Articles on Anthropology

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A schoolteacher in the midst of receiving a full pe'a, the traditional Samoan tattoo generally worn by males. Christopher Lynn

Untangling tattoos’ influence on immune response

An anthropologist works in American Samoa, taking advantage of the island's longstanding tattoo culture to tease out the effects tattoos have on the body's immune function.
People have been modifying Earth – as in these rice terraces near Pokhara, Nepal – for millennia. Erle C. Ellis

Surveying archaeologists across the globe reveals deeper and more widespread roots of the human age, the Anthropocene

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? Kamil Macniak/Shutterstock.com

What’s private depends on who you are and where you live

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.
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

Angkor Wat archaeological digs yield new clues to its civilization’s decline

Many tourists hold an outdated romanticized image of an abandoned temple emerging from the jungle.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. Katherine Grillo

Ancient DNA is revealing the origins of livestock herding in 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. Wolfgang Sauber/Wikimedia

Misreading the story of climate change and the Maya

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. Chiến Phạm/Unsplash

Baby talk is similar all over the world

Research suggests that parents and babies communicate in remarkably similar ways despite striking variation in cultural practices.

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