Anthropology

The Aztec Way of Empire

The Aztec Way of Empire

Six imperial rulers expanded the Mexica domain from 1430 until 1519, until the Spaniards first set foot in Tenochtitlan and disrupted the Aztec imperial agenda.

Frances F. Berdan
Frances F. Berdan
11 min read
History
Jennifer Raff’s ‘Origin: A Genetic History of the Americas’—A Review

Jennifer Raff’s ‘Origin: A Genetic History of the Americas’—A Review

Jennifer Raff’s Origin: A Genetic History of the Americas was published with much fanfare in February, garnering a rave New York Times review. And as of this writing, it is listed as one of the top 10 books about genetics on Amazon. The success reflects the fact that the

Elizabeth Weiss
Elizabeth Weiss
13 min read
History
The Problem of Sex Discrimination in Indigenous Archaeology

The Problem of Sex Discrimination in Indigenous Archaeology

In January, as reporters were celebrating the first woman—and also the first transgender person—to win more than a million dollars on Jeopardy!, I was reading up on the discrimination still faced by biological women who toil away in my own fields of endeavor: anthropology and archaeology. This discrimination

Elizabeth Weiss
Elizabeth Weiss
7 min read
Anthropology
Remembering Richard Leakey (1944–2022), the Last Victorian Scientist

Remembering Richard Leakey (1944–2022), the Last Victorian Scientist

Kenyan paleoanthropologist Richard Leakey died on January 2nd at age 77, following an extraordinary career devoted to the scientific exploration of human origins. Richard was once my boss. And although we never became friends, I came to know him fairly well. He died peacefully in his house overlooking Kenya’s

Geoffrey Clarfield
Geoffrey Clarfield
10 min read
Anthropology
The Society of Cultural Anthropology’s Campaign to Present American Populism as Fascism

The Society of Cultural Anthropology’s Campaign to Present American Populism as Fascism

Earlier this year, the Society of Cultural Anthropology (SCA)—a subdivision of the American Anthropological Association (AAA)—published a series of essays exploring the topic of American Fascism. The project was run under the SCA’s “Hot Spots” category, which editors at the SCA’s journal, Cultural Anthropology, dedicate to

Matthew Porter
Matthew Porter
8 min read
Anthropology
Why Is the Society for American Archaeology Promoting Indigenous Creationism?

Why Is the Society for American Archaeology Promoting Indigenous Creationism?

In April, one of us—Elizabeth Weiss—gave a talk, titled Has Creationism Crept Back into Archaeology?, at the 86th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology (SAA). The 87-year-old SAA identifies itself as “an international organization dedicated to research about the interpretation and protection of the archaeological heritage

Elizabeth Weiss and James W. Springer
Elizabeth Weiss and James W. Springer
15 min read
Anthropology
The Campaign to Thwart Paleogenetic Research Into North America's Indigenous Peoples

The Campaign to Thwart Paleogenetic Research Into North America's Indigenous Peoples

One of the major North American archaeological discoveries of the 20th century was made in 1967 by a bulldozer crew preparing a site for a movie theater in the small fishing village of Port au Choix (PAC), on Newfoundland’s Northern Peninsula. It was a vast, 4,000-year-old cemetery created

Bruce Bourque
Bruce Bourque
19 min read
Anthropology
The Dangerous Life of an Anthropologist

The Dangerous Life of an Anthropologist

Limping in crutches, his broken leg shielded in plaster following a jogging accident, the distinguished biologist Edward O. Wilson made his way slowly toward the stage at a convention of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1978. Climbing the stairs, taking his seat, and shuffling his notes,

Matthew Blackwell
Matthew Blackwell
22 min read
Anthropology