Visit Blog
Explore Tumblr blogs with no restrictions, modern design and the best experience.
taibhsearachd2 days ago
Birdie I鈥檇 love to hear if you have any favourite stories about like ancient times babies and children (like the baby hand print art on cave walls) 馃挄
Not so much a story, but here is a collection of images I like to call "goddamn, Roman children could not be stopped from walking across drying roof tiles".
Tumblr media
Tumblr media
Tumblr media
Tumblr media
Tumblr media
(Tiles are from, in order: Vaison-la-Romaine, France; Isola Sacra, Italy; Lincoln, Silchester, and Wendlebury, all in England.)
Also while double-checking the sourcing on these items, I found this delightful museum exhibit about children in the past, which 1) is in the UK and 2) has been closed since 2017, but they still have descriptions and good photos of the items available to browse, and oh my god there's so much cute shit in there you guys.
894 notesView notes
siir-poesia13 hours ago
One thing I enjoy about tumblr is that every now and then someone will be like "I had a dream where this was the next big meme" and tumblr is just collectively like yeah we can make that happen.
717 notesView notes
kaijutegu14 hours ago
The dating on this one looks really solid. Mud鈥檚 so much harder to date than ash, which is how we usually get footprint dates. But they had plenty of seeds on either side of the strata these feet are in, so they were able to got a nice range.
287 notesView notes
As much as I generally love my discipline, any time Indigenous scholars are like, "early - and sometimes more recent - anthropologists kinda fucked us over" all I can think is HELL YEAH CALL 馃憦 US 馃憦 THE 馃憦 FUCK 馃憦 OUT
67 notesView notes
rhysintherain2 days ago
Boys in year 1 and 2 anthropology classes are so convinced they know how humans work.
They don't.
But that won't stop them from loudly (and inaccurately) explaining humans to those of us who are just here for credits to graduate...
61 notesView notes
whattolearntoday2 days ago
Tumblr media
A bit of September 22nd history...
1735 - Robert Walpole becomes Britain鈥檚 first Prime Minister聽
1832 - During his HMS Beagle voyage, Charles Darwin discovers a large number of fossils at Punta Alta in Argentina
1922 - US Congress passes the Cable Act, under which an American woman who marries an 鈥渁lien鈥 will not lose citizenship; neither will a woman marrying an American automatically become a citizen
1937 - Date celebrated as 1st international Hobbit Day and the birthdays of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins聽
1985 - 1st Farm Aid concert held
1994 - 鈥淔riends鈥 debuts on NBC (pictured)
2011 - CERN scientists announce their discovery of neutrinos breaking the speed of light
34 notesView notes
t-h-ballarda day ago
Bitter Fruits
I can taste the sadness before it settles in, On my tongue, it is like bitter fruit with notes of the sweetest ambrosia. Sweet enough to seduce 鈥 And as what it touches destroys, I remind myself That from destruction comes beautiful things; And I find myself pleased by its occupancy for its elegance persuades And Sadness has taught me 鈥 that Happiness is an acquired taste.
- t.h. ballard
48 notesView notes
Tumblr media
Alfred Brown, from Stocking鈥檚 Functionalism Historicized.聽
A.R. Radcliffe-Brown is the only anthropologist I know of who had a signature cocktail. He called it the 鈥楥laire de Lune鈥. It was one one-third gin, one-third kirsch, one sixth lemon juice and one sixth orgeat. (Stocking, 鈥淩adcliffe-Brown鈥檚 receipts: the nomothetic of everyday life, p. 10 in HAN 5(1) 1978.)
Radcliffe-Brown鈥檚 eccentricity did not stop there. He spent his entire life cultivating the air of the cultured bohemian, affecting 鈥渁 cloak and opera-hat on inappropriate occasions鈥 (Kuper Anthro and Anthros 1st ed. 41). Examples 2 and 4He 鈥渉ad even thought out the best position in which to sleep,鈥澛 recounted one admirer, 鈥淣ot on the back, not whole on the side, and not like a foetus.鈥 (Watson, But to what purpose, p. 63).
I say he 鈥榗ultivated鈥 this air for good reason. It was a long way from Alfred Reginald Brown, his birth name, to A.R. Radcliffe-Brown, the hyphenated personality he concocted for himself after he added his mother鈥檚 surname to his own (there were 鈥渟o many other Browns in the world鈥 he remarked by way of explanation (Stocking After Tylor, 304) . R-B (as everyone called him) or 鈥楻ex鈥 (as familiarity his friends were allowed) was half English aristocrat and half Paris savant and definitely a project of self creation. In fact, Alfred Brown was born in 1881 鈥渙f undistinguished Warwickshire stock鈥 (Stocking, After Tylor 304). His father died when he was five, leaving his family penniless. R-B lived with his grandparents and soon found success through study, earning a scholarship to Cambridge in 1901.
It was at Cambridge that R-B was first exposed to anthropology. In 1898 the university had sent a large, interdisciplinary team of researchers to the Torres Straits, the narrow body of water separating Australia and New Guinea. Very little was known of the area at the time, and Torres Straits expedition, as it was known, investigated both sides of the straits, using what were then the latest techniques in the new fields of anthropology, psychology, and linguistics. The main members of the team for our purposes here were W.H.R. Rivers, A.C. Haddon, and C.G. Seligman. Seligman would move on to the LSE and be a teacher of Malinowski, but the others continued their association with Cambridge, forming a 鈥楥ambridge School鈥 of anthropology. This was the version of the discipline that Radcliffe-Brown would encounter in the early 1900s.
Brown earned his degree at Cambridge in 1904 and obtained another Cambridge-sponsored grant to conduct research in the Andamans, an isolated chain of islands between what is now Myanmar and India. The islands were seen by the British as one of the many last bastions of unexplored primitivity they could explore 鈥 they featured in the popular 1890 Sherlock Holmes story The Sign of the Four, for instance. For most of the 19th century the British used it as a harbor for ships moving between India and Burma (the both under British control) and as a prison. When Radcliffe-Brown visited the island its 鈥渘egrito鈥 were seen as the lowest form of life in Asia, perhaps possibly related to African pygmys. Today, the evidence suggests they are genetically related to Malaysian people and strongly resisted British forces, who 鈥榩acified鈥 the region violently and used its prison to isolate and incarcerate Indian activists striving for independence.
It turns out Radcliffe-Brown was not much of a fieldworker. Although he describes himself as having spent the years 1906 to 1908 in the Andamans, most of his actual fieldwork involved ten months of research at Fort Blair, the British military outpost, where he interviewed nearby Andamanese in an attempt to reconstruct their 鈥榩rimitive鈥 social organization as it existed before the arrival of the British. He gave up working in the other, less colonized islands because it would have involved spending years learning the language. 鈥淚 ask for the word 鈥榓rm鈥 and get the 脰nge for 鈥榶ou are pinching me鈥,鈥 he wrote. [this from Stocking, After Tylor 306-307].
In 1908 he returned to Cambridge. His fieldwork was only a partial success, but he had done it, and he won a fellowship at Trinity. He spent the next several years lecturing in England at the LSE, Birmingham, Cambridge, and other places. It was during this period that Radcliffe-Brown undertook another bout of research between 1908 and 1910, this time in Australia. Australia was seen as a particularly good place to do research because Aboriginal people were viewed as especially primitive remainders of human nature in the raw. Radcliffe-Brown鈥檚 expedition again got mixed results. He was paired with Daisy Bates, a now-famous female explorer, but they quarreled. Radcliffe-Brown got a sense of Australian colonialism when a ceremony was broken up by white settlers seeking to arrest Aboriginal people. Radcliffe-Brown ended up hiding them in his tent.聽
During his lectureships in England from the period of 1910 to 1914 Radcliffe-Brown continued to shape his own views. His Francophilia grew, as he discovered the work of Emile Durkheim and, especially, Marcel Mauss. Mauss corresponded with Radcliffe-Brown and Radcliffe-Brown began to see Durkheimian sociology as a novel and powerful theoretical form that could be applied to the nascent theories of 鈥榩rimitive鈥 social organization developed by Rivers. In 1914 he hyphenated his named, becoming finally A.R. Radcliffe-Brown.
Tumblr media
R-B in Australia in 1928
In 1914 he attended the same conference in Australia as Malinowski, only to find himself stranded there and without funds. Too old to enroll in the war (he was in his early thirties when it began) or get back home, and out of money, he took up a job at a grammar school in Sydney and eventually got a position as Director of Education for Tonga [After Tylor 324]. He tried mixing in a bit of fieldwork but was again frustrated by the need to learn a local language and spend a significant amount of time in the field. After the war, in 1919, he contracted tuberculosis and went to go live with his brother in South Africa.
In 1921? Radcliffe-Brown was appointed to the inaugural chair in anthropology at the University of Cape Town. He was not an active fieldworker in Africa, but used teaching as an opportunity to develop his own theories of social organization. These were most clearly on display in his 1922 book Andaman Islanders, in which he took ethnography from his earlier fieldwork and analyzed it using his new functional theory of social institutions which was deeply indebted to Mauss and Durkheim. Other than this book, however, Radcliffe-Brown became known for his essays, written versions of his lectures in which he expounded his systems of thought with great clarity. He used these essays to break with historicism, which he associated not with a scrupulous Durkheimian particularism, but with a conjectural history which explained 鈥榩rimitive鈥 societies in terms of survivals.
How did Radcliffe-Brown envision the relationship between politics and the academy? Importantly, he looked at South Africa in a politically progressive way as a single society composed of different groups, rather than two different 鈥榗ultures鈥 or 鈥榬aces鈥 meeting. This latter position was politically conservative in the South African context and played into apartheid discourses of the necessity of separate spheres for black and white, and 鈥榩reserving鈥 African culture by denying Africans western education and restricting them to 鈥榯ribal鈥 territories. But Radcliffe-Brown was hardly an activist. He believed in pursuing anthropology as a pure science - what we might call today 鈥榖asic research鈥 鈥 and did not believe it should be sullied with applied work, despite the fact that it offered, he claimed, objective truths about the social situation which administrators and politicians did not have access to. Anthropology鈥檚 pure scientific knowledge was useful, he claimed, and used it to criticize government policy which was uninformed by his insights. This stance was offered both relevance but also distance, and is a position which many anthropologists have taken from the safety of their ivory towers.
After five years at Cape Town, Radcliffe-Brown took up another inaugural chair in anthropology (support for which came from Orme Masson, an influential Australian professor and also Malinowski鈥檚 father in law), this one at the University of Sydney. Being at Sydney gave Radcliffe-Brown the ability to influence who was doing fieldwork not only in Australia, but in much of the southwest Pacific, including New Guinea. The position was supported by the Rockefeller foundation, whose goal was to provide training to colonial officers serving in New Guinea and elsewhere in the Pacific. The idea was that anthropology would make them better administrators. The results were mixed. Radcliffe-Brown鈥檚 structure functionalism was inherently conservative: since every institution in a society had a function, any change to the structure would be pathological. This was not the news that colonial authorities wanted to hear, since their goal was to change the societies they encountered, both for humanitarian reasons and for profit.
In 1931 Radcliffe-Brown moved again 鈥 this time to the University of Chicago. Chicago was the first place where he had taught in which he was not creating an anthropology program from scratch. Indeed, it was the first country in which there was already a well-developed and active program of anthropological research. As we have seen, in the pre-professonial days, anthropology was dominated by east coast departments such as Harvard, Yale, Penn, and Columbia, each of which were centers of intellectual life for each state they were in, and attached to a museum. Chicago was an upstart, the major academic power in the American midwest, and richly funded by Rockefeller money when it opened in 1890. The older, east coast departments emerged out of an English tradition derived ultimately from Oxbridge. Chicago was designed as a pure research university in the German tradition 鈥 鈥榯he college鈥, as it was called, was tacked on to the 鈥榰niversity鈥 which granted higher degrees. Anthropology鈥檚 foothold at Chicago was established by Frederick Starr, a model of the ultra-creepy and deeply racist anthropologist. He was replaced in 1924 by Faye Cooper Cole, a Boasian who was an able administrator whose goal was to build up the department by importing talent. He first hired Edward Sapir, the best Boasian available given that Kroeber was at Berkeley. In 1929 anthropology became a separate department from sociology. In 1931,When Sapir left, Cole looked for his next star and found Radcliffe-Brown.
Radcliffe-Brown helped put his unique spin on Chicago, a place which in its midwest isolation was already developing its own unique style. Radcliffe-Brown鈥檚 ahistorical 鈥榝unctionalism鈥 was different, he claimed, than the 鈥榟istorical鈥 school of the Boasians. He developed the study of North American kinship systems 鈥 which ended up being far more complicated than he had thought 鈥 and produced a generation of students who, along with Sapir-trained Robert Redfield and R-B鈥檚 old friend and student W. Lloyd Warner, would shape the department in the future.
Perhaps this is a good place to mention Radcliffe-Brown as a mentor. His global peregrinations prevented him from creating a circle of dedicated students the way Mauss, Boas, and Malinowski did. This lack of a Radcliffe-Brown 鈥榮chool鈥 was not just the result of his travels, but also seemed deeply ties to his character. By his time in Chicago in the 1930s, Alfred Brown had transformed himself into A.R. Radcliffe-Brown, a glittering Svengali of anthropology. He appears not to have had much of a private life, and was married and divorced early in his life. He did not have messy love-hate relationships full of intense and ambivalent relationships with his students as Malinowski did, nor was he a family man the way Boas was. He cultivated awed disciplines who adhered unquestioningly to his beautiful theories. Most of his career focused on teaching undergraduates, and his speciality was the lecture. As someone once remarked, he has trouble teaching graduate students because he had already taught them his entire system at the lecture. At Chicago he had students he worked closely with, such as Fred Eggan, but he did not found a school. Rather, he was one more influence in a rich mix of intellectual currents. [drawing on Stocking鈥檚 chapters in After Tylor]
Tumblr media
An elderly R-B, probably from his Oxford days, via the Pitt-Rivers.
Radcliffe-Brown鈥檚 day finally arrived in 1936. R.R. Marett, the reader of anthropology there, was going to retire, so All Souls (a wealthy college) agreed to food the bill for a professorship in anthropology, mostly, apparently, to stave off concerns that the deserved to be taxed by the university during the depression, when wealthy and ancient colleges like All Souls had extra money and the university as a whole was struggling . Malinowski was first offered the position, but was happy in London. Radcliffe-Brown was selected to fill it [drawn from ch. 3 and 4 of Riveiere鈥檚 Oxford Anthropology]. This was an important turning point for anthropology in the UK 鈥 for the first time, the 鈥榝unctional revolution鈥 had a firm hold at Oxbridge. Malinowski was Radcliffe-Brown鈥檚 frenemy, untied against the older anthropology but sparring for funds to create the new anthropology. In the 1930s they had jousted for control of Rockefeller money, but now students could be lured out of one orbit and into another. Malinowski鈥檚 massive two volume 1934 ethnography Coral Gardens and Their Magic set new records for empirical detail but seemed to offer little in terms of the new objective Science of Man that Malinowski promised his funders (鈥淚 know a lot about yam growing after reading it, I can tell you,鈥 Quipped Godfrey Wilson [Fires Beneath loc 2093]. Radcliffe-Brown, on the other hand, had a genuine theoretical system. For the more discerning English anthropologists, such as E.E. Evans-Pritchard, he offered a much more British and drama-free environment than Malinowski. Friday pub nights with Max Gluckman, Evans-Pritchard, and Meyer Fortes helped endear Radcliffe-Brown and his social systems to some of the most up and coming anthropologists of the next generation [Riviere, Oxford Anthropology, p. 90].聽 At any rate, in a twist of fate Malinowski left for America in 1938, never to return. Oxford was now the center for the new anthropology.
Institutional inertia affected Radcliffe-Brown as well. His larger-than-life bohemian personality did not fit in well with an institution which had valued conformity and tradition for literally a thousand years. Marett had advocated for what we might call a 鈥渇our-field鈥 approach in anthropology, including physical anthropology and archaeology, an old-school anthropology connected to museums (in this case, the Pitt-Rivers museum). Radcliffe-Brown, drawing on Malinowski鈥檚 success at the LSE, tried to transform Oxford into a center for graduate education. But the LSE was a new institution, with strong top-down control (whose ear Malinowski had) and a willingness to innovate. Radcliffe-Brown was unable to move conservative Oxford, and his innovations were seen by the existing community of anthropologists as a threat, 鈥榙isaster鈥 as Beatrice Blackwood called it. His various attempts to get external funding, or move internal college and university funding were also unsuccessful. He requested that the anthropology department be turned into an 鈥榠nstitute鈥, a request which the university did not approve. He simply changed the name on the door and printed new business cards! Eventually, the change was accepted. The depression no doubt didn鈥檛 help but neither, likely, did his personality 鈥 he lacked the tact and charm of Firth and Malinowski.聽 [Mills in History of Oxford Anthropology].
Tumblr media
The elderliest R-B, from his Oceania obituary.
Worse, World War II altered British national priorities in important and unforeseen ways. Radcliffe-Brown was 55 when he was hired at Oxford 鈥 just in time to watch students empty out of the university and into the military. He eventually left as well, spending the second half of the war in Brazil, trying to start an anthropology program in Sao Paolo. When the war was over so was his career: He retired in 1946 at the age of 65 (the standard year of retirement). During the war he had dreamed of returning to the United States, but bounced around in Egypt and South Africa (partially seeking drier warmer climates since, as he told Warner, he could not live in Britain in the winter any more) before settling in London. He died in 1955.
22 notesView notes
homosexual-having-tea2 months ago
You ever think about how unified humanity is by just everyday experiences? Tudor peasants had hangnails, nobles in the Qin dynasty had favorite foods, workers in the 1700s liked seeing flowers growing in pavement cracks, a cook in medieval Iran teared up cutting onions, a mom in 1300 told her son not to get grass stains on his clothes, some girl in the past loved staying up late to see the sun rise.
53K notesView notes
average-monster2 months ago
I see a lot of talk about how neurodivergence evolved and stayed in the gene pool because it was somehow 鈥榰seful鈥 to our ancient ancestors. While I don鈥檛 necessarily disagree with this theory, I would like to propose an alternative. A theory that we already have physical evidence for. Humans just love each other and care for each other. Don鈥檛 you think that a species that cared for it鈥檚 people while they recovered from broken bones, or nursed their elderly well beyond their 鈥榰sefulness鈥 would leave a member out because they didn鈥檛 make eye contact, or couldn鈥檛 stay focused on a particular task, or whatever other trait you associate with neurodivergence? I really don鈥檛.
Sure, maybe it was useful to have someone around who didn鈥檛 mind making arrowheads all day, or who knew absolutely everything about all of the local flora and fauna, or who keyed in on every little distraction. At the end of the day, though, these people weren鈥檛 kept around because they were useful, they were cared for because they were loved.
66K notesView notes
himbo-mulder2 months ago
Tumblr media
Tumblr media
Wild horses just make me so emotional man just look at those living cave paintings
13K notesView notes
kaijutegu25 minutes ago
Hey, a friend of mine was reading up on persistence hunting on Wikipedia, which cites this article in a pop science venue claiming that persistence hunting in early hominids was Obviously Impossible because the animals would run out of sight and the humans wouldn't be able to track them if the ground wasn't soft enough for footprints. This sounds like it's pretty bullshit from someone who doesn't do much hunting or tracking to me, although admittedly I am a soft potato EEB/neuroendocrinology person and paleoanthropology is not my strong suit. I might be wrong, and I want to know! Do you have any thoughts on this?
That is extremely wrong. So like... we have footage of MODERN hunter-gatherers persistence hunting across super tough grassland environments. There's a million little ways to track an animal without footprints. Knowing the lay of the land (where would it run? where would it not run?), looking for breaks in the grass, shrubbery, tree line, watching the behavior of other animals (did a flock of birds suddenly lift off?), etc.
So yeah, that's bullshit!
34 notesView notes
whattolearntodaya day ago
Tumblr media
A bit of September 23rd history...
1561 - King Philip II of Spain forbids Spanish settlements in Florida
1780 - British Major John Andre reveals Benedict Arnold鈥檚 plot to betray West Point
1846 - Johann Galle and Heinrich d鈥橝rrest find Neptune
1884 - American Herman Hollerith patents his Mechanical Tabulating Machine, the beginning of data processing
1932 - Abdulaziz Ibn Saud merges the kingdoms of Nejd and Hejaz into the kingdom of Saudi Arabia
1950 - Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Ralph Bunche for mediation in Israel - 1st African-American winner
1962 - ABC鈥檚 1st color TV series, The Jetsons, premiers (pictured)
2018 - Japan鈥檚 space agency is 1st to place 2 robotic explorers on an asteroid - Ryugu - from it鈥檚 Hayabusa 2 spacecraft
2018 - Mud volcano, the Otman-Bozdag, erupts 980 ft high in Azerbaijan
18 notesView notes
insomniac-arresta year ago
finding out that almost all other animals don鈥檛 have periods like we do and instead simply reabsorb the egg back into their uterine lining to reuse the nutrients is like finding out the rest of the class has been taking WILDLY easier tests than you for the whole semester
like, hey, cat why don鈥檛 you have to use your Cat Dollars to invest in tampons? And cat is just like: fuck that noise, my body is OPTIMAL for not being made of inconvenient nonsense, sucks to be you
232K notesView notes