It's that time again, when anthropologically-inclined bloggers congregate around the Four Stone Hearth to exchange digital perspectives about the stones they've been kicking around lately. It was a close competition between an "Early Bird Special" and a "Death of a Blogger" edition, but since I had the whole enchilada ready one day early, the EBS theme took home the cup. So, in the interest of being early birdy (and special!), let's proceed without further ado:
- At Archaeolog, invited poster Cornelius Holtorf tackles the thorny issue of whether archaeologists really want to be associated with characters such as Indiana Jones and Lara Croft in "Hero! Real archaeology and "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull"(and why doesn't anyone ever mention Sydney Fox in these debates!?). In related news, an April 1 post at by Thadd at Archaeoporn breaks the news that the new Indiana Jones movie will accurately depict the practice of archaeology... serious reading, that!
- Shifting the focus from what archaeologists do to what the people they study did, Archaezoo reviews a recent paper about Upper Paleolithic horse hunters at Le Solutré that suggests that horse remains accumulated at that site as the result of hunters ambushing large numbers of migrating equids. Alex Steenhuyse of Anthrosite Blog also talks about Paleolithic hunting, in this case focusing on research on shifts in reindeer body part representation at Grotte XVI across the Middle-Upper Paleolithic transition.
- In other 'humans killing critters' news, there has been a lot of blogging about the news that it appears that it was both climate and humans that jointly did the mammoths in. Various takes on the study are provided by Andrew Guerin at Artificial Habitat, Kambiz Kamrani at Anthropology.net, and Greg Laden at Greg Laden's Blog.
- For something completely different, check out what Jeff Medkeff the Blue Collar Scientist has to say about non-peer-reviewed claims that the Sumerians observed and accurately documented an asteroid impact event at Köfels, Austria. In other odd book news, you should most certainly have a look at what John Hawks has to say about a recent book by Lynch and Granger in which they talk at length about the "amazing" Boskops!
- Over at Remote Central, you can find some of Terry Toohill's thoughts on "Human Evolution on Trial - Evolution." Still at Remote Central, Tim Jones also presents a summary of new information about the ongoing excavations at Stonehenge.
- In other excavation news, Martin Rundkvist of Aardvarchaeology (and originator of the Four Stone Hearth carnival!) reports on the "big honking hoard" found in a humble Iron Age burial.
- At Shared Symbolic Storage, Michael Pleyer reviews some of the papers presented at the Evolang 08 conference, and talks about the importance of spatial cognition and genetic transmission in contemporary research on linguistic evolution.
- Paul Wren of Wanna Be An Anthropologist illustrates a contemporary case of people creating a material record of their discard behaviors as he looks for cultural universals. The one he proposes is that all humans litter.
- At Archaeoporn, Thadd Nelson explores claims that people make to link archaeology and the supernatural, based on recent work reviewing Neolithic well digging.
- Mike Smith of Publishing Archaeology provides some comments about a new open access general anthropology journal, in which authors pay to publish, as well as on sloppy editing in some edited volumes.
- Over at Testimony of the Spade, Magnus Reuterdahl offers some thoughts on the "an ear for an ear" judgment that has been served against a Finnish tourist for damaging one of the Easter Island statues.
- Martin Cagliani (Mundo Neandertal) and Kris Hirst (Archaeology Blog) shoot the... errr, well, discuss the discovery of 'human remains' (literally) on the coast of Washington State that predate the Clovis culture found later in North America.
- At The Ideophone, Mark Dingemanse discusses "Migration Stories" and presents some thoughts about current perceptions of recent transcribed oral accounts of the Cushite past of the Mawu people of present-day Ghana.
- And to conclude this installment of Four Stone Hearth, Daniel Lende of Neuroanthropology offers two related and thought-provoking posts on Human Biology and Models for Obesity and on Culture and Inequality in the Obesity Debate.
Thanks again to everybody who sent links! The next Four Stone Hearth will be held in 15 days' time at Hominin Dental Anthropology! Be sure to send Jason some links!