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  • May 1, 2014
  • 01:08 PM

Neanderthals were not inferior to modern humans

by Perikis Livas in Chilon

If you think Neanderthals were stupid and primitive, it’s time to think again.

The widely held notion that Neanderthals were dimwitted and that their inferior intelligence allowed them to be driven to extinction by the much brighter ancestors of modern humans is not supported by scientific evidence, according to a researcher at the University of Colorado Boulder.

News release April 30, 2014 University of Colorado Boulder... Read more »

  • April 30, 2014
  • 11:45 AM

Racialized Medicine: Prophecies for Profit

by Alexis Delanoir in How to Paint Your Panda

Over the topic of race as a valid biological category for humans, many people cite between-group differences in responses to medication as evidence for this validity. If race is only a social construct, why do blacks and whites respond differently to different medications? In examining this case, one will find that race is actually a terrible representation of real variation, and that between-group differences are better explained via individual examination.... Read more »

  • April 29, 2014
  • 06:18 AM

Recursive Fury: Misunderstanding The Ethics of Criticism

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

One month ago, a paper was retracted from Frontiers in Psychology. It was called “Recursive fury: conspiracist ideation in the blogosphere in response to research on conspiracist ideation”, from Australian psychologists Stephan Lewandowsky and colleagues. Most retractions are valuable corrections to the literature, taking flawed science or plagiarised work out of circulation. I have myself […]The post Recursive Fury: Misunderstanding The Ethics of Criticism appeared first on Neuroskeptic.... Read more »

  • April 29, 2014
  • 01:08 AM

The Evidence from Linguistic Contact

by teofilo in Gambler's House

As I mentioned in the last post, I don’t think the linguistic relationships among the modern Pueblo languages shed much light on the details of the relationships between ancient and modern Pueblo groups. However, that’s not to say that linguistics is totally useless in addressing this issue. There’s another type of linguistic evidence which has […]... Read more »

  • April 28, 2014
  • 04:00 AM

From Stone Darts to Dismembered Bodies, New Study Reveals 5,000 Years of Violence in Central California

by Blake de Pastino in Western Digs

From shooting their enemies with darts and arrows to crushing their skulls and even harvesting body parts as trophies, the ancient foragers of central California engaged in sporadic, and sometimes severe, violence, according to a new archaeological study spanning 5,000 years.... Read more »

Schwitalla, A., Jones, T., Pilloud, M., Codding, B., & Wiberg, R. (2014) Violence among foragers: The bioarchaeological record from central California. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, 66-83. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaa.2013.11.004  

  • April 26, 2014
  • 12:56 PM

Belief vs. Research-based Decisions

by Rodney Steadman in Gravity's Pull

In Canada, the Harper government has have used belief and not research to inform their decisions. This has been disastrous for proven social programs.... Read more »

McDonald M. (2006) Stephen Harper and the Theo-cons: The rising clout of Canada’s religious right. The Walrus. info:/

Wood E, Tyndall MW, Zhang R, Stoltz JA, Lai C, Montaner JS, & Kerr T. (2006) Attendance at supervised injecting facilities and use of detoxification services. The New England journal of medicine, 354(23), 2512-4. PMID: 16760459  

  • April 25, 2014
  • 06:53 AM

Historical fantasies or the inherent subjectivity of archaeology? Die Pfahlbauer in Bern.

by M. Cornelissen in hazelnut relations

In the Swiss national newspaper NZZ, Urs Hafner wrote an eloquent short but critical review of the current Pile dwelling-exhibition in the Bernisches Historisches Museum titled `Historische Phantasie´ (in German). His criticism focuses on the little attention the Neolithisation process … Continue reading →... Read more »

Forster Elisa. (2012) Vom archäoligischen Befund zum Lebensbild. Reitmaier, Th. [Hrsg.], Letzte Jäger, erste Hirten. Hochalpine Archäologie in der Silvretta, Archäologischer Dienst Graubünden, Chur, 67-69.

Reschreiter H., Pany-Kucera, D. . (2013) Kinderarbeit in 100m Tiefe? neue Lebensbilder zum prähistorischen Hallstätter Salzbergbau. Karl , 25-38. info:other/

  • April 21, 2014
  • 06:05 PM

What did the Egyptians eat?

by Katy Meyers Emery in Bones Don't Lie

There’s something mystical and wonderful about Ancient Egypt. It is one of the first historical eras that really captured my imagination as a child. In many ways, I think this […]... Read more »

Touzeau, A., Amiot, R., Blichert-Toft, J., Flandrois, J., Fourel, F., Grossi, V., Martineau, F., Richardin, P., & Lécuyer, C. (2014) Diet of ancient Egyptians inferred from stable isotope systematics. Journal of Archaeological Science, 114-124. DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2014.03.005  

  • April 15, 2014
  • 08:11 AM

What did Genghis Khan eat?

by Katy Meyers Emery in Bones Don't Lie

Everyone knows something about Genghis Khan. His story and empire is part of the basic history of the world we learn growing up. He came into power by uniting disparate […]... Read more »

  • April 14, 2014
  • 04:00 AM

Sacrificial and Common Graves Alike Reveal Diversity in Ancient City of Cahokia

by Blake de Pastino in Western Digs

Whether they died from natural causes or as sacrificial offerings, the residents of America’s largest prehistoric city were surprisingly diverse, with at least a third of the population having come from communities up to hundreds of kilometers away, according to new research of the settlement’s ancient graves.... Read more »

  • April 10, 2014
  • 11:18 AM

Why do dogs lick people?

by Cobb & Hecht in Do You Believe In Dog?

Just Wow. Photo: Chris Sembrot PhotographyHi Julie,Yes, but WHY? I loved Claudia Fugazza's guest post about drawing on dogs' social imitation capacities to learn as copy-cats in the Do as I do training technique. Good stuff! A few things collided this week that resulted in me deciding to look into why dogs lick people. The first was the Huffington Post 'This Is What Happens When You Ask People To Kiss Their Dogs In Front Of A Camera' (example above from Chris Sembrot's 'For the love of dog' photography collection) that a friend so kindly brought to my attention.  The second was this tweet that came to us on Twitter from passionate science education guru (and keen admirer of dogs), Charlotte Pezaro:@DoUBelieveInDog why do dogs lick you lots when they like you?— Chloe Zara Potter (@cpezaro) March 28, 2014Now Julie, like me, I'm sure you know there's no quick and easy answer to this - I knew I needed more than 140 characters to respond to Charlotte, and I also threw it out to the 7,500+ people (What! So exciting!) in our Facebook community:Valid point! Photo: Flickr/jmonin87 Turns out (not surprisingly!) our Facebook community is a really clued in bunch (I've hazed names to be polite). They pretty much know it all anyway. However, for Charlotte's sake, let quickly revisit why indeed, dogs lick us bipedal folk. Food: the evolutionary basis of licking?Many people have heard at some point or another that dogs lick at us -- and particularly our faces -- because young wolves lick and poke at adult wolf muzzles to trigger them to regurgitate food that they can then feed on. It's likely that the common ancestor shared by dogs, wolves and other canid species also demonstrated this behaviour, as it's also seen in foxes, African wild dogs, etc.  However, licking is also seen in young canids (and many mammal species) as a newborn behaviour when a puppy seeks the mother's nipples to feed.This suckling behaviour is thought to be re-oriented to become a useful pacifying gesture. A human analogy is to consider young children thumb-sucking to self-soothe -- imagine if they licked our faces instead when they felt a bit unsure or stressed! Dogs have been seen to use licking as a type of appeasement behaviour - often interpreted by people as intended to reduce tension or 'apologise'. This kind of 'pacifying' lick can be self directed in the absence of other dogs or people, and in extreme cases, can even be a self-mutilation health issue. Greeting: I lick you = I like you?Dogs may lick another (dog, or person) during greeting. This can be for a number of reasons as our clever Facebook team outlined. Greetings can even become ritualised, and in addition to licking, can include play bows, rubbing, jumping, running and vocalising. These can be considered affiliative behaviours - designed to elicit attachment, often interpreted as bonding and playful.  ... Read more »

Bradshaw John W.S., Blackwell Emily J., & Casey Rachel A. (2009) Dominance in domestic dogs—useful construct or bad habit?. Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, 4(3), 135-144. DOI: 10.1016/j.jveb.2008.08.004  

  • April 8, 2014
  • 01:47 PM

Photographic analysis of a Shabe Yoruba burial

by JB in Bone Broke

When you’re one of the only bioarchaeology grad students in a department with few other osteologists, almost anything involving human remains will eventually make its way across your desk. After getting back to the museum in early September, fellow graduate student Andrew Gurstelle told me that he had come across a burial this past summer, and asked me whether I would mind taking a look at it if I had the time. I was initially extremely excited because I thought this would involve hands-on work with human remains. However, as he explained the context of his site, and his relationship with the local community, I gradually understood why there weren’t any physical human remains to be examined at all.... Read more »

İşcan, M., & Miller-Shaivitz, P. (1984) Determination of sex from the tibia. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 64(1), 53-57. DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.1330640104  

  • April 3, 2014
  • 03:26 PM

Are The Mafia Psychopaths?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

The view that the Mafia is an organization of especially ruthless psychopaths is wrong – in fact, members of ‘Cosa Nostra’ have lower psychopathic traits than other criminals. That’s according to a new study from Italian researchers Schimmenti and colleagues, who, appropriately enough, are based in Sicily, the Mafia’s birthplace. Schimmenti et al went to […]The post Are The Mafia Psychopaths? appeared first on Neuroskeptic.... Read more »

Schimmenti, A., Caprì, C., La Barbera, D., & Caretti, V. (2014) Mafia and psychopathy. Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health. DOI: 10.1002/cbm.1902  

  • April 3, 2014
  • 03:06 PM

Re-Analysis and Death in Iron Age Britain

by Katy Meyers Emery in Bones Don't Lie

Re-analysis is an interesting phenomenon in archaeology. It can be both a good thing and a bad thing depending on the collection and type of materials. Re-analysis is exactly what […]... Read more »

  • March 31, 2014
  • 04:00 AM

‘Hidden Architecture’ of 1,000-Year-Old Village Discovered in New Mexico

by Blake de Pastino in Western Digs

An Ancestral Puebloan settlement appears to be giving up some of its secrets, and changing the perspectives of archaeologists, as new technology allows them to see under the desert floor.... Read more »

  • March 30, 2014
  • 11:28 PM

Linguistic penalty in the job interview

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

A common explanation for the un- and underemployment of migrants is that their English is not good enough. Despite the overuse of this explanation, we do, in fact, not have a particularly clear idea what “good English” for a particular … Continue reading →... Read more »

Roberts, Celia. (2013) The Gatekeeping of Babel: Job Interviews and the Linguistic Penalty. A. Duchêne, M. Moyer , 81-94. info:/

  • March 26, 2014
  • 06:45 PM

The Ugly Ducklings of Science

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

A group of management researchers provide new evidence of a worrying bias in the scientific process – The Chrysalis Effect: How Ugly Initial Results Metamorphosize Into Beautiful Articles ( via Retraction Watch ) The issue they highlight – the ability of researchers to eventually squeeze support for a theory out of initially negative data – […]The post The Ugly Ducklings of Science appeared first on Neuroskeptic.... Read more »

  • March 25, 2014
  • 07:52 AM

Pigs on the pyre- solving cremation mysteries

by Katy Meyers Emery in Bones Don't Lie

There is a mystery in archaeology that numerous regions and eras have to deal with- where are the infants? Deceased infants are potentially treated differently when they die- the argument […]... Read more »

Jæger, J, & Johanson, V. (2013) The cremation of infants/small children: An archaeological experiment concerning the effects of fire on bone weight. Cadernos do GEEvH, 2(2), 13-26. info:/

  • March 24, 2014
  • 04:00 AM

Earliest Evidence of Gigantism-Like Disease Found in 3,800-Year-Old California Skeleton

by Blake de Pastino in Western Digs

The remains of a man buried 3,800 years ago in a richly decorated California grave bear some unusual but unmistakable features — signs of acromegaly, a rare disorder of the endocrine system that’s similar to gigantism.... Read more »

  • March 21, 2014
  • 09:39 AM

Humans Made Conchs Shrink (And One Kid Saw It Coming)

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

The classic, swirling shell of a conch helps protect it from hungry birds and sea creatures, but when a human decides to pluck one from shallow water and boil it for supper, there’s not much the animal can do. Its only defense is to evolve, as a species, to be smaller and less appealing to […]The post Humans Made Conchs Shrink (And One Kid Saw It Coming) appeared first on Inkfish.... Read more »

O'Dea, A., Shaffer, M., Doughty, D., Wake, T., & Rodriguez, F. (2014) Evidence of size-selective evolution in the fighting conch from prehistoric subsistence harvesting. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 281(1782), 20140159-20140159. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2014.0159  

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