Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Four Stone Hearth #85: Cold Wind Edition

A cold wind's blowing into Denver, bringing with it clouds and the promise for snow in the morning... what better time to inch ever closer to the Four Stone Hearth to warm one's anthropological body and soul!

I mean, it probably won't get as cold as Stockholm during the Middle Ages (as described at Testimony of the Spade), or Sweden in the Bronze Age, no matter how sweet their hoards of metal goods, at least as described at Aardvarchaeology! And, hey, at least it's still further south than, say, Wyoming, where you can find very interesting patterns in the distribution of archaeological remains, courtesy of Matt at Neolithic Revolutions.

But still, I'm sure some bundling up will be in order and, of course, this will require appropriate clothing. So why not get yourself a good discussion of ancient pants, courtesy of Kris Hirst. Of course, pants alone won't do... you'll probably need some shoes as well and a post on prehistoric footwear (or reconstructions thereof) at Middle Savagery might be just what you need.

No matter how good your clothes, though you ultimately will need some kind of shelter. Maybe something like the Neanderthal structures at Abric Romani, as described earlier here at AVRPI? Or maybe something in a warmer clime, like the open-air Lower Paleolithic site of Gesher Benot Ya'aqov, in Israel, as summarized by Tim at Of course, why live in a rockshelter or campsite when you could live in a Roman-age city, like Iruña-Veleia, where debate rages over the potential forgery of some inscriptions, as discussed in depth by Maju at Lehrensuge.

All this talk about authenticity and urban settings might prompt you to engage in some deeper reflections about the nature of the city and the human-built environment. If so, what better place to start than this reflection on balancing progress and history prompted by some of the art at Penn Station in New York, brought to you by Krystal at Anthropology in Practice? And while pondering this and other probing questions of anthropological import, consider Afarensis' thought-provoking post on the place of Melville Herskovits in the history of American anthropology and his work on the history and anthropology of African American. And speaking of introspective reflections on the development of anthropology as a discipline, definitely take the time to read Steve Chrisomalis' fantastic discussion of linguistic anthropology's place in a four-field discipline, and the state of that ideal today.

Well, that does it for today... while a cold wind's not always a bad thing (especially as channeled by BRMC!), it's nonetheless time to go warm myself up for real and say goodbye until next time at the Four Stone Hearth, which Magnus will have burning strong at Testimony of the Spade!

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