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12

Many prominent men of science in the 19th century believed that the Indians' ancestors had always been in America. This belief draws on the theory of polygenism--that the several races had independent origins as separate species. "Scientific" polygenism also had a religious aspect called "Pre-Adamism." Polygenists/Pre-Adamists didn't need to posit ancient ...


11

It was probably approximately 155cm for women, and about 168cm for men. We have direct evidence for this from analysing the skeletal remains of the Romans. For example, in a study [1] of 927 adult male Roman skeletons between 500 B.C. and A.D. 500, Professor Geoffrey Kron of the University of Victoria found an average of 168cm. This is corroborated by ...


10

Early post-contact beliefs contained an unhealthy dose of myths and legends, e.g. Atlantis or that Native Americans descended from the lost tribes of Israel. These were displaced as rationalism developed, but suspicion that the Old World populated the Americas grew over time (for the alternate view, that the Natives had always been in the New World, see ...


8

In his momentous study L'origine des systèmes familiaux, Emmanuel Todd notes that, to the best of a rather sparse archival knowledge, first, the status of women in Eurasia in the 5000BC-1500CE interval seems to historically follow a lowering trajectory, second, this lowering trajectory seems to proceed in a top/down fashion and, third, the adoption of ...


8

Scholars have noted that pre-agricultural societies often have more egalitarian gender norms than agricultural societies. This had led to theories that agriculture led to the development of inegalitarian gender norms, because it privileged men's body strength. A more refined version of thesis was first posited by Ester Boserup in "Woman's Role in Economic ...


6

In 1944-45, the late forensic anthropologist John Lawrence Angel studied Ancient Greek skeletal remains. His results were 162 cm for men and 153 cm for women. He only had a rather small sample size at the time, though. Right after his death, excavation began on the cemetery of the Magna Graecia colony-city of Metapontum. The Metaontum necropolis was ...


6

It is quite possible to examine diet through archeological means (composition of bones and teeth). However, I don't know that anybody has done a systematic study of such records with an eye towards looking for vegetarianism. The one piece of similar information I am aware of is that teeth of hunter-gatherers are often discernible at a glance, due to the ...


5

An archaeological evidence I think could be impossible: if they analyze the content of the digestive system like they did with Ötzi,even if they can find some bodies like this preserved under some special conditions, will be evidence for a few days of diet. If they analyze some lack of nutrients in the bones that lack might be also due to some other factors, ...


5

The one pandemic disease we know of that has a good chance for having an origin in the Americas is syphilis. When it first hit Europe in 1494 it spread rapidly and the mortality rate was very high (as is typical with new diseases that hit an immunologically naieve population). As Jared Diamond describes it, "[W]hen syphilis was first definitely ...


5

You may be thinking of the Vanatinai people. From a NY Times article on the Vanatinai: Dr. Lepowsky found evidence of the equality on every hand. Unlike other Pacific cultures, Vanatinai has no special men's meeting houses or male cult activities. The language is gender-neutral, with no pronouns like he or she. Boys as well as girls care for ...


3

In medieval Europe character was defined by the four temperaments. The choleric temperament is called "gele gal" in dutch, which translates to yellow bile. From Wikipedia: The choleric temperament is traditionally associated with fire. People with this temperament tend to be egocentric and extroverted. They may be excitable, impulsive, and restless, ...


3

The most sophisticated alternative theory is perhaps that of Florentino Ameghino who postulated an autochthonous evolution of species based on skeletal anthropology and diggings according to the following chart: German anthropologists, led by Hermann Burmeister, opposed this theory. Burmeister proposed a catastrophe theory of human evolution, similar to ...


3

You can find the answer to that question in Jared Diamond's book Guns, Germs and Steel. He states that people get infected by their pets and that all great epidemics (variola, tuberculosis, malaria, plague, influenza ...) evolved from animals. Microbes needs a mass of people to spread around so big societies, living in cities and connected with good trading ...


2

Reminds me of this aspect of Korean culture: The haenyeo, literally meaning "sea women", are female divers in the Korean province of Jeju. They are representative of the matriarchal family structure of Jeju [...] It could also be said that women simply were more adapted for the job, with their bodies keeping them warmer and being more suited to ...


2

There isn't going to be just one number. It depends a lot on the environment they find themselves in. For example, obviously the Tuareg in their desert envionrment require a lot of territory for every tribe to support itself. On the other extreme, I understand that the pre-columbian Native Americans in the pacific northwest were living in such a productive ...


1

The Polynesian people are considered to be by linguistic, archaeological and human genetic ancestry a subset of the sea-migrating Austronesian people and tracing Polynesian languages places their prehistoric origins in the Malay Archipelago, and ultimately, in Taiwan. Between about 3000 and 1000 BC speakers of Austronesian languages began ...


1

Maybe; it depends a lot on how you define "species". A 'species' is generally understood as population where the all males and females can mate to produce fertile offspring -- at the very least, for large mammals. So for example, horses and donkeys can be mated, but mules (each the offspring of a male donkey and a female horse) are not fertile. However ...


1

When I was out west a number of years ago, a friend asserted that the disappearance of the "Anasazi" civilization of native Americans could have occurred for any number of reasons, including disease. Unfortunately, I don't think modern scholarship on the subject agrees with his assertion. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anasazi Widespread disease generally ...



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