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Anthropology headlines in CAS News

  • The High Life of Breastfeeding

    Motherhood is hard. Marijuana can help.

    As more states legalize marijuana and THC becomes more available in friendly, edible forms, more parents are using it to numb the anxiety that comes with raising children. For the one in seven women who develop postpartum depression, THC can be a tempting solution. However, unlike alcohol, which is undetectable in breast milk 2-3 hours per drink after it is consumed, recent research on THC in human milk following cannabis use revealed that traces of THC remain in breast milk even 12 hours from consumption with no clear peak point.

    Last month, Washington … » More …

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  • Christians Supplied Medieval Pagans With Horses for Sacrifice

    Pagans in northern Europe’s Baltic region imported horses from neighboring Christian countries during the late medieval period to sacrifice in funeral rituals, a study has revealed.

    The research, published in the journal Science Advances, analysed the teeth of horses buried in the cemeteries of these communities and discovered that the pagans sourced at least some of the animals from newly Christianized Scandinavia across the Baltic Sea.

    This challenges the traditional archaeological consensus that pagan Baltic tribes exclusively sacrificed horses from local breeds, while also casting light on the complex relationship these groups had with Christian communities.

    “Our results prove that … » More …

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  • Tim Kohler to deliver Cordell Lecture

    SFI External Professor Tim Kohler (Washington State University) will be delivering the Linda S. Cordell Lecture through the School for Advanced Research (SAR) on April 28, 2024, at the New Mexico History Museum.

    In his lecture, Kohler, who recently co-led an SFI working group on “Inequality over the long-term,” will offer an archaeological account of wealth disparity worldwide, including the pre-Hispanic Southwest. His talk, “10,000 Years of Inequality: The Archaeology of Wealth Differences,” draws on new data from his Global Dynamics of Inequality (GINI) project.

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    Sante Fe Institute

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  • Uncovering Ancient Maya

    In the third episode of season three, Mae and Alyssa interview Dr. Rachel Horowitz, assistant professor of anthropology at Washington State University.

    Listen in as Dr. Horowitz discusses how Classic Maya communities in Belize made and used chert stone tools, and what analyzing tool production processes can tell us about the ancient economy. Alyssa, Mae, and Dr. Horowitz discuss the broader socio-economic implications of chert quarrying and production and what stone tools can tell us about rituals related to the underworld.

    Available online:

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  • Are anxiety and depression social problems or chemical disorders?

    Two anthropologists question the chemical imbalance theory of mental health disorders.

    Twentieth-century science was supposed to change everything. Indeed, thanks to vaccinations, antibiotics, and improved sanitation, humans thrived like never before. Yet in that mix was thrown pharmacological treatments for mental health disorders. On that front, little progress has been made.

    It can be argued—it is being argued, in a new paper in American Journal of Physical Anthropology—that we’re regressing in our fight against mental health problems. As Kristen Syme, a PhD student in evolutionary anthropology, and Washington State University anthropology professor Edward Hagen argue, psychopharmacological treatments are increasing alongside mental health disorder diagnoses. If … » More …

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