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Anthropology headlines in CAS News

  • A Battle is Being Waged to Save Bears Ears, Chaco Canyon National Parks

    During his tenure, Barack Obama gave roughly 553 million acres of land national protection (more than even famed conservationist Theodore Roosevelt) by establishing or adding to 29 national monuments, signaling an unprecedented commitment to protecting culturally and historically significant American land.

    However, since his election, conservationists have worried Donald Trump and his administration were going to greatly reduce the amount of sacred, tribal land protected under federal law.

    “If the Trump administration’s effort to dramatically reduce the size of the Bears Ears National Monument survives challenges in federal courts, it would represent a very large change in application of the 1906 Antiquities Act – because … » More …

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  • Oldest tattoo tool in western North America discovered

    Washington State University archaeologists have discovered the oldest tattooing artifact in western North America.

    Andrew Gillreath-Brown.Andrew Gillreath‑Brown, an anthropology PhD candidate, chanced upon the pen‑sized instrument while taking an inventory of archaeological materials that had been sitting in storage for more than 40 years.

    With a handle of skunkbush and a cactus‑spine business end, the tool was made around 2,000 years ago by the Ancestral Pueblo people of the Basketmaker II period in what is now southeastern Utah.

    “Tattooing by prehistoric people in the Southwest is not talked about much because there has not ever been … » More …

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  • CAS undergraduate receives Sigma Xi research grant

    AnnMarie McCracken, an undergraduate student at Washington State University, has been awarded a research grant from Sigma Xi, the scientific research honor society’s Grants‑in‑Aid of Research program.

    Only 12 percent of the 810 grant applications in 2018 were approved for funding, and only 17 of the approved proposals were from undergraduates.

    McCracken is pursuing a double bachelor’s degree with majors in French and in anthropology.

    She will receive an $847 grant from the Sigma Xi program’s ecology category for her project “An Isotopic Examination of Dietary Niche Partitioning Between Lynx and Bobcats in a Range Edge Environment.”

    Find out more

    WSU Insider

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  • John Chau Wanted to Change Life on North Sentinel Island. Was He Wrong?

    The death of a young American missionary on a tropical island at the hands of an indigenous group has left us to wonder: Are they better off with us or without us?

    Because of their isolation, researchers say, the islanders have no immunity to infections and diseases of the outside world. Even a common cold could kill them. They posit that Mr. Chau put these people in grave danger and he should have never visited.

    John Bodley, an anthropologist at Washington State University, agrees.

    “There is no question that this attempt … » More …

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  • Archaeology offers insights into climate change strategies

    Once again, humanity might be well served to take heed from a history lesson. When the climate changed, when crops failed and famine threatened, the peoples of ancient Asia responded. They moved. They started growing different crops. They created new trade networks and innovated their way to solutions in other ways too.

    So suggests new research by former WSU anthropologist Jade d’Alpoim Guedes and Kyle Bocinsky, an alumnus (PhD ’14) and adjunct faculty member in the Department of Anthropology, a senior researcher with the Village Ecodynamics Project, and the William D. Lipe Chair in Research with the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center in Cortez, Colorado.

    Their … » More …

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