#Anthropology roundup: “the Ancient Technologists Who Changed Everything

Beige, brown, and gray beads that are small and round lie clustered together on a black surface beside a red, beige, and blue box with a person on it.

The idea of crafting and using beads as ornamentation may have spread from North Africa outward to other parts of the African continent and to Europe. Nicholas R. Longrich

This article was originally published at The Conversation and has been republished under Creative Commons.

For the first few million years of human evolution, technologies changed slowly. Some 3 million years ago, our ancestors were making chipped stone flakes and crude choppers. Two million years ago, hand axes. A million years ago, humans sometimes used fire, but with difficulty. Then, 500,000 years ago, technological change accelerated, as spear points, fire-making, axes, beads, and bows appeared.

The Possibility of Anthropological Micropublishing

As one of the longest-running anthropology blogs around, Anthrodendum has been a space where many conversations about open access, and alternative forms of publishing and communication have taken place. I’ve been involved in some of those conversations over the years, especially in dialog with Ryan who shares my enthusiasm for weird, experimental projects that neither of us has any time for. In that spirit, as a recently-added “dendrite,” I want to try and keep those kinds of conversations rolling on here and see what new ideas are emerging in the world of para-academic publishing.

Debunking the Myth of Homo Sapiens Superiority

Head of a Maiden

The head of a stone statue showing a stoic face and curly hair rests on a grey surface against a white background.


My poem “Head of a Maiden” is my response to the recent New York Times article “Looking for a Stolen Idol? Visit the Museum of the Manhattan D.A.” According to the article, the 8 1/2-inch terra-cotta head of a maiden, valued at more than US$100,000, was seized by the district attorney’s office in 2021 from a New York City–based gallery.

The Strange Sleeping Habits of Homo Sapiens

Does DNA Simplify or Complicate Repatriation Claims?

A person in a red shirt points out a spot to a group of people standing among dry grasses and rocks.


University of Cape Town archaeologist Simon Hall leads a visit to the farm in Sutherland, South Africa, from which the remains of several individuals were taken a century ago. Je’nine May/University of Cape Town

In September 2019, the Stuurman family was getting ready for a burial. It was not going to be a typical service.

Wet cement triggers a primal impulse, particularly in children.

It’s so tempting to inscribe a pristine patch of sidewalk with a lasting impression of one’s existence.

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