Comments on Culture

DNA identifies new hominin

March 24, 2010
Leave a Comment

And the puzzle of human history in Asia has a new piece…

Scientists have identified a previously unknown type of ancient human through analysis of DNA from a finger bone unearthed in a Siberian cave.

The extinct “hominin” (human like creature) lived in Central Asia between 48,000 and 30,000 years ago. The discovery raises the intriguing possibility that three forms of human – Homo sapiens, Neanderthals and the species represented by X-woman – could have met each other and interacted in southern Siberia.

Via BBC News – DNA identifies new ancient human dubbed ‘X-woman’.

Denisova Cave, Siberia

Curiously, the ground layer in which the bone was found also contained a bracelet and tools associated with modern humans. A result of mixed layers, or cultural artifacts from a previously unknown group? Full results are published in Nature.


Farewell to our dear Levi-Strauss

November 3, 2009
Leave a Comment

A well composed article on the contributions of an intillectual icon:

New York Times Obituary


a stand-up gal

November 2, 2009
Leave a Comment

Here’s a good summary of Le Guin’s place in our hearts and minds:

Happy Birthday Ursula K. Le Guin | Savage Minds

Le Guin, as many people know, is the daughter of two great anthropologists — Alfred Kroeber and his wife Theodora. Her fiction, poetry, and essays on writing defy easy classification. Her stories are like pieces of wood furniture — simply and sturdily written, with a beautiful simplicity and craftmanship. They are easy enough for children to read, but have an emotional profundity that gives them great depth. Before her, no one thought to combine Boasian anthropology, Daoist inclinations, and keen sense of place rooted in Northern California, and after her the niche is pretty well filled. Like ethnographies, LeGuin’s best pieces — which for me means Left Hand of Darkness and especially The Dispossessed — ask universal questions through the exploration of particular times and places.

Posted using ShareThis