Tag Archives | Anthropology

Climate Change and the 4000 BCE Origins of Child Abuse, Sex-Repression, Warfare and Social Violence

saharasiaMatriarchy.info reviews Dr. James DeMeo’s book SAHARASIA: The 4000 BCE Origins of Child Abuse, Sex-Repression, Warfare and Social Violence, In the Deserts of the Old World:

A new geographical study on the ancient historical origins of human violence and warfare, drawing upon global archaeological and anthropological evidence, has just been published presenting substantial proof that our ancient ancestors were non-violent, and far more social and loving than are most humans today – moreover, the study points to a dramatic climate change in the Old World, the drying up of the vast Sahara and Asian Deserts, with attending famine, starvation and forced migrations which pushed the earliest humans into violent social patterns, a trauma from which we have not yet recovered in over 6000 years.

The study and book, titled SAHARASIA: The 4000 BCE Origins of Child Abuse, Sex-Repression, Warfare and Social Violence, In the Deserts of the Old World, by retired professor James DeMeo, Ph.D., is the culmination of years of library and field research on the subject.

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Did Literacy Steal Brain Power From Other Functions?

Warning: Reading this may cause parts of your brain to become powerless. From Ars Technica:

The human brain contains many regions that are specialized for processing specific decisions and sensory inputs. Many of these are shared with our fellow mammals (and, in some cases, all vertebrates), suggesting that they are evolutionarily ancient specializations. But innovations like writing have only been around for a few thousand years, a time span that’s too short relative to human generations to allow for this sort of large evolutionary change. In the absence of specialized capabilities, how has it become possible for such large portions of the population to become literate?

The authors of a paper that will be released by Science today suggest two possible alternatives to explain this widespread literacy. Either reading is similar enough to something that our brains could already do that it’s processed by existing structures, or literacy has “stolen” areas of the brain that used to be involved in other functions.

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Neanderthals May Have Been Destroyed By Climate, Not Homo Sapiens

Reconstruction of Neanderthal man. Hermann Schaaffhausen (1888).

Reconstruction of Neanderthal man. Hermann Schaaffhausen (1888).

In Graham Hancock’s new book, Entangled, one of the intriguing themes is the so-called “Neanderthal Enigma.” But, while much of the latest research on Homo neanderthalensis is reflected in Entangled, a new study reported in the New York Times suggests that this extinct member of the Homo genus may have met its demise from climate change, not from Homo sapiens:

Homo sapiens may not have pushed Neanderthals to extinction, as some scientists have hypothesized; it may have been the weather that did them in.

Volcanic eruptions thousands of years ago devastated Neanderthals in Western Asia and in Europe, anthropologists report in Current Anthropology.

Naomi Cleghorn, an anthropologist at the University of Texas at Arlington, and colleagues studied a Neanderthal site in the Caucasus Mountains of southwestern Russia. They were able to identify volcanic ash from two separate eruptions that occurred in the area between 45,000 and 40,000 years ago.

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Cyborg Anthropologist Amber Case Interviewed

Klint Finley interviews Amber Case on Technoccult:

What are some of your most interesting recent findings?

Some of my favorite things have been mistakes. For instance, when a middle aged woman thinks that she’s sending a private message to someone she’s been seeing, and in reality she posted on her wall for everyone to see.

Yahoo Answers are amazing. It’s where a lot of very young kids ask each other ridiculous questions — and young kids answer back.

Also, looking at people’s signatures. Not their handwritten ones, but their digital ones. How they compose sentences and where they use capitalization. How they respond to things, etc. It really tells a lot about who they are.

The other thing I like to discover is digital artifacts. There are some digital archeologists and historians who try to keep data alive and in circulation. When one considers it, and Stewart Brand has mentioned this quite a bit … data is very fragile.

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Should Anthropologists Go to War?

From Time:

Anthropologists have traditionally had a pretty wonkish reputation, earnestly taking field notes while interviewing a tribal chief or lecturing in some college classroom about the intricacies of indigenous clan-systems. If the Pentagon has its way, though, more anthropologists will exchange their tweed for military fatigues and leave the halls of academe for the front lines. For the past two years, the U.S. military has embedded anthropologists and other social scientists with American troops in order to improve the Army’s cultural IQ. But last week the American Anthropological Association (AAA) released a report coming out strongly against the program, saying that in both concept and application, it “can no longer be considered a legitimate professional exercise of anthropology.”

Since 2007, the Pentagon’s Human Terrain System (HTS) has been placing social scientists in every Army combat brigade, regiment and Marine Corps regimental combat team. There are now more than 500 people employed by HTS, a number that is increasing rapidly.

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