Browsing All Posts filed under »ethnography«

And a Little Child Shall Lead Them

April 21, 2013

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I have to admit that I was a little mystified when Archaeology  online recently publicized research that used errors in working a single stone tool to propose that its less-skilled maker was probably a child. Not that I think the idea is implausible. Errors in production have been a staple of the archaeology of childhood […]

History, Memory, and Everyday Practice in Colonial Guatemala

September 9, 2012

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An unprecedented report of colonial Maya paintings from a residence, uncovered under years of overlaying plaster in the highland Guatemalan town, Chajul, provides an extraordinary window into the ways colonized Maya used what the colonial order offered in order to build a world that was not quite what the colonial authorities might have expected. Images […]

“Witch Cottage”? No. Cat Burial? Maybe.

December 11, 2011

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She was a very old woman, about the age of four-score years, and had been a witch for fifty years. She dwelt in the Forest of Pendle, a vast place, fit for her profession: What she committed in her time, no man knows. She was a general agent for the Devil in all these parts: […]

Anthropology is a science…and more

December 30, 2010

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A little off-topic but in my view worth reposting here from the original location. Notice that if Nicholas Wade’s view of anthropology were valid, this blog could not exist: science and research on sex and gender seem to be incompatible to him. “The purposes of the Association shall be to advance anthropology as the science […]

The aggressive bully or the charming Statesman?

December 15, 2010

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“Who has higher fertility and more surviving offspring – the aggressive bully or the charming Statesman?” So Christopher von Rueden, described as a doctoral student in anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, summarized the point of his research, publicized by UCSB, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Von Rueden admits […]

Loose women of the Amazon

November 14, 2010

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You really have to watch those metaphors: “Johnny has two daddies” may have been common in Amazonian cultures blares World Science, inadvertently implying that researchers are suggesting traditional Amazonian society was unusually gay-friendly. Sify News manages at least to keep the story heterosexual: Extramarital sexual affairs were common in Amazonian cultures is its take. Still, […]

Approaching sex through archaeology: third genders and beyond

May 5, 2010

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Returning to a theme from the previous week, third genders, I begin my discussion of method and theory and how they change what archaeologists think we can do with a reconsideration rooted in Sandra Hollimon’s work on Chumash society of California. In Ancient Bodies, Ancient Lives, I describe what Hollimon sketches out in a series […]

Approaching sex through archaeology: methods and theories

May 4, 2010

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My Discovery course at Berkeley, “Archaeology of Sex and Gender”, is taught over a 15 week semester. The first two sections of the course, “Thinking about sex and gender: disciplinary approaches” and “Sex and gender in the past: regional traditions” can stand alone as a one-quarter course at colleges that use the quarter system. Together, […]

Native North America: from bodies to practices

May 2, 2010

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The last case study that I incorporate into the middle section of my course, Archaeology of Sex and Gender, draws on the archaeological, bioarchaeological, historical and ethnographic record from Native North America. The emphasis on the widest possible range of disciplinary perspectives is critical, to remind students of the differences in perspectives and methods that […]

Thinking about sex and gender: exploring disciplinary approaches

April 26, 2010

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Ancient Bodies, Ancient Lives emerged from an interdisciplinary course, and that meant that I needed to establish from the beginning how different disciplinary approaches worked. I wanted to discriminate between documentary histories and histories based on other kinds of material traces, created in the past and examined in the present. Within anthropology, I wanted to […]

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