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Anthropology | CAS News and Events

Anthropology headlines in CAS News

  • WSU Emeritus/Emerita Society gives awards, grants to undergraduate researchers

    Members of CAS in anthropology, English, earth sciences, mathematics, and psychology are among those who received awards from the Washington State University Emeritus/Emerita Society for their research in arts and humanities.

    “It’s a pleasure for the members of our Society to recognize the great research projects that our students are undertaking in subjects that span so many disciplines at WSU,” said Larry Fox, retired veterinary science and animal sciences professor. He represented the organization at the April 13 ceremonies where the seven students were honored. That event was hosted by the Division of Academic Engagement and Student Achievement.

    “This year’s award and grant … » More …

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  • Were These Beetles Once as Valuable as Gemstones?

    The discovery of 2,000-year-old, iridescent green figeater beetle (Cotinis mutabilis) jewelry at two sites at Bears Ears National Monument in southeastern Utah may help solve a long-standing historical mystery.

    For years, archaeologists have debated why decorative metals and semi-precious stones have never been uncovered in the American Southwest from the period 500 BCE to 500 CE, when Basketmaker II society was in the thick of an agricultural revolution. It’s a major exception to a universal cultural shift from hunting and gathering to agriculture with which those artifacts are almost always associated.

    Archaeologist William D. Lipe, a professor emeritus at Washington State University in Pullman, … » More …

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  • Ask Dr. Universe: Did dinosaurs eat humans?

    If you looked inside a T. rex mouth, you’d see some 12-inch teeth. That’s longer than my tail!

    I asked my friend Aaron Blackwell if dinosaurs used those big chompers on humans. He’s an anthropologist who studies human biology at Washington State University. He told me dinosaurs and humans didn’t live at the same time.

    “Dinosaurs died out 65 million years ago—before there were even primates,” Blackwell said. “So, they could never have eaten a human or even a monkey.”

    Find out more

    Dr. Universe

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  • A man’s world? Not according to biology or history.

    Many of us look at the stranglehold that gender-based oppression has on our societies and wonder if there was a time when men didn’t have this much power, when femininity and masculinity didn’t mean what they do now. When we search for powerful women in ancient history, when we try to identify precedents for equality in the distant past, perhaps we also betray our longing for an alternative in a world in which we fear there may be none.

    Patriarchy—giving all power and authority to the father—can sometimes seem like a vast conspiracy stretching into deep time. The word itself has become devastatingly monolithic, encompassing … » More …

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  • Small differences in mom’s behavior may show up in child’s epigenome

    Adding evidence to the importance of early development, a new study links neutral maternal behavior toward infants with an epigenetic change in children related to stress response.

    Epigenetics are molecular processes independent of DNA that influence gene behavior. In this study, researchers found that neutral or awkward behavior of mothers with their babies at 12 months correlated with an epigenetic change called methylation, or the addition of methane and carbon molecules, on a gene called NR3C1 when the children were 7 years old. This gene has been associated with regulating the body’s response to stress.

    “There is evidence of a relationship between the quality of … » More …

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