Richard Zgusta (2015:149) sketches the migrations, transformations, and fluctuating fortunes of lineages grafted from outside food-producers onto the Nanai, historically non-agricultural sedentary fisher-hunters in the Khabarovsk and Primorsky regions of the Russian Far East—lassos for lines, equestrians to pedestrians. Some of these come to insinuate themselves into multiple “ethnicities” or народы.
One of the numerically largest lineages associated with immigrants from Manchuria are the Beldy. According to their oral traditions, … ⇒
The French apostolic missionary Mermet de Cachon (1828–1870) finds his prying deflected and then rebuffed in Hokkaido (English transl. of excerpt in Refsing 2000:23; original reproduced same volume):
One day while I was visiting my good Ainu, I asked the elders about the origins of their ancestors, and about the first facts in their history, but I was unable to get anything out of my hosts; the elders trembled at my questions, … ⇒
Freshly back from Vancouver, which I will be recapping later.
Here’s a first-pass pull of titles from the preliminary program of the 86th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists in New Orleans (April 19, 2017–April 22, 2017), which I’m sorry to say I won’t be making.
Some of these were presented previously at SAA2017 or have already come out in journals/as preprints. … ⇒
Andreĭ Aleksandrovich Popov (1964:579) introduces us to the epic tales (ситаби) and historical legends (дюрумэ) of the Samoyedic-speaking Nganasans on the Taymyr Peninsula, which evince important links to their neighbors (Turkic-speaking Yakuts and Dolgans, North Tungusic-speaking Evenks, other Samoyeds like the Nenets/Nentsy):
The epic tales are usually very long; it often takes several evenings to tell them. … ⇒
Some caveats: In strongly stratified societies, outside relations can radically differ by social tier. If we want to approach things archaeologically, “hybridity” of material culture, especially prestige gear, may not be commensurate with genetic admixture — artistic idealizations obviously even less so. In historical periods, some of this blurring is just artefactual: it’s often daunting to keep barbarians straight, … ⇒
I’m looking forward to the 82nd annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology (Vancouver, BC, Canada: March 29–April 2, 2017) at the end of this month, which will be my first SAA.
This is a sprawling conference. I’ve spent a long while going through the entries and have highlighted some abstracts of special interest below — I’ll feature things that caught my eye from other domains of archaeology and non-human aDNA/proteome work in later posts. … ⇒
Nature Communications 8, Article number: 14115 (2017)
Douglas J. Kennett, Stephen Plog, Richard J. George, Brendan J. Culleton, Adam S. Watson, Pontus Skoglund, Nadin Rohland, Swapan Mallick, Kristin Stewardson, Logan Kistler, Steven A. LeBlanc, Peter M. Whiteley, David Reich & George H. Perry
For societies with writing systems, hereditary leadership is documented as one of the hallmarks of early political complexity and governance. … ⇒
Lauriane Bourgeon, Ariane Burke, Thomas Higham
PLoS ONE 12(1): e0169486. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0169486
The timing of the first entry of humans into North America is still hotly debated within the scientific community. Excavations conducted at Bluefish Caves (Yukon Territory) from 1977 to 1987 yielded a series of radiocarbon dates that led archaeologists to propose that the initial dispersal of human groups into Eastern Beringia (Alaska and the Yukon Territory) occurred during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). … ⇒
The study of Ancient DNA (aDNA), DNA recovered from archaeological and historic post mortem material, has complemented the study of anthropology and archaeology. There are several challenges in the retrieval and analysis of DNA from ancient specimens including exogenous contamination with modern DNA, … ⇒
As you may have noticed, preparing for my second trip to Russia has really diverted my attention from blogging. May stamp out some dispatches as time permits, but expect post intensity to remain low until I get back.
Boston St. Petersburg Aug. 3
St. Petersburg Samara Aug. 13
Samara Novosibirsk Aug. 16
Novosibirsk Vladivostok Aug. 20
Vladivostok Fairbanks Aug. 24
Fairbanks Boston Aug. 28 … ⇒