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Did a fig tree grow out of the remains of a Turkish Cypriot man missing since 1974? - Cyprus Mail
"News was spreading fast on social media and foreign media over the weekend that a missing Turkish Cypriot man’s remains from 1974 were uncovered after a fig tree grew out of a seed in his stomach.

The story initially published in Turkish newspaper Hurriyet last week has been picked up by the British tabloids, MSN and other outlets. According to the MSN account, Ahmet Hergune was killed in 1974 but his body was not discovered for decades until the fig tree connection.

“It was eventually discovered because the tree which grew from him was unusual for the area. Incredibly, the dead man had been taken into a cave with two others and both of them had been killed by dynamite that was then thrown in after them,” the report said.

“Yet the dynamite also blew a hole in the side of the cave, allowing light to flood into the darkened interior which in turn allowed the fig tree to grow from the man’s body.”

It goes on to say the tree was spotted in 2011 by a researcher who was curious as to how the tree had ended up in the cave and especially in a mountainous area where it was not usually found.

“While carrying out his research and digging around the tree, he was then horrified to find a human body underneath and raised the alarm. On digging further, police recovered a total of three bodies.”

The tale is fascinating but not quite an accurate description, according to Cyprus Mail sources close to the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) on both sides of the divide.

But there is also much more to the story than was gleaned either from the short news reports, or the information obtained by the Cyprus Mail from the CMP sources.

According to the CMP sources, the case dates back to 2006 when the committee received information that there were Turkish Cypriot remains – three people – in a cave close to the sea and they went to excavate in accordance with their mandate.

The Cyprus Mail sources said it involved cave close to a beach in Limassol, and indeed there was a fig tree that had grown out of the cave. Over the years the tree had grown to the point where it caused the roof of the cave to collapse.

The entrance to the cave itself was underwater and blocked off due to the dynamite blast but the roots of the tree were inside the cave – some three metres down – and the tree had grown there for decades.

The remains of the three Turkish Cypriots, the sources said, were found several metres away from the tree roots during the excavations, suggesting it did not grow from a seed inside the deceased man. “There were similar news reports at the time that the tree had grown from the remains,” said one source.

Sources in the north close to the CMP also concurred that the remains were found away from the tree, adding that scientifically it was not possible that it happened the way it was related by the family. “It’s their belief,” the sources said. They added that sources said Hergune’s family wanted to believe that it happened that way. “It helped them with finding closure.”

Hergune’s sister Munur Herguner, 87, said, according to the MSN account: “We used to live in a village with a population of 4,000, half Greek, half Turkish. In 1974, the disturbances began. My brother Ahmet joined the Turkish Resistance Organisation (TMT). On 10th June, the Greeks took him away.”

She added: “For years we searched for my brother in vain.”

But she said that unknown to her, the grave had ended up being marked by the fig tree that grew from the seed in his stomach.

“The tree was spotted in 2011 by a researcher who was curious as to how the tree had ended up in the cave and especially in a mountainous area where it was not usually found,” the report goes on.

“While carrying out his research and digging around the tree, he was then horrified to find a human body underneath and raised the alarm. On digging further, police recovered a total of three bodies,” it added.

Munur Herguner said her brother was believed to have been the one that had eaten the fig, and blood samples from her family matched DNA fragments which confirmed it was her brother’s final resting place.

“As detectives investigated the killing, they discovered that the brother Ahmet and the other two had been killed by dynamite in the cave, and the blast had made a hole in the cave that let in light. He had apparently eaten the fig shortly before he died,” the report added.

His sister said: “The fig remnants in my brother’s stomach grew into a tree as the sun crept into the cave through the hole made by the explosion. They found my brother thanks to that fig tree.”

But there is even more to the story.

Turkish Cypriot journalist, author and peace activist Sevgul Uludag recounted the tale in 2008, two years after the find and just before the funeral of the three Turkish Cypriots whose remains had since been identified by the CMP.

Uludag was visiting by chance the same beach without making the connection between the ‘fig tree’ story from 2006 and the location she was currently at, Ayios Georgios Alamanos, until someone mentioned the connection.

According to her account, back in 1974, Ahmet Cemal was taken by three Greek Cypriots from the coffeeshop of the village Episkopi and was taken here to be killed together with Erdogan Enver and Unal Adil who were taken from the Chiftlik area of Limassol. According to Uludag, there was no entrance to the cave inside the rocks from land, so the three must have been brought by boat.

“The last thing Ahmet Cemal ate that day on the 10th of August 1974, was figs from his garden. But these were `Anadolidiga` type of figs, growing in his garden. This type of fig did not grow anywhere – it could grow in Episkopi and it only grew if it liked its soil… So the fig tree growing with hundreds of roots from the cave and coming out at the top of the cave and showing where the `missing` Turkish Cypriots were, this type of a fig tree called `Anadolidiga`,” she says.

Uludag observes that an ordinary person would not notice the significance of that fig tree on the beach but the beach was also a favourite beach for Xenophon Kallis, a Greek Cypriot, and head of the foreign ministry’s humanitarian affairs directorate who was deeply involved in missing persons issue, so in essence not some random person as related by the media over the weekend.

“Gradually as the fig tree grew, Kallis noticed the change in the scenery on the beach. What was that fig tree doing there? Kallis checked old photos he had of this beach – he drove for kilometres on this coast but there was no sign of another fig tree. And there was no place for the birds to perch on to poo inside the cave – the whole area was rocks and shinya,” wrote Uludag.

She said he discovered the fig tree was of the type `Anadolidiga` and as he deepened his research, he found out that the three Turkish Cypriot `missing`, among them Ahmet Cemal from Episkopi, was killed and buried in that cave.

“When the dynamite exploded [at the time], the UN had heard and had made a report about it. And Kallis discovered that the last thing Ahmet Cemal ate was `Anadolidiga` figs from his garden,” added Uludag.

“Maybe this `Anadolidiga` fig tree grew because of the last meal of Ahmet Cemal – maybe the bats had eaten this type of fig and came to the cave or maybe there is another explanation. But whatever the explanation, what was important was that this fig tree led Kallis to finding these `missing persons`. The fig tree had shown him the way…”

Uludag’s full account here:

https://www.stwing.upenn.edu/~durduran/hamambocu/authors/svg/svg2_13_2008.html "
plants  trees  figs  entanglement  2018  cyprus  1974  conflict  archaeology  morethanhuman  multispecies  fruit  closure  turkey 
september 2018 by robertogreco
UC Cyber-Archaeology - Center for Cyber-Archaeology & Sustainability at UC San Diego
"Welcome to the Center for Cyber-archaeology and Sustainability

Cyber-archaeology is the marriage of archaeology, computer science, engineering, and the natural sciences, and it offers 21st century solutions to safeguard the past for future generations. This web portal is the primary Internet vehicle for communicating with the public and researchers worldwide about At-Risk World Heritage and the Digital Humanities, a cyber-archaeology project awarded a $1.06 million, two-year UC President’s Research Catalyst Award from the University of California (UC) Office of the President to a consortium of archaeologists and information technologists on four UC campuses: UC San Diego, UCLA, UC Berkeley and UC Merced."

[via https://twitter.com/mttaggart/status/1036320595053408256

in response to: “Did you also wake up on Sunday morning thinking about social media's vast digital graveyards? Tell me what you think of Facebook's approach”
https://twitter.com/jolinaclement/status/1036303816675667975 ]
digital  cyberarchaeology  archaeology  socialmedia  online  internet  web 
september 2018 by robertogreco
evidence that ancient paleolithic venus statues... | GOWNS
"evidence that ancient paleolithic venus statues were made by women who were examining their own bodies and sculpting them from their own point of view, not, as previously assumed, exaggerated features from an outside perspective

source: toward decolonizing gender: female vision in the upper paleolithic, catherine hodge mccoid and leroy mcdermott, 1996"

[link dead, source available here:
https://anthrosource.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1525/aa.1996.98.2.02a00080 ]

[via: https://twitter.com/shuttupchris/status/1033069476395147264 ]
archaeology  art  bodies  gender  decolonization  paleolithic  catherinehodgemccoid  leroymcdermott  1996  perspective 
august 2018 by robertogreco
Below the Surface - Archeologische vondsten Noord/Zuidlijn Amsterdam
"The archaeological project of the North/South metro line

Urban histories can be told in a thousand ways. The archaeological research project of the North/South metro line lends the River Amstel a voice in the historical portrayal of Amsterdam. The Amstel was once the vital artery, the central axis, of the city. Along the banks of the Amstel, at its mouth in the IJ, a small trading port originated about 800 years ago. At Damrak and Rokin in the city centre, archaeologists had a chance to physically access the riverbed, thanks to the excavations for the massive infrastructure project of the North/South metro line between 2003 and 2012.

Rivers in cities are unlikely archaeological sites. It is not often that a riverbed, let alone one in the middle of a city, is pumped dry and can be systematically examined. The excavations in the Amstel yielded a deluge of finds, some 700,000 in all: a vast array of objects, some broken, some whole, all jumbled together. Damrak and Rokin proved to be extremely rich sites on account of the waste that had been dumped in the river for centuries and the objects accidentally lost in the water. The enormous quantity, great variety and everyday nature of these material remains make them rare sources of urban history. The richly assorted collection covers a vast stretch of time, from long before the emergence of the city right up to the present day. The objects paint a multi-facetted picture of daily life in the city of Amsterdam. Every find is a frozen moment in time, connecting the past and the present. The picture they paint of their era is extremely detailed and yet entirely random due to the chance of objects or remains sinking down into the riverbed and being retrieved from there. This is what makes this archaeological collection so fascinating, so poetically breathtaking and abstract at one and the same time.

In the following pages the scope and methods of the excavations are explained with special reference to the special nature of the River Amstel as an archaeological site, the specific goals of the research at Damrak and Rokin and the digital processing of the hundreds of thousands of finds, resulting in the website belowthesurface.amsterdam and the catalogue Stuff which presents 11,279 photographs of finds of the North/South metro line archaeological project."
amsterdam  history  museums  archaeology  rivers  cities  webdev  archives  time  timelines  collections  classideas 
june 2018 by robertogreco
Camilla Power: Did Gender Egalitarianism Make us Human? or, if Graeber and Wengrow won’t talk about sex … 15 March 2018 on Vimeo
"Camilla Power: Did gender egalitarianism make us human? or, if David Graeber and David Wengrow won't talk about sex and gender, it's not surprising they have almost nothing to say about equality or what drives change. Talk given on the picket line in the lobby of the Anthropology Building, 14 Taviton Street, London WC1H 0BW on 13 March 2018, organised by Anthrostrike: students supporting UCU lecturers' dispute.

Responding to Graeber and Wengrow's recent article 'How to change the course of human history (at least, the part that's already happened)' (Eurozine, 2018) and their earlier piece in JRAI 'Farewell to the "childhood of man": ritual, seasonality, and the origins of inequality' (2015), Camilla Power assesses their confusing claims about human 'origins' (or is that rather: some examples of upper palaeolithic archaeology in Europe and some old suppositions about where we come from), and highlights the question of equality as the crucial preliminary for a serious examination of the spread of social inequality. Power shows how, for evolutionary anthropology in this century, the recognition of female strategies and perspectives has become central to the understanding of how humans became what they are. A balance of power between the sexes was critical to the origin of symbolic culture and gender as our species emerged in Africa.

Camilla recommends for further reading:

'Introduction' to Human Origins: Contributions from Social Anthropology, edited by Camilla Power, Morna Finnegan and Hilary Callan, Berghahn, New York/Oxford, 2016
http://berghahnbooks.com/title/PowerHuman

'Egalitarianism and Machiavellian Intelligence in Human Evolution' by David Erdal and Andrew Whiten, in Modelling the Early Human Mind, edited by Paul Mellars and Kathleen Gibson, McDonald Institute, Cambridge, 1996, 139–150
http://researchgate.net/publication/273292486_Egalitarianism_and_Machiavellian_Intelligence_in_Human_Evolution

'Egalitarianism, Evolution of' by Cathryn Townsend in The International Encyclopaedia of Anthropology, edited by Hilary Callan Wiley Blackwell, Oxford, 2018
http://researchgate.net/publication/323126751_%27Egalitarianism_Evolution_of%27_2018_In_H_Callan_ed_%27The_International_Encyclopaedia_of_Anthropology%27_Wiley_Blackwell "
camillapower  egalitarianism  davidgraeber  davidwengrow  inequality  hunter-gatherers  equality  gender  humans  sex  archaeology  power  anthropology  mornafinnegan  hilarycallan  paulmellars  communism  mutualaid  evolution  kathleengibson  cathryntownsend  autonomy  independence  women  feminism  hierarchy  horizontality 
june 2018 by robertogreco
PIG/PORK: Archaeology, Zoology and Edibility: Pía Spry-Marqués: Bloomsbury Sigma
"Pigs unite and divide people, but why? Pig/Pork explores the love-hate relationship between humans and pigs through the lenses of archaeology, biology, history and gastronomy, providing a close and affectionate look of the myriad causes underlying this singular, multi-millennial bond.

What is it that people in all four corners of the world find so fascinating about the pig? When did the human obsession with pigs begin, how did it develop through time, and where is it heading? Why are pigs so special to some of us, but not to others? Pig/Pork sets out to answer these and other porcine-related questions, examining human-pig interactions across the globe through time, from the Palaeolithic to the present day. The book dissects pig anatomy and behaviour, and describes how this knowledge plays a major role in the advance of the agricultural and medical sciences, among others. The book also looks closely at the history of pig-human interaction; how they were domesticated and when, how they affected human history through their diseases, and how they have been involved in centuries of human conflicts, with particular reference to the story of the Iberian Jews and Muslims at the time of the Inquisition. The book goes on to look at how pigs' characteristics and our relationship with them have combined to produce many of the world's great dishes. All this is accompanied by a liberal peppering of pork recipes and the stories behind them, along with facts, wisdom and porker lore, providing a thought-provoking account of where our food comes from, both historically and agriculturally, and how this continues to influence many parts of our behaviour and culture."
pigs  books  pork  human-animalrelations  human-animalrelationships  morethanhuman  multispecies  livestock  agriculture  history  culture  food  archaeology  zoology  gastronomy  biology  science 
may 2018 by robertogreco
What prehistoric toys can tell us about human evolution - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
"In Many ways children shape our future — through their love of new things (particularly technology), ability to think outside the box and the ease with which they greet many new experiences and situations.

Now scientists are considering the importance of children in shaping not only the development of our complex cultures, but our evolution as a species.

To explore the possibilities, psychologists, primatologists, anthropologists, and archaeologists alike are studying how children learn, how they interpret and influence the world around them and how long ago such behaviour may have begun.

At this time, it appears that "kids have been kids" for many thousands of years — at the very least — and perhaps for much longer."
toys  history  human  humans  play  children  evolution  2018  michellelangley  archaeology  anthropology  srg 
april 2018 by robertogreco
Cultural Resources Services - Far Western
"Far Western Anthropological Research Group, Inc. | Cultural Resources Management Services | Archaeology

Since 1979, Far Western has worked in partnership with private industry, government agencies, tribal organizations, and non-profit groups, to achieve the broader goals of the environmental review and compliance process. Today, we are recognized as one of the leading cultural resources consulting firms in the United States."
anthropology  srg  archaeology  environment 
march 2018 by robertogreco
Survival of the Kindest: Dacher Keltner Reveals the New Rules of Power
"When Pixar was dreaming up the idea for Inside Out, a film that would explore the roiling emotions inside the head of a young girl, they needed guidance from an expert. So they called Dacher Keltner.

Dacher is a psychologist at UC Berkeley who has dedicated his career to understanding how human emotion shapes the way we interact with the world, how we properly manage difficult or stressful situations, and ultimately, how we treat one another.

In fact, he refers to emotions as the “language of social living.” The more fluent we are in this language, the happier and more meaningful our lives can be.

We tackle a wide variety of topics in this conversation that I think you’ll really enjoy.

You’ll learn:

• The three main drivers that determine your personal happiness and life satisfaction
• Simple things you can do everyday to jumpstart the “feel good” reward center of your brain
• The principle of “jen” and how we can use “high-jen behaviors” to bootstrap our own happiness
• How to have more positive influence in our homes, at work and in our communities.
• How to teach your kids to be more kind and empathetic in an increasingly self-centered world
• What you can do to stay grounded and humble if you are in a position of power or authority
• How to catch our own biases when we’re overly critical of another’s ideas (or overconfident in our own)

And much more. We could have spent an hour discussing any one of these points alone, but there was so much I wanted to cover. I’m certain you’ll find this episode well worth your time."
compassion  kindness  happiness  dacherkeltner  power  charlesdarwin  evolution  psychology  culture  society  history  race  racism  behavior  satisfaction  individualism  humility  authority  humans  humanism  morality  morals  multispecies  morethanhuman  objects  wisdom  knowledge  heidegger  ideas  science  socialdarwinism  class  naturalselection  egalitarianism  abolitionism  care  caring  art  vulnerability  artists  scientists  context  replicability  research  socialsciences  2018  statistics  replication  metaanalysis  socialcontext  social  borntobegood  change  human  emotions  violence  evolutionarypsychology  slvery  rape  stevenpinker  torture  christopherboehm  hunter-gatherers  gender  weapons  democracy  machiavelli  feminism  prisons  mentalillness  drugs  prisonindustrialcomplex  progress  politics  1990s  collaboration  canon  horizontality  hierarchy  small  civilization  cities  urban  urbanism  tribes  religion  dogma  polygamy  slavery  pigeons  archaeology  inequality  nomads  nomadism  anarchism  anarchy  agriculture  literacy  ruleoflaw  humanrights  governance  government  hannah 
march 2018 by robertogreco
When Scientists "Discover" What Indigenous People Have Known For Centuries | Science | Smithsonian
"Our knowledge of what animals do when humans aren’t around has steadily increased over the last 50 years. For example, we know now that animals use tools in their daily lives. Chimps use twigs to fish for termites; sea otters break open shellfish on rocks they selected; octopi carry coconut shell halves to later use as shelters. But the latest discovery has taken this assessment to new heights—literally.

A team of researchers led by Mark Bonta and Robert Gosford in northern Australia has documented kites and falcons, colloquially termed “firehawks,” intentionally carrying burning sticks to spread fire. While it has long been known that birds will take advantage of natural fires that cause insects, rodents and reptiles to flee and thus increase feeding opportunities, that they would intercede to spread fire to unburned locales is astounding.

It’s thus no surprise that this study has attracted great attention as it adds intentionality and planning to the repertoire of non-human use of tools. Previous accounts of avian use of fire have been dismissed or at least viewed with some skepticism.

But while new to Western science, the behaviors of the nighthawks have long been known to the Alawa, MalakMalak, Jawoyn and other Indigenous peoples of northern Australia whose ancestors occupied their lands for tens of thousands of years. Unlike most scientific studies, Bonta and Gosford’s team foregrounded their research in traditional Indigenous ecological knowledge. They also note that local awareness of the behavior of the firehawks is ingrained within some of their ceremonial practices, beliefs and creation accounts.

The worldwide attention given to the firehawks article provides an opportunity to explore the double standard that exists concerning the acceptance of Traditional Knowledge by practitioners of Western science.

Traditional Knowledge ranges from medicinal properties of plants and insights into the value of biological diversity to caribou migration patterns and the effects of intentional burning of the landscape to manage particular resources. Today, it’s become a highly valued source of information for archaeologists, ecologists, biologists, ethnobotanists, climatologists and others. For example, some climatology studies have incorporated Qaujimajatuqangit (Inuit traditional knowledge) to explain changes in sea ice conditions observed over many generations.

Yet despite the wide acknowledgement of their demonstrated value, many scientists continue to have had an uneasy alliance with Traditional Knowledge and Indigenous oral histories.

On the one hand, these types of knowledge are valued when they support or supplements archaeological, or other scientific evidence. But when the situation is reversed—when Traditional Knowledge is seen to challenge scientific “truths —then its utility is questioned or dismissed as myth. Science is promoted as objective, quantifiable, and the foundation for “real” knowledge creation or evaluation while Traditional Knowledge may be seen as anecdotal, imprecise and unfamiliar in form.

Are Indigenous and Western systems of knowledge categorically antithetical? Or do they offer multiple points of entry into knowledge of the world, past and present?

Ways of Knowing

There are many cases where science and history are catching up with what Indigenous peoples have long known.

For instance, in the past two decades, archaeologists and environmental scientists working in coastal British Columbia have come to recognize evidence of mariculture—the intentional management of marine resources—that pre-dates European settlement. Over the course of thousands of years, the ancestors of the Kwakwaka’wakw and other Indigenous groups there created and maintained what have become known as “clam gardens”—rock-walled, terrace-like constructions that provide ideal habit for butter clams and other edible shellfish.

To the Kwakwaka’wakw, these were known as loxiwey, according to Clan Chief Adam Dick (Kwaxsistalla) who has shared this term and his knowledge of the practice with researchers. As marine ecologist Amy Groesbeck and colleagues have demonstrated, these structures increase shellfish productivity and resource security significantly. This resource management strategy reflects a sophisticated body of ecological understanding and practice that predates modern management systems by millennia.

These published research studies now prove that Indigenous communities knew about mariculture for generations—but Western scientists never asked them about it before. Once tangible remains were detected, it was clear mariculture management was in use for thousands of years. There is a move underway by various Indigenous communities in the region to restore and recreate clam gardens and put them back into use.

A second example demonstrates how Indigenous oral histories correct inaccurate or incomplete historical accounts. There are significant differences between Lakota and Cheyenne accounts of what transpired at the Battle of Greasy Grass (Little Big Horn) in 1876, and the historical accounts that appeared soon after the battle by white commentators.

The Lakota and Cheyenne can be considered more objective than white accounts of the battle that are tainted by Eurocentric bias. The ledger drawings of Red Horse, a Minneconjou Sioux participant in the battle, record precise details such as trooper’s uniforms, the location of wounds on horses, and the distribution of Indian and white casualties.

In 1984, a fire at the battleground revealed military artifacts and human remains that prompted archaeological excavations. What this work revealed was a new, more accurate history of the battle that validated many elements of the Native American oral histories and accompanying pictographs and drawings of the events. However, without the archaeological evidence, many historians gave limited credence to the accounts obtained from the participating Native American warriors.

Hypotheses incorporating traditional knowledge-based information can lead the way toward unanticipated insights. The travels of Glooscap, a major figure in Abenaki oral history and worldview, are found throughout the Mi’kmaw homeland of the Maritime provinces of eastern Canada. As a Transformer, Glooscap created many landscape features. Anthropologist Trudy Sable (Saint Mary’s University) has noted a significant degree of correlation between places named in Mi’kmaw legends and oral histories and recorded archaeological sites.

Opportunities at the Intersection

As ways of knowing, Western and Indigenous Knowledge share several important and fundamental attributes. Both are constantly verified through repetition and verification, inference and prediction, empirical observations and recognition of pattern events.

While some actions leave no physical evidence (e.g. clam cultivation), and some experiments can’t be replicated (e.g. cold fusion), in the case of Indigenous knowledge, the absence of “empirical evidence” can be damning in terms of wider acceptance.

Some types of Indigenous knowledge, however, simply fall outside the realm of prior Western understanding. In contrast to Western knowledge, which tends to be text-based, reductionist, hierarchical and dependent on categorization (putting things into categories), Indigenous science does not strive for a universal set of explanations but is particularistic in orientation and often contextual. This can be a boon to Western science: hypotheses incorporating traditional knowledge-based information can lead the way toward unanticipated insights.

There are partnerships developing worldwide with Indigenous knowledge holders and Western scientists working together. This includes Traditional Ecological Knowledge informing government policies on resource management in some instances. But it is nonetheless problematic when their knowledge, which has been dismissed for so long by so many, becomes a valuable data set or used selectively by academics and others.

To return to the firehawks example, one way to look at this is that the scientists confirmed what the Indigenous peoples have long known about the birds’ use of fire. Or we can say that the Western scientists finally caught up with Traditional Knowledge after several thousand years."

[See also:
"How Western science is finally catching up to Indigenous knowledge: Traditional knowledge has become a highly valued source of information for archaeologists, ecologists, biologists, climatologists and others"
http://www.macleans.ca/society/how-western-science-is-finally-catching-up-to-indigenous-knowledge/

"It’s taken thousands of years, but Western science is finally catching up to Traditional Knowledge"
https://theconversation.com/its-taken-thousands-of-years-but-western-science-is-finally-catching-up-to-traditional-knowledge-90291 ]
science  indigenous  knowledge  archaeology  ecology  biology  climatology  climate  animals  nature  amygroesbeck  research  clams  butterclams  birds  morethanhuman  multispecies  knowing  scientism  anthropology  categorization  hierarchy  hawks  firehawks  fire  landscape  place  nativeamericans  eurocentricity  battleofgreasygrass  littlebighorn  adamdick  kwaxsistalla  clamgardens  shellfish  stewardship  inuit  australia  us  canada  markbonta  robertgosford  kites  falcons  trudysable  placenames  oralhistory  oralhistories  history  mariculture 
february 2018 by robertogreco
Guatemala's Maya Society Featured Huge 'Megalopolis,' LiDAR Data Show
"A vast, interconnected network of ancient cities was home to millions more people than previously thought."
classideas  maya  archaeology  empire  history  2018  guatemala  mesoamerica  americas  latinamerica  cities  ancient  lidar  maps  mapping  precolumbian 
february 2018 by robertogreco
Human cumulative culture: a comparative perspective [.pdf]
"Lewis G. Dean, Gill L. Vale, Kevin N. Laland, Emma Flynn and Rachel L. Kendal"

"Many animals exhibit social learning and behavioural traditions, but human culture exhibits unparalleled complexity and diversity, and is unambiguously cumulative in character. These similarities and differences have spawned a debate over whether animal traditions and human culture are reliant on homologous or analogous psychological processes. Human cumulative culture combines high-fidelity transmission of cultural knowledge with beneficial modifications to generate a ‘ratcheting’ in technological complexity, leading to the development of traits far more complex than one individual could invent alone. Claims have been made for cumulative culture in several species of animals, including chimpanzees, orangutans and New Caledonian crows, but these remain contentious. Whilst initial work on the topic of cumulative culture was largely theoretical, employing mathematical methods developed by population biologists, in recent years researchers from a wide range of disciplines, including psychology, biology, economics, biological anthropology, linguistics and archaeology, have turned their attention to the experimental investigation of cumulative culture. We review this literature, highlighting advances made in understanding the underlying processes of cumulative culture and emphasising areas of agreement and disagreement amongst investigators in separate fields."
lewisden  gillvale  kevinlaland  emmaflynn  rachelkendal  2013  culture  animals  human  humans  anthropology  biology  crows  corvids  multispecies  psychology  economics  cumulativeculture  apes  chimpanzees  orangutans  linguistics  archaeology  morethanhuman 
january 2018 by robertogreco
How Civilization Started | The New Yorker
"In “Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States,” James C. Scott, a professor of political science at Yale, presents a plausible contender for the most important piece of technology in the history of man. It is a technology so old that it predates Homo sapiens and instead should be credited to our ancestor Homo erectus. That technology is fire. We have used it in two crucial, defining ways. The first and the most obvious of these is cooking. As Richard Wrangham has argued in his book “Catching Fire,” our ability to cook allows us to extract more energy from the food we eat, and also to eat a far wider range of foods. Our closest animal relative, the chimpanzee, has a colon three times as large as ours, because its diet of raw food is so much harder to digest. The extra caloric value we get from cooked food allowed us to develop our big brains, which absorb roughly a fifth of the energy we consume, as opposed to less than a tenth for most mammals’ brains. That difference is what has made us the dominant species on the planet.

The other reason fire was central to our history is less obvious to contemporary eyes: we used it to adapt the landscape around us to our purposes. Hunter-gatherers would set fires as they moved, to clear terrain and make it ready for fast-growing, prey-attracting new plants. They would also drive animals with fire. They used this technology so much that, Scott thinks, we should date the human-dominated phase of earth, the so-called Anthropocene, from the time our forebears mastered this new tool.

We don’t give the technology of fire enough credit, Scott suggests, because we don’t give our ancestors much credit for their ingenuity over the long period—ninety-five per cent of human history—during which most of our species were hunter-gatherers. “Why human fire as landscape architecture doesn’t register as it ought to in our historical accounts is perhaps that its effects were spread over hundreds of millennia and were accomplished by ‘precivilized’ peoples also known as ‘savages,’ ” Scott writes. To demonstrate the significance of fire, he points to what we’ve found in certain caves in southern Africa. The earliest, oldest strata of the caves contain whole skeletons of carnivores and many chewed-up bone fragments of the things they were eating, including us. Then comes the layer from when we discovered fire, and ownership of the caves switches: the human skeletons are whole, and the carnivores are bone fragments. Fire is the difference between eating lunch and being lunch."



"It was the ability to tax and to extract a surplus from the produce of agriculture that, in Scott’s account, led to the birth of the state, and also to the creation of complex societies with hierarchies, division of labor, specialist jobs (soldier, priest, servant, administrator), and an élite presiding over them. Because the new states required huge amounts of manual work to irrigate the cereal crops, they also required forms of forced labor, including slavery; because the easiest way to find slaves was to capture them, the states had a new propensity for waging war. Some of the earliest images in human history, from the first Mesopotamian states, are of slaves being marched along in neck shackles. Add this to the frequent epidemics and the general ill health of early settled communities and it is not hard to see why the latest consensus is that the Neolithic Revolution was a disaster for most of the people who lived through it.

War, slavery, rule by élites—all were made easier by another new technology of control: writing. “It is virtually impossible to conceive of even the earliest states without a systematic technology of numerical record keeping,” Scott maintains. All the good things we associate with writing—its use for culture and entertainment and communication and collective memory—were some distance in the future. For half a thousand years after its invention, in Mesopotamia, writing was used exclusively for bookkeeping: “the massive effort through a system of notation to make a society, its manpower, and its production legible to its rulers and temple officials, and to extract grain and labor from it.” Early tablets consist of “lists, lists and lists,” Scott says, and the subjects of that record-keeping are, in order of frequency, “barley (as rations and taxes), war captives, male and female slaves.” Walter Benjamin, the great German Jewish cultural critic, who committed suicide while trying to escape Nazi-controlled Europe, said that “there is no document of civilization which is not at the same time a document of barbarism.” He meant that every complicated and beautiful thing humanity ever made has, if you look at it long enough, a shadow, a history of oppression. As a matter of plain historical fact, that seems right. It was a long and traumatic journey from the invention of writing to your book club’s discussion of Jodi Picoult’s latest."



"The news here is that the lives of most of our progenitors were better than we think. We’re flattering ourselves by believing that their existence was so grim and that our modern, civilized one is, by comparison, so great. Still, we are where we are, and we live the way we live, and it’s possible to wonder whether any of this illuminating knowledge about our hunter-gatherer ancestors can be useful to us. Suzman wonders the same thing. He discusses John Maynard Keynes’s famous 1930 essay “The Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren.” Keynes speculated that if the world continued to get richer we would naturally end up enjoying a high standard of living while doing much less work. He thought that “the economic problem” of having enough to live on would be solved, and “the struggle for subsistence” would be over:
When the accumulation of wealth is no longer of high social importance, there will be great changes in the code of morals. We shall be able to rid ourselves of many of the pseudo-moral principles which have hag-ridden us for two hundred years, by which we have exalted some of the most distasteful of human qualities into the position of the highest virtues. We shall be able to afford to dare to assess the money-motive at its true value. The love of money as a possession—as distinguished from the love of money as a means to the enjoyments and realities of life—will be recognized for what it is, a somewhat disgusting morbidity, one of those semi-criminal, semi-pathological propensities which one hands over with a shudder to the specialists in mental disease.

The world has indeed got richer, but any such shift in morals and values is hard to detect. Money and the value system around its acquisition are fully intact. Greed is still good.

The study of hunter-gatherers, who live for the day and do not accumulate surpluses, shows that humanity can live more or less as Keynes suggests. It’s just that we’re choosing not to. A key to that lost or forsworn ability, Suzman suggests, lies in the ferocious egalitarianism of hunter-gatherers. For example, the most valuable thing a hunter can do is come back with meat. Unlike gathered plants, whose proceeds are “not subject to any strict conventions on sharing,” hunted meat is very carefully distributed according to protocol, and the people who eat the meat that is given to them go to great trouble to be rude about it. This ritual is called “insulting the meat,” and it is designed to make sure the hunter doesn’t get above himself and start thinking that he’s better than anyone else. “When a young man kills much meat,” a Bushman told the anthropologist Richard B. Lee, “he comes to think of himself as a chief or a big man, and he thinks of the rest of us as his servants or inferiors. . . . We can’t accept this.” The insults are designed to “cool his heart and make him gentle.” For these hunter-gatherers, Suzman writes, “the sum of individual self-interest and the jealousy that policed it was a fiercely egalitarian society where profitable exchange, hierarchy, and significant material inequality were not tolerated.”

This egalitarian impulse, Suzman suggests, is central to the hunter-gatherer’s ability to live a life that is, on its own terms, affluent, but without abundance, without excess, and without competitive acquisition. The secret ingredient seems to be the positive harnessing of the general human impulse to envy. As he says, “If this kind of egalitarianism is a precondition for us to embrace a post-labor world, then I suspect it may prove a very hard nut to crack.” There’s a lot that we could learn from the oldest extant branch of humanity, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to put the knowledge into effect. A socially positive use of envy—now, that would be a technology almost as useful as fire."
jamescscott  fire  technology  hunter-gatherers  2017  anthropology  johnlanchester  anthropocene  sedentism  agriculture  nomads  nomadism  archaeology  writing  legibility  illegibility  state  civilization  affluence  abundance  jamessuzman  bushmen  kalahari  namibia  khoisan  mesopotamia  egalitarianism  humans  self-interest  jealousy  greed  inequality  accumulation  motivation  society  happiness  money 
october 2017 by robertogreco
dog archaeology | archaeological research on dogs, domestication
"Described here are our archaeological studies on dogs, and their relationships with humans, in the far distant past. Our project is based at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada and is led by Dr. Robert Losey, an archaeologist who specializes in human-animal interaction, particularly those with dogs.

Our multi-disciplinary research team conducts most of its studies in Eastern Russia, including Siberia and the Russian Far East. We are primarily funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), but the team also collaborates and integrates its studies with a number of other international projects.

For our work to be successful, we need your input and help! Please click on the links above to learn more."

[via https://uofa.ualberta.ca/arts/about/people-collection/robert-j-losey
via https://twitter.com/annegalloway/status/719347988976377857 ]
dogs  archaeology  animals  multispecies  human-animalrelationships  human-animalrelations 
april 2016 by robertogreco
Digital Manifesto Archive
"This collection aggregates manifestos concerned with making as a subpractice of the digital humanities."



"This archive is an academic resource dedicated to aggregating and cataloging manifestos that fall under two basic criteria. 1) The Digital Manifesto Archive features manifestos that focus on the political and cultural dimensions of digital life. 2) The Digital Manifesto Archive features manifestos that are written, or are primarily disseminated, online.

The manifesto genre is, by definition, timely and politically focused. Further, it is a primary site of political, cultural, and social experimentation in our contemporary world. Manifestos that are created and disseminated online further this experimental ethos by fundamentally expanding the character and scope of the genre.

Each category listed on the archive is loosely organized by theme, political affiliation, and (if applicable) time period. While the political movements and affiliations of the manifestos archived in each category are not universal, each category does try to capture a broad spectrum of political moods and actions with regard to its topic.

This site is meant to preserve manifestos for future research and teaching. The opinions expressed by each author are their own.

This archive was created by Matt Applegate. Our database and website was created by Graham Higgins (gwhigs). It is maintained by Matt Applegate and Yu Yin (Izzy) To
You can contact us at digitalmanifestoarchive@gmail.com.

This project is open source. You can see gwhigs' work for the site here: Digital Manifesto Archive @ Github.com"
manifestos  digital  digitalhumanities  archives  making  mattapplegate  yuyin  designfiction  criticalmaking  engineering  capitalism  feminism  hacking  hacktivism  digitalmarkets  digitaldiaspora  internetofthings  iot  cyberpunk  mediaecology  media  publishing  socialmedia  twitter  ethics  digitalculture  piracy  design  bigdata  transhumanism  utopianism  criticaltheory  mediaarchaeology  opensource  openaccess  technofeminism  gaming  digitalaesthetics  digitaljournalism  journalism  aesthetics  online  internet  web  technocracy  archaeology  education  afrofuturism  digitalart  art  blogging  sopa  aaronswartz  pipa  anarchism  anarchy 
february 2016 by robertogreco
Anthropologists in Outer Space - SAPIENS
"Today we not only look at the stars, we send spacecraft to investigate outer space and plan for human habitation on other worlds. The United States and the Soviet Union first sent animals up in rockets in the 1940s, and in 1961 Yuri Gagarin became the first human to travel to space. By 1969, humans had walked on the moon. Soon after, anthropologists were discussing the problem of how to study emerging cultures of space—a place few people had even been to. In the 1970s, anthropologist and futurist Magoroh Maruyama organized a series of discussions on outer space at the annual American Anthropological Association meetings and the International Congress of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences. These meetings led to the publication of the 1975 book “Cultures Beyond the Earth: The Role of Anthropology in Outer Space.”

In the 1980s, anthropologist Ben Finney turned his eye to space. He combined his experience in the U.S. Navy and the aerospace industry with his anthropological research on how Polynesian people could have crossed the Pacific Ocean. In 1994 anthropologist Roland A. Foulkes drew from this earlier work by Maruyama, Finney, and other anthropologists in his essay “Why Space? An Anthropologist’s Response.” Foulkes even talked about possible names for the field of anthropology that studies space, suggesting astroanthropology, exoanthropology, aerospace-anthropology, or extraterrestrial anthropology.

The call for anthropologists to study outer space was revived in 2009 when anthropologists David Valentine, Valerie Olson, and Debbora Battaglia published a commentary in Anthropology News called “Encountering the Future: Anthropology and Outer Space.” Since “being earthbound is not a limitation” for humans, they argued, it shouldn’t be for anthropologists either.

Over the last decade, anthropologists studying space have written about dozens of topics, including the debate over Pluto’s status as a planet (Lisa Messeri, University of Virginia); how we respond to the threat of an asteroid hitting Earth (Valerie Olson, University of California, Irvine); the diaries kept by cosmonauts while they lived in space (Debbora Battaglia, Mount Holyoke College); new companies and communities in the private space-exploration industry (David Valentine, University of Minnesota); the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (Kathryn Denning, York University); and the science of studying extraterrestrial life (Stefan Helmreich, MIT).

There is even an archaeology of outer space. At Flinders University in Australia, archaeologist Alice Gorman studies the debris we leave in space, from old satellites orbiting the earth to spacecraft, robots, and even shadows on the moon. In her TED talk Gorman explains how the stuff we think of as useless “space junk” actually has value as part of our cultural heritage.

It takes imagination to think like this. Gorman uses her expertise in archaeology and anthropology to imagine how a piece of technology from our recent history could be an important artifact in the future. Work like this inspires me to wonder what human culture might look like in the future—in one hundred, one thousand, or even ten thousand years. This kind of future-aware anthropology draws from both science and science fiction. And in turn, science-fiction authors such as Ursula K. Le Guin, Octavia Butler, Samuel Delany, Phillip K. Dick, and Frank Herbert are all doing speculative anthropology when they use their knowledge of life here on Earth to write fictional works about people, cultures, and landscapes elsewhere and otherwise—on other worlds and in possible futures.

Science fiction has also been an inspiration for space scientists and astronauts. Dr. Mae Jemison, the first woman of color in space, was inspired as a child when she saw Nichelle Nichols playing Lieutenant Uhura on the bridge of the Enterprise in the original “Star Trek” television series. Science fiction also serves as a way of thinking about some of the anthropological problems of both Earth and outer space. What sort of worlds do we imagine might be out there around other stars? What kinds of life, culture, cities, spacecraft, philosophies, and religions might extraterrestrial civilizations have? I also like the idea of turning this extraterrestrial gaze back toward ourselves to ask, What would Earth look like to us if we were looking at it from another world?"



"Anthropologists have often studied what appear at first to be great differences between human communities living across this planet. There are long-standing and ongoing debates in anthropology about differences and similarities, universals and particulars—about how much we can really know or understand about other people’s lives, beliefs, views, and worlds. Anthropology of space can be another way of thinking about these questions. What might we see if we change the scale of the anthropological perspective, imagine ourselves from elsewhere, and look at Earth as a whole from space? For all our apparent differences, perhaps visitors from another world would look down at this small blue planet we live on and think that we’re all quite similar after all."
michaeloman-reagan  space  anthropology  history  future  2016  culture  carlsagan  scifi  sciencefiction  speculativeanthropology  archaeoastronomy  archaeology  astroanthropology  exoanthropology  aerospace-anthropology  extraterrestrialanthropology  magorohmaruyama  benfinney  polynesia  davidvalentine  valerieolson  debborabattaglia  outerspace  lisamesseri  astronauts  cosmonauts  kathryndenning  stefanhelmreich  alicegorman  spacecraft  maejemison  ursulaleguin  octaviabutler  samueldelany  phillipkdick  frankherbert 
february 2016 by robertogreco
Inside Kauai's Past - Archaeology Magazine
"Ideal conditions within an ancient cave system are revealing a rich history that reaches back to a time before humans settled the island and extends to the present day"
hawaii  kauai  anthropology  caves  history  humans  2015  archaeology 
may 2015 by robertogreco
Tech is Catching Up | A Stick in the Sand
"I was listening to CBC Radio on the way home from work–a story on the discovery of one of the ships, the HMS Erebus, from the lost Franklin expedition in what is now Canada’s Arctic in 1845. 

Parks Canada archaeologists found the  Ereberus using high resolution underwater still and video photography. Inuit oral history also tells of the ill-fated voyage and provided important clues to the wrecks location. But it was only recently, said the reporter, that “technology is catching up with oral traditions.”

Made me smile."

[See also: “Franklin find proves 'Inuit oral history is strong:' Louie Kamookak”
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/franklin-find-proves-inuit-oral-history-is-strong-louie-kamookak-1.2761362

"Some in Nunavut are welcoming the discovery of one of Sir John Franklin's ships off King William Island as proof of the reliability of Inuit oral history, and a potential boost for tourism.

Louie Kamookak, a historian in Gjoa Haven, the community closest to the discovery, has spent more than 30 years interviewing elders to collect the stories passed down about the Franklin expedition.

He sat down with Parks Canada in 2008 before the current search began and provided them with information as to where the ships would likely be found.

"It's proving the Inuit oral history is very strong," he said.

The two ships of the Franklin expedition — HMS Erebus and HMS Terror — and their crews disappeared during an ill-fated search for the Northwest Passage in 1846.

Inuit oral tradition said the two ships appeared on the northwest side of King William Island, said Kamookak. One was crushed in ice and the other drifted further south.

It was afloat for two winters before it sank. Elders said there may have been people living on it during the first winter, but there were no signs of people during the second winter.

"For us Inuit it means that oral history is very strong in knowledge, not only for searching for Franklin's ships but also for environment and other issues," Kamookak said.

Archeologist Dr. Doug Stenton, director of heritage for the Government of Nunavut, was aboard the vessel that made the discovery on Sunday. He says the team may not have found the ship 11 metres underwater without Inuit knowledge.

"It's very satisfying to see that testimony of Inuit who shared their knowledge of what happened to the wreck has been validated quite clearly," he said.

Author David Woodman agrees. His book Unravelling the Franklin Mystery drew on more than a century of Inuit oral testimony.

"The Inuit are validated more than anything else," he said. "All that really happened was it took 200 years for our technology to get good enough to tell us that Inuit were telling us the truth."]
bradovenell-carter  hmserebus  johnfranklin  1945  inuit  technology  oraltradition  memory  photography  location  geography  archaeology  2015  davidwoodman 
april 2015 by robertogreco
Residential Archaeology – MAS CONTEXT
"The cultural phenomenon of customization, the appropriation of things to make them personal, has been the focus of study for years. We can see it daily in the objects that we transform and recycle, between efficiency and aesthetics. If we extrapolate this idea to the discipline of architecture, it becomes even more interesting, albeit of varying intensity: from the wallpaper to the added floor level and through various degrees of appropriation in between.

The approach of Modern Architecture, such as the universal space from the early 20th Century, becoming even more common in the 1950s in houses by Craig Elwood or Richard Neutra among others, has been transformed nowadays into the idea of neutral space, empty, ready to be occupied.

There are also curious examples such as the Appliance House and the Put-Away Villa by the couple formed by Peter and Alison Smithson. In the first one, architecture and household goods are the same, taking to the limit the idea that we are only passing through the spaces. Ideas such as comfort are taken to the extreme in the growing amount of advertising of autos and appliances.

From the industrialized architecture of those spaces we had to extract the particular aesthetic related to the prefabrication process. It is time for architects and manufacturers to address the problem from the opposite end of the scale and make buildings that emanate living habitats and reflect the needs of those who inhabit the spaces.

In the second example, a few years later and almost in opposition, the warehouse house, where we all collect, resulting in the need for a deposit, which requires the occupation of a third of the house: the place for objects-that-you-don’t-use-now-and-that-perhaps-won’t-be-used-anymore. Ultimately, it is the domestication of the spaces.

Let’s recall the performance “I Like America and America Likes Me” (1974) by Joseph Beuys. In it, Beuys is separated from his usual space in order to be placed in a single space along with a coyote, also separated from its natural habitat. Cohabitation and making the space human, space domesticated.

Finally we are generally talking about two things: first, how we get to the spaces and second, how we fill them and therefore, how we transform them.

We must pause and think, how do users (of different social class) personalize their spaces? What can we learn and understand from the materiality of life? Does this have anything to do with the materiality of the projects designed by architects and with any social commitment?

Le Corbusier, Mario Pani, Teodoro González de León, among others, have focused on the constructive materiality, in methods of self-construction or low-cost construction. But, what about the materiality of the everyday? What happens between the mere representation that the architect proposes and the everyday occupation by the resident?

Residential Archaeology consists, therefore, of:

1. Drawing in an archeological way three things: the space occupied by the architecture itself; the everyday life infrastructure, that is, furniture; and the elements that provide use to the furniture, those that humanize them.

2. Studying the impact in terms of occupancy, density and time. An archaeological GPS that subtly gets transformed by the passing of the hours and the collecting of objects, and sometimes their final destination. What we called earlier the objects-that-you-don’t-use-now-and-that-perhaps-won’t-be-used-anymore. How do they alter and reconfigure the space?

3. As a result, the project proposes the registration of these styles-modes-adjustments of life in an electronic file in order to observe their impact and make the design and use evident. Additionally, the project makes a 1:1 scale comparison of each unit: a rug-map, as if drawn by hand on the floor itself, recalling the images we have of when we did so as children on the street or sidewalk. It is, in the end, a recording as George Perec explains in Life A User’s Manual.

The project places the Unité d’habitation in Marseille, the Tlatelolco housing complex, the Mixcoac Towers, the CUPA and Unidad Esperanza under equal conditions, like it does with its authors: Le Corbusier, Mario Pani and Teodoro González de León. All are perhaps pieces of the same puzzle that builds and shows more faithfully what, perhaps, we should take more into account, how we domesticate the spaces.

Citing [furniture and interior designer] Clara Porset, “we could not impose the tenant to acquire the furniture that had been created specifically for his home, nor did we think about convincing him. Instead, we chose to instruct him about design in general, providing him with a culture of housing.”"
housing  architecture  archaeology  residentialarchaeology  tlatelolco  mixcoactowers  lecorbusier  mariopani  teodorogonzálezdeleón  space  everyday  infrastructure  furniture  juancarlostello  residential  cupa  mexicocity  mexico  marseille  france  customization  josephbeuys  humans  domestication  habitat  craigelwood  richardneutra  modernism  df  mexicodf 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Intimate Spaces: The Archaeology of Pockets | Archaeology and Material Culture
"Few spaces could be more familiar yet more unremarked upon than pockets. Clothing pockets are a presence of sorts, but like edges of an excavation unit their material definition may be made by their tangible boundaries and the things in them rather than the vacuum that is perhaps the actual pocket. Pockets are distinctively intimate since they are stitched into our public garments yet conceal our bodies, and they hold a narrow range of small things like coins, keys, wallets, phones, makeup, lighters, and similar objects that for various reasons are held close to our bodies and accessible to our hands. There are some idiosyncratic but illuminating insights into privacy, place, and self that can be made based on an “excavation” of pockets and the cargo that finds refuge in them.

Maybe our use of some pockets is largely functional, like a right-hander who habitually slides their key chain into their readily accessible right front pants pocket. Yet many pocket use patterns are the complicated result of longstanding practices and the vagaries of fashion. For instance, men’s back pants pockets often betray “billfold bulge,” which is even worse in the face of contour-hugging skinny jeans and similar cuts. In 1977, the Palm Beach Post assessed increasingly lean European pants cuts and pocket-less pants and recognized pocket use was a force of habit, concluding that “most men just don’t feel comfortable unless everything is in the same place its been for years.” Thirty years later Details advised that there “is absolutely no need for you to shove an engorged wallet in the pocket of your $400 jeans.” They concluded that “the contemporary pocket-stuffer is one of three things: an oblivious creature of habit, a man too insecure to carry a shoulder bag, or someone lacking the organizational skills to pare down the clutter that sits like a benign tumor on his right cheek to a couple of $100 bills and an AmEx.”

Much of pocket use is rooted in ideological notions of gender, class, and sexuality, historical fashion styles, and unexamined pocket use habits. Since the late 19th century masculinity ideologies and fashion have cast pockets as somehow distinctively “masculine” reserves. In the 18th century women’s garments included concealed pockets, with expansive tie pockets under dresses and petticoats in use for roughly two centuries. Garments began to include far fewer pockets in the late 19th century as dresses and coats became more streamlined and the handbag became the carry-all of choice for women. In 1899 a New York Times commentator noted the gradual disappearance of women’s garment pockets and remembered that “our grandmothers . . . used to have big, deep pockets in their skirts which they could get at somehow and in which they usually carried the household keys, a ball of yarn with knitting needles stuck in it, a little smooth-worn gourd for darning operations, and very often a few doughnuts or cookies and apples and a pair of spectacles.”

[via: http://russelldavies.typepad.com/planning/2015/02/pockets.html ]
pockets  archaeology  everyday  carrying  inventories  2015  handbags  backpacks  contents  objects  history  anthropology  abrahamlincoln  clothing  wearables  wearable  gender  georgelegrady  jasontravis  erintaylor  lindaalstead  rafaellozano-hemmer  francoisrobert  hannahsmithallen  meredithbrickell 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Medieval Animal Data-Network | Multidisciplinary research on medieval animals
"The aim of the blog is to stimulate academic conversations and debates between scholars concerned with all aspects of the animal-human relationship in the Middle Ages and Early Modern Age. The blog will cover multi-disciplinary information ranging from texts to image to material culture and bio archaeology. The MAD project considers critical to examine human-animal interactions in the past from many different angles. At the same time, the project acknowledges that true interdisciplinary research is extremely difficult to achieve. However, the tendency in research approaches to use only single data sources often results in a “flat” picture of the way animals were integrated into all aspects of medieval society. We envision publishing posts based on analyses of multiple data categories including textual sources, images, archaeological topographic data, artifacts, and archaeozoological faunal data. Blog posts may also contain bibliographic information connected to particular beasts or animal topics. We also aim to provide up-to-date information on activities of the MAD project, conferences reviews, book reviews and other relevant research projects on medieval animal studies. The blog will provide a virtual space for researchers, students and all people interested in animal-human connections in the past, to access information which is otherwise dispersed and difficult to find."
middleages  animalhumanrelationships  animals  archaeology 
september 2014 by robertogreco
New to the Archaeologist’s Tool Kit: The Drone - NYTimes.com
"Archaeologists around the world, who have long relied on the classic tools of their profession, like the trowel and the plumb bob, are now turning to the modern technology of drones to defend and explore endangered sites. And perhaps nowhere is the shift happening as swiftly as in Peru, where Dr. Castillo has created a drone air force to map, monitor and safeguard his country’s ancient treasures.

Drones mark “a before and after in archaeology,” said Dr. Castillo, who is also a prominent archaeologist and one of a dozen experts who will outline the use of drones at a conference in San Francisco next year.

In remote northwestern New Mexico, archaeologists are using drones outfitted with thermal-imaging cameras to track the walls and passages of a 1,000-year-old Chaco Canyon settlement, now buried beneath the dirt.

In the Middle East, researchers have employed them to guard against looting.

“Aerial survey at the site is allowing for the identification of new looting pits and determinations of whether any of the looters’ holes had been revisited,” said Morag Kersel, an archaeologist from DePaul University in Chicago who is part of a team using drones in Jordan and Israel.

Peru, with its stunning concentration of archaeological riches, is suddenly fertile ground to try out this new technology. The country is becoming a research hot spot as archaeologists in the Middle East and elsewhere find their work interrupted by unrest.

But in Peru they encounter another kind of conflict. Here they struggle to protect the country’s archaeological heritage from squatters and land traffickers, who often secure property through fraud or political connections to profit from rising land values. Experts say hundreds, perhaps thousands of ancient sites are endangered by such encroachment.

The drones can address the problem, quickly and cheaply, by providing bird’s-eye views of ruins that can be converted into 3-D images and highly detailed maps.

The maps are then used to legally register the protected boundaries of sites, a kind of landmarking that can be cited in court to prevent development or to punish those who damage ruins by building anyway."
drones  archaeology  droneproject  2014  perú 
august 2014 by robertogreco
Our first digital publication series: Archaeology of the Digital | Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA)
"Most of the material displayed in the 2013 exhibition Archaeology of the Digital had a strong physical presence – sketches, printouts, photographs and models – and exposed the fact that many of the digital files were lost or inaccessible. But subsequent phases of this three-year research program— which studies the genesis and establishment of digital tools for the conceptualization, visualization, and production of architecture—have created new challenges on how to display and give access to the twenty-five projects being documented.

Following the release of the print publication accompanying the 2013 exhibition, the question was how the born-digital materials of these projects could be disseminated and their experience enhanced. The decision to develop a new type of electronic publication for Archaeology of the Digital was to highlight the specificity of the digital material and make it as widely accessible as possible. The result is a monthly series of digital monographs on each of the featured projects.

Each monograph includes a conversation between the series editor Greg Lynn and the architect of the featured project, as well as a selection of media that will be published for the first time as digital files, rather than print representations of those files, advancing the boundaries of architectural publishing.

“It features interactive slideshows and videos, a nearly unique innovation in a published reflowable ePub. New issues will continue to advance the boundaries of ePub technology in relation to both its users and producers, a process that parallels the subjects covered by the series,” explain New York-based studio Linked by Air, who designed and developed the series.



Forthcoming publications in the series will include the Expanding Sphere and Iris Dome by Chuck Hoberman, Odawara Municipal Sports Complex and Galaxy Toyama Gymnasium by Shoei Yoh, Lewis House by Frank Gehry, Muscle NSA by ONL (Kas Oosterhuis and Ilona Lénàrd), Hyposurface by deCOI (Mark Goulthorpe), Objectile Panels by Objectile (Bernard Cache), Catastrophe Machine and X Phylum by Karl Chu, Virtual New York Stock Exchange by Asymptote Architects (Lise Anne Couture and Hani Rashid), H2Oexpo by NOX (Lars Spuybroek), the Yokohama Ferry Terminal by FOA, projects by Neil Denari, UN Studio, RUR/Reiser Umemoto, Wolf Prix, Preston Scott Cohen, Morphosis/Thom Mayne, and more. The series is available on iBooks and can be downloaded directly to your Mac, iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch.

The CCA’s first e-book accompanied the exhibition Imperfect Health: The Medicalization of Architecture, in collaboration with Lars Müller Publishers – a fixed-layout ePub that replicated the graphic design and narrative structure of the original print publication for tablet reading."
digital  publishing  ebooks  media  mediaarchitecture  archives  archaeology  digitalarchaeology  via:shannon_mattern 
april 2014 by robertogreco
The Art of Onfim
"One of the most fascinating archeological finds in Russia has been the discovery of hundreds of "birchbark documents" (messages written on the bark of birch trees with a sharp stylus) that were created from the 11th to the 15th century.

The birchbark documents of Novgorod are a major source for information about life in Medieval Novgorod because they are not the writings of church theologians or political leaders, but rather, personal messages, IOUs, love letters, shopping lists, and so on. One of the most fascinating items, in my mind, is a collection of children's drawings that have been unearthed.

Children's drawings in the Middle Ages?! Even if such things were created in period, how could they have survived to the present day? After all, finger paints, magic markers, and crayons were not yet in use, paper was far too valuable of a commodity to waste on children, and refrigerator doors were unavailable for the display of Junior's artistic genius. Most of the products of childhood inspiration probably were expressed on the ephemeral canvas of dirt or sand.

But birchbark was a different story. The bark was widely available (although there are indications that excessive use of the medium caused a decline in the local birch population) and easily cultivated. Anyone could use it. When one was finished with the message, it was simply thrown into the mud, where the presence of water and clay created an unusually bacteria-free environment which preserved the documents. So, we have the ideal medium: cheap, easy to come by, and (thanks to unique geology) preserved for hundreds of years.

The drawings from Novgorod that we have found appear to all come from a Russian boy named Onfim, who lived at the end of the twelfth century or beginning of the thirteenth century in the city of Novgorod. By the estimate of the archaeologists who unearthed his works, he was around seven years old at the time that he made these drawings."

[posted here: http://robertogreco.tumblr.com/post/53472087542/one-of-several-images-from-the-art-of-onfim ]
onfim  art  history  children  drawings  paulwickenden  archaeology  russia 
december 2013 by robertogreco
Lasers, Drones, and Future Tech on the Front Lines of Archaeology
"James Newhard is Director of Archaeology at the College of Charleston, where he works to bring 3D imaging, mobile technology and geographic information systems to a field more popularly associated with shovels and dusty brushes. Gizmodo got in touch with Dr. Newhard to learn how he uses emerging tech to dig deep into ancient societies."



"In another blog post you mention drones in archaeology. What's a good example of how you could use drones?

Drones—oh man, they are hot. In early 2000, I was a grad student working in Albania with a young PhD. We had the inglorious task of mapping the site. We’d start out every morning, and jot down a point every four to five steps to make a high-resolution topographic map. It took us about 12 weeks of field work to put that map together.

Now, you just put a couple sensors on a drone and fly that thing over the site, and you’ve got it in a day. It goes off at a low altitude and snaps everything up; the images are all geo-rectified; bada bing bada boom, there it is."
jamesnewhard  archaeology  3dimaging  mobiletechnology  mobile  gis  fieldwork  geoffmanaugh  drones  droneproject  maps  mapping 
october 2013 by robertogreco
Media Archaeology Lab
"Founded in 2009 and based at the University of Colorado at Boulder, the motto of the Media Archaeology Lab (MAL) is that “the past must be lived so that the present can be seen.” Nearly all digital media labs are conceived of as a place for experimental research using the most up-to-date, cutting-edge tools available. However, the MAL—which is the largest of its kind in North America—is a place for cross-disciplinary experimental research and teaching using obsolete tools, hardware, software and platforms, from the past. The MAL is propelled equally by the need to both preserve and maintain access to historically important media of all kinds – from magic lanterns, projectors, typewriters to personal computers from the 1970s through the 1990s – as well as early works of digital literature/art which were created on the outdated hardware/software housed in the lab."



"What the MAL does best is that it provides direct access to defining moments in the history of computing and e-literature. In addition to landmark computers such as the Commodore 64 from 1982, the Vectrex Gaming Console also from 1982, the Compaq III portable laptop from 1987, the NeXT Cube from 1990, the lab also houses working Apple IIe’s and a rare Apple Lisa. These last two computers are particularly important for understanding the history of personal computing and computer-mediated writing; while they were both released in 1983, the shift in interface from the one to the other, and therefore the shift in the limits and possibilities for what one could create, is remarkable. The Apple II series of computers all used the command-line interface and they were also the first affordable, user-friendly, and so most popular personal computers ever while the Apple Lisa was the first commercial computer to use a Graphical User Interface."
collaboration  computers  medialab  technology  mediaarchaeology  loriemerson  archives  archiving  archaeology  mitmedialab 
july 2013 by robertogreco
Michael Shanks
"Archaeologists do not discover the past; they work on what remains. Archaeology is about our relationships with what is left of the past.

My archaeology began, and continues, in the Roman borders of the north of England and Scotland, exploring Hadrian's Wall, the great medieval city of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, then north through the heartland of Celtic Christianity and the landscapes of Walter Scott. I have also specialized in studying the first Greek cities in the Mediterranean (ten years and more looking through the lens of ceramics and urban design), as well as early farming societies and their monuments in Wessex and Sweden - new models and stories of early agriculture, the first cities and empires, long term social and cultural trends, and how making things is at the heart of the human condition.

Archaeology - design research

Pragmatogony - the geneaology of things - where things come from

These are two topics that fascinate me. Because making and using things makes us who we are. This fascination lies behind my research into ancient Greek perfume jars, as well as archaeologies of the contemporary past - beer cans, and cars. Practice-based research - my contribution to our d.school (The Hasso Plattner Institute of Design) and The Revs Program at Stanford brings archaeological perspectives to bear on innovative industrial design, and on creativity in general, where the best of design studios is a kind of museum - a home of the creative Muses. My own lab or studio at Stanford is called Metamedia.

Understanding creativity and innovation

I have also always adored the company of artists - my wife Helen works in ceramics (see some of her fabulous work here - [link]). I have had the privilege of working with some wonderful talents - notably Brith Gof, Lynn Hershman Leeson and the members of the Presence Project). I think that the Arts and Humanities are a fascinating research laboratory, helping us think freshly about how we have got to be where we are - and what we might do about it.

Above all, perhaps, I am currently enjoying a renewed childhood with my children Molly and Ben, who forever remind me to wonder at the most mundane of things, and to connect our fascination with the past with the legacies we leave behind for the future.

We are all archaeologists now ..."
michaelshanks  archaeology  past  present  future  time  place  memory  genealogy  genealogyofthings  metamedia  creativity  innovation  anthropology  pesenceproject  brithgof  lynnhershmanleeson  pragmatogony 
march 2013 by robertogreco
Michael Shanks: Archaeological manifesto
"Archaeologists don't discover the past;
they work on what remains
with a view to the present and the future.

Archaeology is THE discipline of things - the history of design, innovation, creativity, how people get on with the material world, materiality itself.

Archaeologists deal in the life of things.

Archaeology is also our only access to a long term perspective on history and what it is to be human Archaeological evidence frequently provides insights counter to the great narratives of history that we have grown so used to over the last couple of centuries.

I have researched megalithic monuments in an archaeology of the prehistoric body, ancient Greek perfume jars in the early city state, the design of contemporary beer cans, managed a project with DaimlerChrysler to develop a model of the car interior of 2015, in an archaeology of the contemporary past. My current fieldwork is revisiting an old genre of writing on the land - chorography - in a study of the Roman borders with Scotland - how to understand and represent a region, in the context of imperial incursion and local response.

Archaeology stretches from genetics to art history, includes laboratory study, fieldwork and survey, statistical analysis, and textual interpretation, combining media old and new, from graphics to virtual reality. I am committed to hybrid practice where art becomes scientific research, where the academy becomes an art sudio, where pedagogy mingles with outreach into the community and industry, where practice can be research, where old disciplinary divisions give way to a committed address to matters of common human concern.

All made possible by our newly fashioned freedoms of digital authorship, collegiality, collaboration and creativity.

New Humanities Post disciplinary practices ...
shifting a custodial model of stewardship - looking after the past
to one of production and creativity - working on what remains to help guide us now and for the future.

Archaeologists work on what remains of the past...
This means that
we are all archaeologists now ..."
archaeology  michaelshanks  past  present  time  humanities  interdisciplinary  creativity  future  genetics  arthistory  fieldwork  statistics  art  media  newmedia  chorography  writing  deepmaps  innovation  materiality  design  designthinking  manifestos  stewardship 
march 2013 by robertogreco
Michael Shanks: Archaeologies of the contemporary past
"The origin of many of the ideas here can be tracked back to Reconstructing Archaeology written with Chris Tilley, particularly through my book Experiencing the Past - where I sketched the elements of a contemporary archaeolgical sensibility - see now The Archaeological Imagination - a new work revisiting these matters."

"Embodiment and archaeologies of the ineffable: photographs and archaeological objects can introduce the heterogeneous and ineffable into discourse, that richness and detail in every photograph and artefact which lies outside the categories and schemes of discourse. I use the term embodiment to introduce bodily sensitivity as a means of suspending our conventional categorisations and a means of achieving more textured understanding of social realities. Photographs and artefacts can help us attend to materiality by saying "look at what has been omitted", rather than "look, believe this text". An imperative here is to keep open things which are passed over in an instant. Archaeological source materials are, after all, of a material world with a distinctive temporality. The challenge is to work with this.

To end then I extend an invitation to conceive of the dialectical text and image as tangent to the past - a vector (from the present) touching the past at the point of sense and then moving off to explore its own course, partaking of actuality, the temporality of memory. Such texts are part of a method which lends contexts of all sorts to images, words and artifacts. Good archaeology is such a humanistic discipline which is dialectical because it denies the dualisms of past and present, objective and subjective, real and fictive, with all their pernicious variations. We may work instead upon the continuities which run through our encounters with the shattered remains of the dead."
christilley  michaelshanks  archaeology  photography  documentation  anthropology  past  present  words  artifacts  memory  time  humanism  humanities  dialectic  dialog  sensitivity  discourse  temporality  via:selinjessa  dialogue  vectors 
march 2013 by robertogreco
Deep map - Wikipedia
"Deep map refers to an emerging practical method of intensive topographical exploration, popularised by author William Least Heat-Moon with his book PrairyErth: A Deep Map. (1991).

A deep map work most often takes the form of engaged documentary writing of literary quality; although it can equally well be done in long-form on radio. It does not preclude the combination of writing with photography and illustration. Its subject is a particular place, usually quite small and limited, and usually rural.

Some[who?] call the approach 'vertical travel writing', while archeologist Michael Shanks compares it to the eclectic approaches of 18th and early 19th century antiquarian topographers or to the psychogeographic excursions of the early Situationist International[1] http://www.mshanks.com/2012/07/10/chorography-then-and-now/ [2] http://documents.stanford.edu/michaelshanks/51.

A deep map goes beyond simple landscape/history-based topographical writing – to include and interweave autobiography, archeology, stories, memories, folklore, traces, reportage, weather, interviews, natural history, science, and intuition. In its best form, the resulting work arrives at a subtle, multi-layered and 'deep' map of a small area of the earth.

In North America it is a method claimed by those interested in bioregionalism. The best known U.S. examples are Wallace Stegner's Wolf Willow (1962) and Heat-Moon's PrairyErth (1991).

In Great Britain, the method is used by those who use the terms 'spirit of place' and 'local distinctiveness'. BBC Radio 4 has recently undertaken several series of radio documentaries that are deep maps. These are inspired by the 'sense of place' work of the Common Ground organisation."
via:selinjessa  writing  williamleastheat-moon  verticaltravelwriting  documentary  documentation  radio  photography  illustration  place  rural  michaelshanks  topography  psychogeography  situationist  autobiography  archaeology  stories  storytelling  memory  memories  weather  interviews  naturalhistory  bioregionalism  parairyerth  wolfwillow  wallacestegner  localdistinctiveness  bbcradio  bbs  radio4  deepmaps  maps  mapping  commonground  folklore  science  intuition 
march 2013 by robertogreco
undocumentedmigrationproject.com | The Undocumented Migration Project
"Based at the University of Michigan, the Undocumented Migration Project (UMP) is a long-term anthropological study of undocumented migration between Mexico and the United States that uses ethnography, archaeology, and forensic science to better understand this clandestine social process."
mexico  us  border  borders  migration  socialprogress  archaeology  ethnography  anthropology  ump  via:villagedog  immigration  jasondeleón  camerongokee  michaelwells  robyndennis  samgrabowska  johndoering-white  hannahderose-wilson  ashleyschubert  annaforringer-beal  mayafernandez  justineaubendrummond 
march 2013 by robertogreco
Performative turn - Wikipedia
"The performative turn is a paradigmatic shift in the humanities and social sciences that has affected such disciplines as anthropology, archaeology, linguistics, ethnography, history and the relatively young discipline of performance studies. Central to the performative turn is the concept of performance.

Previously used as a metaphor for theatricality, performance is now often employed as a heuristic principle to understand human behaviour. The assumption is that all human practices are 'performed', so that any action at whatever moment or location can be seen as a public presentation of the self. This methodological approach entered the social sciences and humanities in the 1990s but is rooted in the 1940s & 1950s. Underlying the performative turn was the need to conceptualize how human practices relate to their contexts in a way that went beyond the traditional sociological methods that did not problematize representation.

Performance is a bodily practice that produces meaning."

[via: http://sb129.wordpress.com/2012/08/29/on-performance/ ]
ervinggoffman  presentationofself  performancestudies  history  linguistics  archaeology  anthropology  behavior  theatricality  performance  ethnography  socialsciences  humanities  performitiveturn 
september 2012 by robertogreco
National Geographic Magazine: The Birth of Religion
""Twenty years ago everyone believed civilization was driven by ecological forces," Schmidt says. "I think what we are learning is that civilization is a product of the human mind.""
civilization  archaeology  2011  religion  pre-history  history  prehistory  humanmind  civilizations  charlesmann  klausschmidt  via:Preoccupations 
february 2012 by robertogreco
Patricio Guzmán’s ‘Nostalgia for the Light’ to Open - NYTimes.com
"What finally enabled Mr. Guzmán to make “Nostalgia for the Light,” which opens on Friday at the IFC Center in Greenwich Village, was his realization that the subjects he wanted to address did have a point in common: the preservation of memory. The women who comb the desert looking for the remains of loved ones who disappeared under the dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet share that trait with the archaeologists and geologists who work in the shadow of the astronomical observatories that dot the Atacama, drawn by its clear skies.

Remembrance has, of course, also been the main theme of Mr. Guzmán’s own body of work, which has been primarily political. But his best-known film, the three-part, four-and-a-half-hour “Battle of Chile,” has come to be regarded as something more than just the record of a particular historical moment."
light  nostalgiaforthelight  history  remembrance  salvadorallende  chile  archaeology  geology  pinochet  patricioguzmán  astronomy  memory  documentary  film  2011  atacama  nostalgiadelaluz  time  present  past  future 
january 2012 by robertogreco
Institutional memory and reverse smuggling | wrttn
"At the end of the project someone should've been commissioned to write a book, "What This Goddamn Plant Is: And, How It Works". That book is effectively being written now, only by archaeologists."
engineering  documentation  process  archeology  knowledge  via:straup  institutionalmemory  memory  legacy  tcsnmy  lcproject  2011  via:blech  scale  scaling  bureaucracy  archaeology  reversesmuggling  institutionalarchaeology  institutions  business  reverse  culture  values  posterity  corporateespionage  reversecorporateespionage  organizations  recordkeeping  companies  management  sharing  via:tealtan 
december 2011 by robertogreco
Alcohol's Neolithic Origins: Brewing Up a Civilization - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International
"A secure supply of alcohol appears to have been part of the human community's basic requirements much earlier than was long believed. As early as around 9,000 years ago, long before the invention of the wheel, inhabitants of the Neolithic village Jiahu in China were brewing a type of mead with an alcohol content of 10 percent, McGovern discovered recently. … [McGovern's] bold thesis, which he lays out in his book "Uncorking the Past. The Quest for Wine, Beer and Other Alcoholic Beverage," states that agriculture -- and with it the entire Neolithic Revolution, which began about 11,000 years ago -- are ultimately results of the irrepressible impulse toward drinking and intoxication. "Available evidence suggests that our ancestors in Asia, Mexico, and Africa cultivated wheat, rice, corn, barley, and millet primarily for the purpose of producing alcoholic beverages," McGovern explains. While they were at it, he believes, drink-loving early civilizations managed to ensure their basic survival."
alcohol  archaeology  brewing  history  pre-history  via:Preoccupations 
november 2011 by robertogreco
Digital Signposts: Mapping the Past, Present and Future
"Even if mapping isn't  your personal interest, digitised archives or artefacts can provide a stimulus for meaningful learning designs and contexts for all stages of learning. Applying digital tools to data we already have allows new interpretations and ways of using the data which makes this a very rich field for educators to explore using digital technologies.

And whilst at first glance, some of the artefacts and ideas from the past may seem absurd today; in context, they reveal the hidden codes for our future, which are gaining recognition amongst an emerging cohort of paleo-futurists, digital humanists, digital anthropologists & archaeologists who participate in innovative projects and networks.  As Tom Seinfield from the Found History blog states:

"innovation in digital humanities frequently comes from the edges of the scholarly community rather than from its center—small institutions and even individual actors with few resources are able to make important innovations.""
mapping  maps  digitalhumanities  digitalanthropology  paleo-futurism  archaeology  innovation  edges  periphery  creativity  digital  2011  tomseinfeld  small  future  history 
august 2011 by robertogreco
Ancient Maya Temples Were Giant Loudspeakers?
"Centuries before the first speakers and subwoofers, ancient Americans—intentionally or not—may have been turning buildings into giant sound amplifiers and distorters to enthrall or disorient audiences, archaeologists say."

[via (with sounds): http://www.negrophonic.com/2010/ancient-mayan-subwoofers/ via: http://twitter.com/demilit/status/18348445865611264 ]
architecture  history  sound  mexico  archaeology  maya  ancient  subwoofers  palenque  wasmaya  pyramids 
december 2010 by robertogreco
From the Trenches - Carved in Living Color
"Leave your preconceived notions of ancient art at home. A groundbreaking exhibition at Harvard University's Arthur M. Sackler Museum in Cambridge, Massachusetts, shows how marble statues actually looked in antiquity: covered from head to toe in vibrant paint. Based on 25 years of research by Vinzenz Brinkmann, formerly a curator at the Glyptothek Museum in Germany, Gods in Color: Painted Sculpture of Classical Antiquity features more than 20 full-size color reconstructions of Greek and Roman works, alongside 35 original statues and reliefs." [via: http://io9.com/5616498/ultraviolet-light-reveals-how-ancient-greek-statues-really-looked]
ancient  archaeology  greece  sculpture  history  ancienthistory  ancientgreece  arthistory  painting  art  statues 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Morph-osaurs: How shape-shifting dinosaurs deceived us - life - 28 July 2010 - New Scientist
"DINOSAURS were shape-shifters...skulls underwent extreme changes throughout their lives, growing larger, sprouting horns then reabsorbing them, & changing shape so radically that different stages look to us like different species.
dinosaurs  biology  archaeology  research  science  evolution  classification  nature 
july 2010 by robertogreco
A Walk Through the Ancient World
"When the first immersive 3D games came out, I asked a programmer if he knew of anyone who had used that technology to create a Virtual Ancient Rome or Ancient Athens. I loved the idea of walking around in a place whose current face was changed out of all recognition from its golden age. He shook his head. Creating virtual worlds was way too time consuming and required too much specialist knowledge and so was too expensive. A virtual Rome wouldn't create the profit that Doom did.

Fast forward a decade and the programming necessary becomes easier to do and the number of people who know how to do it have increased substantially. The costs involved in creating a virtual world have decreased at the same time that academic and scholarly institutions have become much more willing to invest in it.

Now that it's quite a bit easier to find a virtual ancient city to stroll through, I thought I would survey a few options and provide you with a short virtual atlas of the ancient world."
ancient  ancientrome  classics  archaeology  middleages  history  ancientgreece  3d  virtual  tcsnmy  classideas  ancientcivilization  ancienthistory  ancienchina  china  rome  athens  mexico  ancientmexico 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Skeuomorph - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"A skeuomorph or skeuomorphism is a derivative object which retains ornamental design cues to structure that was necessary in the original.[1] Skeuomorphs may be deliberately employed to make the new look comfortably old and familiar,[2] such as copper cladding on zinc pennies or computer printed postage with circular town name and cancellation lines. The word derives from Greek, skeuos for 'vessel' or 'tool' and morphe for 'shape'."
archaeology  architecture  skeuomorph  redundancy  anachronism  language  illusion  history  art  design  fabrication  ux  words 
june 2010 by robertogreco
The Technium: Collections of the Material Subconscious
"if you are going to collect something that you want to be significant in future, collect things that everyone ignores now. Stuff that is too insignificant to save, that no one in their right mind would save. These "subconcious" things are ones that will be most valuable in future. Not Star Wars action figures, but fruit stickers. Not Barbie doll outfits but lids of take-out beverages. Not mint condition Chevy cars, but bread bag ties. Because they are not trying to be anything other than what they are - any beauty they contain is functional - they also transmit subtexts of their time. The "meaning" of the placement of the ridges & holes in take-out beverage lids reveal all kinds of things about how & where these beverages are being sold & consumed. The designs will tell folks in the future far more about our lives today than tiny models of Darth Vader.

& if history is any guide, we'll find their functional beauty far more everlasting than the fashions of more conscious designs."
kevinkelly  fuure  history  artifacts  fruit  fruitstickers  mundane  beauty  function  form  design  longevity  lasting  meaning  memory  suptext  time  archaeology 
april 2010 by robertogreco
Future Archaeologies - we make money not art
"Armin Linke's Future Archaeologies photographs explore how some contemporary places and building structures can be regarded as 'archaeologies of the future', modern artefacts subject to slow-fading decay. This snapshot of a progress that never took the road it was supposed to follow triggers the question: 'How long will it be before our own idea of modernity gets stranded in a dead end?'"
wmmna  future  archaeology  futurearchaeologies  art  design  artifacts  decay  progress 
february 2010 by robertogreco
Medievalists.net
Welcome to Medievalists.net, where the Middle Ages Begin! Our site offers resources for people interested in medieval history, including articles, videos, news and more."
middleages  history  literature  medieval  reference  education  archaeology 
january 2010 by robertogreco
Sander van der Leeuw: The Archaeology of Innovation - The Long Now
"As we become ever more adept at solving short-term problems, we shift the risk to long-term problems---such as climate change---which do not match the skills we have developed and know how to reward. We are headed into a trap of our own devising. To get out of it, if we can, will require a "battle with ourselves" to wholly redefine our social structures and institutions to master the long term."
stewartbrand  technology  history  intelligence  archaeology  longnow  innovation  evolution  longterm  problemsolving 
november 2009 by robertogreco
Internet Ancient History Sourcebook: Main Page
"The Ancient and Modern Sourcebooks have a different role: since there are already ample online repositories of texts for these periods, the goal here is to provide and organize texts for use in classroom situations. Links to the larger online collections are provided for those who want to explore further. The distinctive feature of the Sourcebooks' layout remains here - the avoidance of images and multiple "clicking" to find texts."
archaeology  ancienthistory  research  reference  literature  rome  mesopotamia  primarysources  ancient  mythology  greek  education  culture  history  books  resources  religion  philosophy  greece  egypt  classics  worldhistory  tcsnmy  ancientcivilization  socialstudies  classresources 
november 2009 by robertogreco
Don't trust Belgians! | MetaFilter
"The lost town of Goverthing. On Governor's Island in New York City, a lost hamlet and all of its strange artifacts has been unearthed by Belgian archeological team. (Unfortunately, it's really just an art project.)"
art  nyc  goverthing  archaeology 
september 2009 by robertogreco
Sacrificial virgins of the Mississippi | Salon Books
"Archaeologists are slowly unearthing the ghastly secrets of Cahokia, an ancient city under the American heartland"
archaeology  cahokia  us  history  ancientcivilization  cities  anthropology  civilization  culture 
august 2009 by robertogreco
Incan Empire Aided by Global Warming: Discovery News
"A 400-year warm spell helped the ancient Inca to build the largest empire ever to exist in the Americas, a new study has established.
inca  history  climate  climatechange  science  environment  world  spanish  archaeology  spain  perú  españa 
july 2009 by robertogreco
Senior City-zens: The World's 10 Oldest Still-Inhabited Cities | WebUrbanist
"Urban society may seem a modern phenomenon but cities have been around for a lot longer than one might think. Indeed, once nomadic tribes began to settle in one location, they saw that it was good, became fruitful, and multiplied. Decades, centuries and millennia passed while war, climate change and human migration all took their toll. Relatively few ancient cities have managed to survive the test of time. Here are 10 that have not only survived, but continue to thrive."
culture  architecture  history  archaeology  asia  civilization  cities  urban  ancient  geography  world  travel 
july 2009 by robertogreco
Conformists may kill civilizations : Nature News
"They found that conformist social learning — imitating and emulating what the majority are doing — may also cause the demise of societies. When environments remain stable for long periods, behaviour can become disconnected from environmental demands, so that when change does come, the effects are catastrophic. ... Whitehead and Richerson's models highlight the perils of cultural conformism in red-noise environments, particularly when populations are small, but also show how other styles of learning can mitigate the problems. For instance, 'prestige bias' means that people only copy successful role models, rather than simply imitating what everyone else is doing. "Societies should promote individual learning and innovation over cultural conformity, and the models for social learning should be individuals who have demonstrated that they understand how to live with the current environmental trends," says Whitehead."
learning  science  anthropology  archaeology  conformism  civilization  extinction  evolution  deschooling  unschooling  innovation  history  sociology  maya  culture  society  alfrednorthwhitehead 
june 2009 by robertogreco
Revealing the Link
"Ida is the most complete early primate fossil ever found, and scientists believe that she could be one of our earliest
science  evolution  ida  multimedia  archaeology  paleontology  prehistoric  missinglink 
may 2009 by robertogreco
Paleontologist as rock star: How one tiny fossil sparked a media circus | csmonitor.com
"But almost as dazzling as the find itself was the way in which it was unveiled. The announcement was made with great fanfare at the Museum of Natural History in New York, and coincided with a peer-reviewed article about the discovery. And like any good reality television star, Hurum was thinking “cross-platform”: his team has a sleek website, an exclusive interview arrangement with ABC News, a book aimed at mainstream audiences, a deal with the History Channel, and a full-length movie about little “Ida.”"
ida  evolution  science  fanfare  media  archaeology  paleontology  prehistoric  missinglink 
may 2009 by robertogreco
Lost Crusaders' Tunnels Found Near Palace on Malta
"For centuries it's been said that the crusading Knights of Malta constructed an underground city on the Mediterranean island of Malta, sparking rumors of secret carriageways and military labyrinths."
malta  tunnels  archaeology  history  mediterranean 
april 2009 by robertogreco
Finding the lost city - The Boston Globe
"Yet in recent years archeologists have begun to find evidence of what Fawcett had always claimed: ancient ruins buried deep in the Amazon, in places ranging from the Bolivian flood plains to the Brazilian forests. These ruins include enormous man-made earth mounds, plazas, geometrically aligned causeways, bridges, elaborately engineered canal systems, and even an apparent astronomical observatory tower made of huge granite rocks that has been dubbed "the Stonehenge of the Amazon."
southamerica  geography  anthropology  amazon  archaeology  science  exploration  civilization  culture  legend  adventure  history 
february 2009 by robertogreco
BBC NEWS | Middle East | Iraq's damaged Babylon hopes for revival
"Beneath a patch of stony, desert ground on the River Euphrates, surrounded by date palms, many of the secrets of the cradle of civilisation are still waiting to be uncovered." more here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_pictures/7729443.stm
archaeology  culture  art  history  tcsnmy  ancient  ancientcivilization  anthropology  mesopotamia  babylon  via:cburell 
november 2008 by robertogreco
Decoding The Heavens | Jo Marchant | Home
" In 1900 a group of sponge divers blown off course in the Mediterranean discovered an Ancient Greek shipwreck dating from around 70 BC. Lying unnoticed for months amongst their hard-won haul was what appeared to be a formless lump of corroded rock. It turned out to be the most stunning scientific artefact we have from antiquity. For more than a century this 'Antikythera mechanism' puzzled academics. It was ancient clockwork, unmatched in complexity for 1000 years - but who could have made it, and what was it for? Now, more than 2000 years after the device was lost at sea, scientists have pieced together its intricate workings and revealed its secrets."
technology  computing  via:preoccupations  antikytheramechanism  tcsnmy  ancientcivilization  ancientgreece  ancienthistory  ancients  archaeology  astronomy 
november 2008 by robertogreco
'The Odyssey' and 'The Iliad' are giving up new secrets about the ancient world - The Boston Globe
"But thanks to evidence from a range of disciplines, we are in the middle of a massive reappraisal of these foundational works of Western literature. Recent advances in archeology and linguistics offer the strongest support yet that the Trojan War did take place, with evidence coming from the large excavation at the likely site of Troy, as well as new analysis of cuneiform tablets from the dominant empire of the region. Insights from comparative anthropology have transformed studies of the society that created the poems and allowed us to analyze the epics in a new way, suggesting that their particular patterns of violence contain a hidden key to ancient Greek history - though not necessarily the key that Homer's readers once thought they were being given."
classics  greece  ancientgreece  homer  literature  myth  archaeology  history  tcsnmy  classideas 
october 2008 by robertogreco
Emergence Of Agriculture In Prehistory Took Much Longer, Genetic Evidence Suggests
"Until recently researchers say the story of the origin of agriculture was one of a relatively sudden appearance of plant cultivation in the Near East around 10,000 years ago spreading quickly into Europe and dovetailing conveniently with ideas about how quickly language and population genes spread from the Near East to Europe. Initially, genetics appeared to support this idea but now cracks are beginning to appear in the evidence underpinning that model"
archaeology  history  farming  human  culture  society  food  agriculture  genetics  middleeast  botany  civilization  tcsnmy  classideas 
september 2008 by robertogreco
Amazon hides an ancient urban landscape - earth - 29 August 2008 - New Scientist Environment
"For the past few decades archaeologists have been uncovering urban remains that date back to the 13th century – long before European settlers had sailed across the Atlantic and discovered the "New World".
amazon  precolumbian  history  archaeology  science  environment  forests  brasil  anthropology  ancientcivilization  brazil 
september 2008 by robertogreco
Seedmagazine.com | Revolutionary Minds | The Re-envisionaries
"The more science advances, the less, it seems, that any one discipline holds all the answers—even to the problems that a discipline was originally conceived to answer. So it's not surprising that some of today's most innovative scientific thinkers are making breakthroughs by hybridizing multiple fields. In this installment of Seed's Revolutionary Minds series, we feature five young researchers whose work fuses seemingly disparate disciplines. By drawing upon the techniques, insights, or standard models of other scientific fields, these individuals are redefining their own. Among them are a computer scientist who rethought the concept of information after studying immune systems; an archaeologist who believes material culture is an important driver of human cognitive evolution; and an astronomer who has discovered how to take an MRI of the cosmos. These thinkers are doing more than merely crossing disciplinary boundaries—they are altogether shattering them."
science  innovation  interdisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  crosspollination  seed  neuroscience  astronomy  genetics  fringe  neuroarchaeology  geneticacculturation  immunocomputing  stochasticbiology  biology  physics  astronomicalmedicine  lambrosmalafouris  cognitive  cognitiveevolution  extendedmind  multidisciplinary  archaeology  gamechanging  anthropology  philosophy 
august 2008 by robertogreco
In search of Western civilisation's lost classics | The Australian
"The unique library of the Villa of the Papyri in Herculaneum, buried beneath lava by Vesuvius's eruption in AD79, is slowly revealing its long-held secrets"
history  libraries  epicurus  ancient  pompeii  herculaneum  archaeology  civilization  classics  tcsnmy  books 
august 2008 by robertogreco
MacroHistory : World History
"I describe humanity from its beginning to the 21st century - a gigantic subject that requires help from people who have done good works. I've drawn from those who have devoted their professional lives to a deeper and more narrow focus of study. The purpose is to address any query concerning a major development that could at some point have been answered by time, as in "time will tell." In other words the purpose is to illuminate historical trends, to describe the works of monarchs, tyrants and priests, the promises of prophets and politicians and the expectations of revolutionaries and military strategists. The best I can offer in my narratives is bits and pieces in a sketched order - in place of that which encyclopedias offer in fragmentation."
tcsnmy  history  ancienthistory  ancientcivilization  socialstudies  classresources  culture  greece  egypt  rome  archaeology  vikings  images  timelines  worldhistory  reference  geography  world  maps 
august 2008 by robertogreco
World History by History Link 101
"The cultures of Africa, Aztec, China, Egypt, Greece, Mayan, Mesopotamia, Rome, Olmec, Prehistory, Middle Ages and World War II are divided into categories of Art, Biographies, Daily Life, Maps, Pictures and Research and more."
tcsnmy  history  ancienthistory  ancientcivilization  socialstudies  classresources  culture  greece  egypt  rome  archaeology  images 
august 2008 by robertogreco
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