#Anthropology roundup: “Activist curators are sharpening the debate on restitution

[no-caption] Getty Images

Heather Wascak was devastated. In 2014, within days of giving birth to a baby girl, Lucia, she was aching to be with her child.

“She’s almost 5 days old, and I still haven’t gotten to hold her,” Wascak wrote in a Facebook post. “In fact, I’ve only gotten about 10 minutes with her. Anyone who knows me knows that this was 100 percent not my birth plan.”

Archaeologists Respond to the Black Lives Matter Movement

Students work with archaeologist Alexandra Jones (center) on an excavation at the Estate Little Princess plantation in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. Archaeology in the Community

Amid the wave of anti-racist protests and unprecedented widespread support for the Black Lives Matter movement in recent months, anthropologists are scrutinizing the legacy of racism in their discipline.

Reflecting on the Rise of the Hoteps

Egyptian culture and art have been harnessed by some African Americans as a focal point for Black pride. Steve Evans/

Government Rescinds Controversial International Student Policy

The decision to abandon a directive that would have prevented international students from taking all their coursework online came in response to a lawsuit from Harvard and MIT.


A resident burns off vegetation to clear his garden plot on lands that previously were part of an ancient village called Popo. Chris Urwin

In late 2015, I arrived for the second time at a place called Orokolo Bay on Papua New Guinea’s south coast. The bay is a long grey-black beach, densely forested with hibiscus and coconut trees. As we approached by dinghy from the east, clusters of houses could be glimpsed fleetingly through the bush.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Fifteen centuries after its fall, the Roman Empire lives on in unexpected places. Take, for instance, the former colonial city of Timgad, located in Algeria 300 miles from the capital. Founded by the Emperor Trajan around 100 AD as Colonia Marciana Ulpia Traiana Thamugadi, it thrived as a piece of Rome in north Africa before turning Christian in the third century and into a center of the Donatist sect in the fourth. The three centuries after that saw a sacking by Vandals, a reoccupation by Christians, and another sacking by Berbers. Abandoned and covered by sand from the Sahara from the seventh century on, Timgad was rediscovered by Scottish explorer James Bruce in 1765. But not until the 1880s, under French rule, did a proper excavation begin.

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