The Four Stone Hearth Blog Carnival

Four Stone Hearth is the Anthropology Blog Carnival. The main page for the carnival is here. The previous carnival was held at A Hot Cup of Joe, and the next edition will be at Natures/Cultures blog.

The current edition of the Four Stone Hearth Anthropology Blog Carnival is ….. HERE, below the fold. Please visit all the sites and enjoy. We are heavy on linguistics this edition, by the way…

NeuroanthropologyUncyclopedia on Anthropology

For our readers not too familiar with the history or current state of anthropology, you could find much more useful resources, but why bother? Consult Uncyclopedia’s article on ‘anthropology,’ a muddled mess of baseless assertions and inaccuracies; in other words, probably as good a definition as any other.

A Hot Cup of Joe Sacrifice and the Anthropology of Religion

Mention the word “sacrifice” in a religious context and, for many people, thoughts of young virgins tossed in volcanoes by a Polynesian King or lying on altars below the obscenely sharp obsidian blade of an Aztec ruler. Or perhaps they’re reminded of the story of blind faith by Abraham who was prepared to murder his son for a god that commanded it.

AardvarchaeologyHundreds of Iron Age War Dead Found

Illerup Adal in Jutland is known for one of Denmark’s largest and most well-excavated war booty sacrifices, most of it dating from the early 3rd century AD. (See my recent entry about the similar Swedish site Finnestorp.) As I’ve learned from my friend Tim Olsson’s new book about such sites, there’s a second find spot at Vaedebro, right where the Illerup stream empties into Lake Mosso, a few kilometres from the war booty site. The artefact finds here are few, but the bones of 25-30 people were found about 1960, mainly robust men, some with battle wounds. And now the Vaedebro site has exploded thanks to limited new excavations!

ArchaeopopArchaeology without digging: Altinum

The Vigorous North has a great post about the use of remote sensing to find the city plan of ancient Altinum, a precursor to Venice. Check out the amazing results from infrared aerial photography

Electric ArchaeologyConference: Trade, Commerce, and the State in the Roman World, 1-3 Oct 2009

As I don’t expect I’ll be in Oxford any time soon, maybe somebody could take notes on William Harris’ presentation on the timber trade in the Roman world? Many thanks! I’ve been interested in that trade for a while – it is woefully underexplored – and I have some thoughts on it coming out in the Cambridge Companion to the City of Rome (due out soon, I believe!), but these are mostly cursory. I’m imagining someone like Harris probably has some very interesting things to say…

Greg Laden’s BlogA true ghost story. Part I: A City of Death and Misery

Kimberley South Africa is said to be the most haunted city in the world, and it certainly is a city with a remarkable and dark history. The culture of Kimberley is constructed from the usual colonial framework on which are draped the tragic lives of representatives from almost every native culture from thousands of kilometers around.

History Today NewsScotland’s national collection of buildings, archaeology and industry opens its files to the public

The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS) was established in 1908 and for the past 100 years has collected, recorded and interpreted information on the architectural, industrial, archaeological and maritime heritage of Scotland. Yesterday, its main web-based archive, Canmore, opened its files to the public, becoming interactive for the first time. Members of the public are now able to add their own knowledge directly to the archives by providing more detailed information and uploading their own photos to any of the 280,000 places of interest recorded on the database. To add information to the archives, members of the public simply search for a site, register and then upload the additional information.

Running Cause I Can’t FlyArchaeology: “Cahokia: Human Sacrifice on the Mississippi”

“Human sacrifice! Victims buried alive! Read all about it in “Cahokia- Ancient America’s Great City on the Mississippi.” According to this new book by University of Illinois archaeologist and professor of anthropology Tim Pauketat, the mound builders were not always the idyllic, corn-growing, pottery-making, fishing-hunting gentle villagers depicted in various dioramas at the Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site in Collinsville.

Ad HomininWhy the Aquatic Ape Hypothesis doesn’t hold water

Among this week’s new videos from TED, was a talk given by Elaine Morgan – the chief promoter of the Aquatic Ape Hypothesis (AAH). The AAH was first formulated by Alister Hardy and is the idea that human evolution went through an aquatic stage, which in turn explains many of the features of the human physiology. For anybody with a poor understanding of evolutionary biology the AAH arguments can seem quite compelling. Instead of repeating the numerous reasons why the AAH fails (Jim Moore has an entire website dedicated to this), I wish to address some of the specific arguments made in this video.

Langauge LogCar Talk Linguistics

For people interested in language, linguistically-interesting bits grow on pretty much all of the trees in the forest of communicative interaction. In order to get on with life, we let most of the specimens pass without comment. But the first two segments of this week’s Car Talk radio show, which I listened to with half an ear while I waited for a computer program to finish running, rose to the threshold of bloggability: the first segment because it offered a nice exchange on what an “accent” is, suitable for use in my new lecture notes for this year’s Linguistics 001; and the second segment because it relates to a recent and celebrated British libel case.

ScholarshipsLinguistics PhD Scholarhsips

Three full-time, 3 year PhD scholarships are available in the Department of Linguistics, Macquarie University, in conjunction with the HEARing Co-operative Research Centre. The PhD projects are: Project 1: Human Brain Mapping of Tinnitus and its Remediation; Project 2: Research the barriers and facilitators to successful hearing rehabilitation for older adults; Project 3: Central Auditory Disabilities in Children with Language Impairment. Please see attached PDF for more information.

FlintFlint~Party Store Linguistics

I had a confusing conversation with a Californian yesterday in which I repeatedly used the term “party store” while discussing my recent visit to Flint. I was trying to describe the huge role party stores played for Flint residents thirsty for beer and wine, especially teenagers. He thought Flintoids had an unhealthy attachment to wrapping paper.

The Ideophone … …

Refinding the oldest specimen of Siwu~The oldest written fragments of Siwu found so far come from Rudolph Plehn … two lines of songs … Now I’ve found a full transcription … buried in a somewhat obscure thesis titled The music of Tokpaikor shrine in Akpafu: a case study of the role of Tokpaikor music in Akpafu traditional worship. How that thesis came to be in my possession is a story of its own, involving an utterly unhelpful secretary at the University of Ghana’s Music Dept, a forged letter, and a surprise parcel from professor Kofi Agawu in my pigeon hole back home — but let me not waste any more time on that.

University Diaries Heard the one about the retired Norwegian linguistics professor…

A retired Norwegian linguistics professor has described Swedes as “stupid” for not being able to understand Norwegian. Norwegians have no problem with Swedish, the professor points out.