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Arkiv for kategorien ‘Anthropology’

UBUNTU [en]

mandag den 7. oktober 2013

An anthropologist proposed a game to the kids in an African tribe. He put a basket full of fruit near a tree and told the kids that who ever got there first won the sweet fruits. When he told them to run they all took each others hands and ran together, then sat together enjoying their treats. When he asked them why they had run like that as one could have had all the fruits for himself they said: ”UBUNTU, how can one of us be happy if all the other ones are sad?” ‘UBUNTU’ in the Xhosa culture means: “I am because we are”

The Graves of a Catholic woman and her Protestant husband, Holland [da]

søndag den 30. juni 2013

Graves of a Catholic woman and her Protestant husband, who were not allowed to be buried together.

Via @Earth_Pics

I wondered where to find these peculiar graves, and what the history behind them were. I now see that dichotomization can add at least some of the story:

In the Protestant part of this cemetery, J.W.C van Gorcum, colonel of the Dutch Cavalry and militia commissioner in Limburg, is buried. His wife, lady J.C.P.H van Aefferden, is buried in the Catholic part. They were married in 1842, the lady was 22 and the colonel was 33, but he was a protestant and didn’t belong to the nobility. This caused quite a commotion in Roermond. After being married for 38 years, the colonel died in 1880 and was buried in the protestant part of the cemetery against the wall. His wife died in 1888 and had decided not to be buried in the family tomb but on the other side of the wall, which was the closest she could get to her husband. Two clasped hands connect the graves across the wall.

Roermond is in Holland, and you can actually find the grave on Google Maps! Plus som extra photos of the grave, incl. pic no. 2 of the grave dressed in snow.

Life and Afterlife: Dealing with the Dead in the Viking Age [da]

lørdag den 5. januar 2013

Professor Neil Price (Archaeology, University of Aberdeen) delivers three lectures focusing on the fundamental role that narrative, storytelling and dramatisation played in the mindset of the Viking Age (8th-11th centuries), occupying a crucial place not only in the cycles of life but particularly in the ritual responses to dying and the dead.

Early medieval Scandinavians’ attitudes to death provide a window on the Viking mind, and they were monumentalised in some of the most spectacular burials known to archaeology. A study of these complex and spectacular funeral rituals is not only fascinating in its own right, but is inevitably also a meditation on this particular culture’s responses to the human condition. The Vikings’ unique view of the world can provide genuinely deep perspectives on the fundamentals of life, on the fears of mortality that confronted them as they still confront us.

Event Date: September 26, 2012

Source: http://www.cornell.edu/video/?videoID=2443

Lucy vs. KNM-ER 1808 [da]

onsdag den 7. november 2012

The first members of early Homo sapiens are really quite distinct from their australopithecine predecessors and contemporaries. Perhaps the most fundamental dissimilarity, a dramatic size difference, is shown here in this correctly scaled comparison of the reconstructed skeletons of two women: “Lucy,” a 3-Myr-old australopithecine (Wood 1992), and KNM-ER 1808 (Walker, Zimmerman, and Leakey 1982), a woman of our species about half that age. Australopithecine contemporaries to KNM-ER 1808 were as small as Lucy. Other differences lie in skeletal proportions and brain size, both absolute and relative to body size.

Source: http://mbe.oxfordjournals.org/content/17/1/2.full

Tibetan Sky Burial [da]

søndag den 30. september 2012

For the most part, Westerners formally dispose of our bodies in one of two ways: as a rule, we bury or we burn.

The Tibetans do things a little differently.

Images via ellamorte:

Sky burial, or ritual dissection, is a funerary practice in Tibet, wherein a human corpse is incised in certain locations and placed on a mountaintop, exposing it to the elements (mahabhuta) and animals – especially predatory birds. The locations of preparation and sky burial are understood in the Vajrayana traditions as charnel grounds. In Tibet the practice is known as jhator (Tibetan: བྱ་གཏོར་, Wylie: bya gtor), which means “giving alms to the birds.”

The majority of Tibetans adhere to Buddhism, which teaches rebirth. There is no need to preserve the body, as it is now an empty vessel. Birds may eat it, or nature may let it decompose. So the function of the sky burial is simply to dispose of the remains. In much of Tibet, the ground is too hard and rocky to dig a grave, and, due to the scarcity of fuel and timber, sky burials are often more practical than cremation. High lamas and some other dignitaries may receive burials so as to honor them in death, but sky burials were standard practice for commoners.

Source: Wikipedia

16 buried hands … [da]

fredag den 14. september 2012

Discovery of 16 buried hands in Egypt provides first physical evidence of gruesome practice used by ancient warriors

Via xmorbidcuriosityx:

A glimpse into the brutal way warriors proved their prowess 3,600 has been unearthed in Egypt.

Archaeologists excavating a palace in the ancient city of Avaris have dug up four pits containing 16 large right hands believed to have been sliced from the arms of vanquished enemies.

Experts believe the discovery is the earliest and only physical evidence that soldiers used to present the cut-off right hands of enemies in exchange for gold.

Click here for the full story.

Four great paleoanthropologists [da]

fredag den 24. august 2012
Four great paleoanthropologists
Four great paleoanthropologists

From Left to Right: Tim White, Richard Leakey, Bernard Wood and Donald Johanson examine Johanson’s newly discovered Australopithecus fossils at the National Museum of Kenya (Photo: David Brill, 1978)

Source: www.achievement.org

NESPOS – open source information about Pleistocene humans [da]

tirsdag den 5. juni 2012

NESPOS is an open source information platform about Pleistocene humans, providing detailed information about important sites, their analytical results, archaeological findings and a selection of literary quotes. Moreover it is a repository where archaeologists and paleoanthropologists can exchange their research results and ideas by a protected Wiki-based collaboration platform with a continuously growing sample of 3D scanned human fossils and artefacts. The only problem? It’s not quite for free!

Photos: “Body Jars,” Cliff Coffins Are Clues to Unknown Tribe [da]

lørdag den 2. juni 2012

A fascinating story originally from National Geographic. I found the story on Tumblr and reblogged it from Archaeological News

Read the full story and see more pictures at NatGeo.

Researcher Nancy Beavan with a log coffin

Perched in some cases on precarious cliff ledges, centuries-old log coffins—such as this one, pictured alongside researcher Nancy Beavan—and “body jars” are the only known traces of an unknown Cambodian tribe. Now new dating studies are beginning to assure the unnamed culture a place in history.

Ten such burial spots have been found in the Cardamom Mountainssince 2003, and none are lower than about 50 stories—the intention apparently being that “anyone trying to disturb the burials would break their neck,” said Beavan, who led the new study.

Skulls and other human bones poke from large ceramic jars at Khnorng Sroal

Skulls and other human bones poke from large ceramic jars at Khnorng Sroal, one of the newly dated mountainside burials in southwestern Cambodia’s Cardamom Mountains.

Several log coffins lined up like ramshackle piano keys

Hewn from tree trunks some 700 years ago, several log coffins are pictured lined up like ramshackle piano keys beneath a rock overhang at the Phnom Pel burial site in Cambodia in 2010.

Human bones lie inside a log coffin at Phnom Pel

Human bones lie inside a log coffin at Phnom Pel.

Ouch!!! A man having his teeth chiseled [da]

lørdag den 2. juni 2012

A photograph from 1938 of a man having his teeth chiseled on the Mentawai Islands.

Source: Wikimedia Commons via Anthropological Curiosities

A man having his teeth chiseled, Mentawai Islands 1938