Anthro in the news 6/14/10

• The not-so-Human Terrain System
The Huffington Post quotes Hugh Gusterson in a piece on the Human Terrain System:  Gusterson says that the HTS is marketed as a way to build a more secure world, in fact it does the opposite in terms of supporting a “brutal war of occupation.”

• Not just any dame
Biological anthropologist and specialist in lemurs, Alison Richard was appointed a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire on Saturday during Queen Elizabeth II’s 2010 Birthday Honours. Congratulations, Dame Richard.

• Let’s go: gladiator cemetery
Category: best preserved gladiator cemetery. Current winner: York, England, with more than 80 Roman warriors in a just-discovered cemetery.  Fascinating details include a “high incidence of substantial arm asymmetry” in the skeletons and evidence of a “large carnivore bite…an injury which must have been sustained in an arena context.”  The discovery of the cemetery, according to Gillian Cruddas, chief executive of Visit York, says, “This is yet another great York story to add to the city’s exciting and colorful heritage.”

• A very old shoe
Category: oldest shoe. Current winner: a 5,500 year-old shoe found by archaeologists in a cave in Armenia. Lead researcher, Dr. Ron Pinhasi of University College Cork, Ireland, estimates that the shoe was European size 37, or US size 7. It’s up for grabs as to whether it was for him or for her.

• In recognition and memoriam
Shelton Davis, aged 67, died on May 27, in Falls Church, Virginia. He earned a PhD in anthropology from Harvard University, with a dissertation based on fieldwork among a Maya community in highland Guatemala. An activist anthropologist and indigenous rights advocate, he founded the Anthropology Resource Center, an early contribution to “public interest” anthropology. His 1978 book, Victims of the Miracle, is  a classic account of the social and environmental costs of development in the Brazilian Amazon in the 1970s. Blogger’s note: I read Victims when I was in college. It offers a vivid story. I recommend it to you.

Eugene I. Knez, aged 94, died in Honolulu. He worked at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History from 1959 to 1979 and launched its first permanent Asian exhibitions.  He earned his PhD in anthropology from Syracuse University in 1959.

Raymond Allchin, archaeologist and cultural historian of India, aged 86 years, died on June 4. Allchin was a leading force in promoting scholarly recognition of South Asian prehistory. He also sought to reach a wider audience by writing in an engaging way about everyday topics such as cow dung.

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