulgarian yoghurt.
City foodsters/Kakigōri Kanna/Flickr
How a simple bacterium traveled across time and space to become Japan's latest food fad.
The stone flakes are flying, but what brain regions are firing?
Shelby S. Putt
We can't observe the brain activity of extinct human species. But we can observe modern brains doing the things that our distant ancestors did, looking for clues about how ancient brains worked.
When new discoveries are jealously guarded under lock and key, science suffers.
A century-old case of scientific fraud illustrates how hard it is to untangle the truth when access to new discoveries is limited.
A Pirahã family.
From the Amazon to Nicaragua, there are humans who never learn numbers. What can these anumeric cultures teach us about ourselves?
Katiekk / shutterstock
The Dani people were part of a thriving agricultural society long before Westerners 'discovered' them in the 1930s.
The robot Berenson in 2015.
Robots are strange creatures, and not only because they might steal our jobs. We humans actually have good reason to be a little worried about these machines.
FBI Director James Comey and National Security Agency Director Michael Rogers at hearing on allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta
A 'witch hunt' is what Trump called investigations into his campaign and Russian interference in the 2016 election. An anthropologist explains the connection between witch hunts and social control.
Dogs are a huge part of their owners’ routines – which makes their loss even more jarring.
'Silhouette' via www.shutterstock.com
Many are embarrassed to publicly show too much grief over the death of a dog. But research has shown just how devastating the loss can be.
Upper teeth of a Neanderthal who lived about 40,000 years ago.
Anthropologists gather clues about how our ancient ancestors lived from their teeth. What will future anthropologists make of us based on the fossilized pearly whites we'll leave behind?
If people fall for Trump's idea that we live in a constant crisis, they'll never be able to think clearly enough to save themselves.
Allison Davis, circa 1965.
Courtesy of the Davis family.
His landmark contributions to anthropology have faded from memory, despite real-world policy impact during the mid-20th century.
Experimentally produced hand stencils at ‘The Cave’.
Jason Hall, University of Liverpool
New ways of using forensic science in anthropology have been developed to advance our understanding of the past.
The 2007 midwinter solstice illumination of the main altar tabernacle of Old Mission San Juan Bautista, California.
Rubén G. Mendoza/Ancient Editions
At many Spanish missions in the US and Latin America, the rising sun illuminates the altar on the winter solstice or other symbolic days. To the faithful, these events meant that Christ was with them.
Rose and Groote Eylandters Nertichunga, Machana and Nabia, Groote Eylandt, 1941.
Courtesy of SLNSW, Frederick Rose papers, Box 5
The book Red Professor: the Cold War Life of Fred Rose tells of a progressive anthropologist who was stymied by non-Indigenous people in powerful positions. Sadly, it's a narrative that still resonates today.
How many colors in your language’s rainbow?
Eye image via www.shutterstock.com.
New research investigates how people sequentially add new color terms to languages over time – and the results hold surprises about assumptions linguists have made for 40 years.
Watercolour painting of a Haida painted wooden mask.
Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford 2014.89.1a
With the refugee crisis, Brexit, and the rise of populist extremism, we must defend the teaching of anthropology. And in doing so, we might expand and rethink ideas of "the humanities".
Looks like paradise – but how did the first people get there?
Global Environment Facility
Researchers ran computer simulations that take into account environmental variability and geographical setting to investigate how early explorers made it to these tiny, remote islands in the Pacific.