Author Archives: archaeologist71

The evolution of walking (bipedalism)

Introduction We are seen as the only great ape to have stood upright and taken strides forward. Why this event took place is surrounded by a lot of hypotheses.  These include 1. savannah theory: leaving the trees to live on the ground (Dart, 1953) 2. brachiation hypothesis: it evolved from walking in trees from branch […]

Memmie Le Blanc: a history of an 18th century feral child

No images exist of Memmie, except for this naive engraving, which may not even be a likeness Last autumn I decided to conduct research into the phenomenon of feral children.  I had the idea that there was something to learn about innate human nature from them, from being raised outside of human society, unsocialised.  I […]

The invention of leavened bread, or “which fool spilled their beer into my freshly ground flour!”

Here in the West, and especially in the Northern hemisphere, the mainstay of the human diet is leavened bread, and no-one knows how this mainly European food was invented.  Traditional leavened bread is seen across Europe, and also other parts of the Northern hemisphere, including Russia.  It is not so widely seen in the traditional […]

The perplexing world of Archaeological Artifacts: visiting Neanderthals and Vikings

Our knowledge of the past comes from 2 main resources: archaeology and historical documents (including oral records). However, neither gives us absolutes.  Historical documents comes from the hands of people, some of whom may have a bias about what they are writing upon.  If they are sincere and trying their best to be accurate and […]

Ota Benga: The African Mbuti man displayed in the Bronx Zoo

Figure 1  Ota Benga  at the Bronx Zoo, 1906 On September 8th 1906, there were queues at the Bronx Zoo in New York to see the new exhibit in the monkey house.  Here was to be displayed, within the cage and with the apes, a living cannibal surrounded by scatterings of bones.  His teeth were […]

A review of Uttermost Part of the Earth by E. Lucas Bridges: the southernmost indigenous peoples of the planet and their fate at Tiera del Fuego.

Yamana group, Tierra del Fuego This is  a review of a most amazing book called ‘Uttermost Part of the Earth: a history of Tierra del Fuego and the Fuegians’ (1948) by E. Lucas Bridges. I have been studying hunter-gatherers as part of my MSc, but I came upon this book by chance a year ago.  […]

Uncontacted tribes of the Andaman Islands: do we approach?

The field of anthropology has a long held fascination with so called ‘stone age’ modern people and most especially with uncontacted hunter-gatherers. It is believed that hunter-gatherers provide us with a window into our own distant pasts, showing us who we were before the advent of agriculture or use of metals. I’m an archaeologist who […]