Questions tagged [anthropology]

For questions relating to the study of various aspects of humans within past and present societies.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
17 votes
1 answer
2k views

Have there been any plausible reports of killing polar bears with a bone spring?

A user of a different stack exchange site recently mentioned a supposed polar bear killing technique devised by Inuit hunters. I found it quite difficult to find any other source for the story, but ...
Starfish Prime's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
196 views

Did anybody ever go and look for extinct but sighted homo species on Flores and Papua New Guinea? [closed]

Last month I read the book "Ich schwimme nicht mehr da, wo die Krokodile sind" (link). A wonderful book written by Sabine Kuegler, the Author of Jungle Child (link). She grew up among ...
Pim Massink's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
322 views

What was the average height of men and women in pre-Roman Gaul?

I was having a discussion with my friend on how much taller Celts and Germanics were to Romans and it dawned on me that we had no idea how tall Celts actually were. I'm referring to the period when ...
SuperYoshikong's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
492 views

Given that there were there larger, more organised civilisations in South America compared to NA, why did they not colonise North America themselves?

Why were there seemingly larger, more organised civilisations in the South American part of the American continent compared to the North before European colonisation and why did they not migrate North?...
Sophía Sugondèz's user avatar
6 votes
0 answers
163 views

Have any of the Romani communities ever had concrete criteria for membership?

If one were to ask an Orthodox rabbi about the criteria for a person to be considered Jewish, he would probably reply along the following lines: One does not become Jewish simply by declaring oneself ...
Tom Hosker's user avatar
  • 2,083
0 votes
0 answers
74 views

Where can I find an historically accurate ordinary items database for dungeon-stocking and art

I swear I had found in the comments of one of Matthew Colville's "stocking the dungeon" videos a link to an enormous database of accurate lists of ordinary items that list REAL items that ...
Ace Frahm's user avatar
  • 109
4 votes
1 answer
321 views

Is the Krishna (a god within Hinduism), an appropriated historical figure?

Some people on quora etc, put claims to redefine the events within in the Hinduism theology as verifiable & scientifically true historical events and in such an attempt, the Mythological narrative ...
novice's user avatar
  • 177
3 votes
1 answer
3k views

Were there religious wars between two sects in Hinduism?

Shaivism and Vaishnavism, are two major sects within the umbrella of Hinduism, each with a different deity as their Supreme God. This difference, is thought to have, in the ancient and even recent ...
novice's user avatar
  • 177
2 votes
2 answers
165 views

What do we know about the !Kung "major gatherings" (up to 200 peoples)?

All the information I found seems to point to this little paragraph from Lee book{1}: Occasionally the Ju/ ′hoansi had major gatherings, usually in winter, when up to 200 people from eight or more ...
JinSnow's user avatar
  • 465
5 votes
2 answers
261 views

!Kung: What is the rules of the !gu!na relationship? (To evaluate its importance in the !Kung cooperation system)?

It's clear that the Hxaro relationship between partners played a central role in cooperation, but what about the !gu!na relationship? what is the rules of the !Gu!na partnership? Does it follow the &...
JinSnow's user avatar
  • 465
2 votes
0 answers
107 views

Is there any evidence that people in the late Pleistocene understood that their environment was changing?

Of all the periods of geographic and climactic transformation our planet has undergone, the late Pleistocene is of particular interest to historians, since it was the first to be witnessed by human ...
Tom Hosker's user avatar
  • 2,083
6 votes
0 answers
217 views

What happens to the women left behind by polyandry? [closed]

I'm asking specifically about the practice of polyandry in Himalayan civilisations, such as Bhutan. But I'd welcome insights from other polyandrous societies too. It's often been said that, however ...
Tom Hosker's user avatar
  • 2,083
15 votes
1 answer
4k views

When was the 50 billionth human born? [closed]

I don't know if this question belongs precisely at History.SE, but I can't think of a more fitting alternative. I've heard the estimate several times that about 100 billion humans have existed ...
WillG's user avatar
  • 253
2 votes
0 answers
503 views

What is the origin of the idea to cover genitals with clothes or other materials? [closed]

This question was difficult to word. Please edit if it can be worded better. I've seen many murals and ancient drawing as far back as 3,000BC (Kemetian, Sumerian) of society wearing atleast some ...
Samid's user avatar
  • 2,202
1 vote
1 answer
521 views

Why is the Harappa (Indus Valley) civilization considered one of the six independent cradles of civilization?

In addition to the proven Sumerian presence in Harappa, all its crops originates in the Fertile Crescent or Far East, which proves that they have been influenced by foreigners since the Neolithic ...
Sorb's user avatar
  • 67
0 votes
2 answers
324 views

Does any culture have a native food that is objectively bad? [closed]

This is more of an anthropology question. Lots of different cultures have many different cuisines based on the animals and plants available. Is there any culture that developed anywhere and lasted ...
Clint Eastwood's user avatar
13 votes
3 answers
978 views

Why are only Homo Sapiens left?

100,000 years ago on earth there were several hominin groups, or bipedal human like species. 60,000 years ago homo sapiens began to move out of Africa and encountered these other species. All of ...
user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
204 views

How young of a child could do significant labor?

I've been trying to find out whether, in some cultures historically, a child of age 3 or 4 could do enough work to "pay for their keep", so to speak. In the search I've found out that modern child ...
curious's user avatar
  • 41
2 votes
0 answers
135 views

Which country had the largest indigenous itinerant population?

Which country has or had the largest numbers (in absolute and/or relative terms) of indigenous itinerants in any period of history? For this question, I consider itinerants to mean a group for which ...
pollywog's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
401 views

How objective are books like "Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind"? How are they "proven"?

How objective are books like "Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind"? How are they "proven"? How can one assess the objectivity of historical literature? Why is it still not subjective, if not even ...
mavavilj's user avatar
  • 141
2 votes
2 answers
291 views

Roughly how many people were in a Magdalenian group? (And Gravettian?)

The book "The Creation of Inequality" (Marcus & Fannery, 2012) says the Magdalenian groups were much larger than the Gravettian groups but doesn't provide a clear number (or I did not ...
JinSnow's user avatar
  • 465
-11 votes
1 answer
2k views

What is the primary source evidence for the theory that the African Ancient Egyptians are not black Africans whose origin is sub-Saharan Africa? [closed]

The question When did the ancient Egyptians discover or reach the Nile Headwaters? begins with the premise that the African Ancient Egyptians (pre 332 B.C.E.) did not originate at the headwaters of ...
guest271314's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
180 views

What evidence do we have for the state of ecstasy in primitive cultures?

I'm studying anthropology just out of curiosity and my knowledge on this field is really limited. I am interested in the state of ecstasy and its effects in primitive psychology. What evidence do we ...
Just dropped in's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
79 views

Are there known cultures which did not get it that it takes a man to create a child? [duplicate]

In Patrick Rothfuss' "Kingkiller Chronicle", a fantasy epic, the Adem are a nation of warriors where both sexes are equal. Apart from using sign language and being quite libertarian about sex, the ...
Thorsten S.'s user avatar
  • 5,146
-2 votes
1 answer
250 views

Why did almost every ancient civilization have a found religion? [closed]

I'm studying to be an Anthropologist and I've always had this question but I cannot get a definitive answer. Almost every ancient civilization I have studied, whether it be in the Old or New World had ...
morethanroyal's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
1k views

What attributes did Yahweh have before becoming a monotheistic deity?

Did it "belong" to another people before he was adopted by Hebrews? Is there any anthropological reconstruction about all this monotheistic thing?
Adrian Pereda's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
653 views

Did ancient and/or medieval cultures that emphasized the danger of religious pollution also exert more control over women?

Let me open by saying this is emphatically not a politically motivated dig at any modern or historical culture. I recognize that it can be difficult to answer a question about cultural values, let ...
Random's user avatar
  • 3,668
3 votes
2 answers
838 views

What do we currently know about the ethnic origins of Jews? [closed]

Putting aside the Old Testament, which details a story (perhaps true) of the origins of peoples including Jews, what has anthropology and genetics revealed so far about the origins of Jews? When did ...
Charlie's user avatar
  • 2,999
2 votes
3 answers
7k views

Were/are the Gaels, Picts and Britons physically distinct?

Were they only different in culture and language or were there physical differences between the three groups? Did they all belong to the same ethnic group (Celts)? For those who don't understand "...
Charlie's user avatar
  • 2,999
18 votes
3 answers
3k views

Did early northern Europeans drink alcohol?

Before the Roman empire brought alcohol to areas of Northern Europe around two thousand years ago, do we know if the native people of Britain and Scandinavia drank alcohol? My preliminary search is ...
Charlie's user avatar
  • 2,999
3 votes
1 answer
387 views

Differences among foraging, cultivation, domestication

I am currently researching the transition from hunter-gathering bands to agricultural communities. I am coming across the word cultivation a lot. It's getting confusing, because sometimes the word ...
TheEvolutionOfHuman.com's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
259 views

Did Palaeolithic humans live longer than early Neolithic farmers?

Please quote published research. There is work on Paleolithic teeth that is often used as evidence to suggest that Paleolithic humans lived longer than early farmers (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/...
Shashir Reddy's user avatar
14 votes
2 answers
1k views

Are there cultures without knowledge of how babies are made?

I know that there are many cases of cultures having whacky ideas of how exactly babies are made, however in most of these cases they still link the creation of babies to having sex (however weird the ...
Eff's user avatar
  • 242
5 votes
0 answers
135 views

Quote on other cultures from Greek scholar

I can remember from my Greek / Latin classes that a scholar from antiquity once wrote that to write about another culture shows more about the writer himself than about the other culture However, ...
Celebrian's user avatar
  • 151
7 votes
6 answers
1k views

Historical examples of advanced societies that abruptly abandoned or changed religions?

Acknowledging that society and culture are broadly influenced by religion; understanding that a society and the religion of that society are frequently inextricably connected; is there such a thing as ...
iAndelin's user avatar
  • 217
2 votes
1 answer
1k views

Why is there a gap of information in Russia for human migration?

I've noticed that in a lot of maps for human migration, there's usually a really unspecific arrow pointing from the Iran area that goes through Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and Russia to North America. These ...
Andrew's user avatar
  • 123
19 votes
6 answers
7k views

What is the historical reason for 18 years being the most commonly accepted age of adulthood?

Most countries define the age of adulthood at 18 years. Why is this? Was there some historical precedent set in ancient Rome/Greece or something like that? Why 18 years and not some "nicer" number ...
DrZ214's user avatar
  • 17.3k
3 votes
0 answers
78 views

Can stable Istotope analysis unambigously identify the Iberian Peninsula as the origin of signatures in human bones? [closed]

Is the Isotope signature (e.g. O and Sr) of the Iberian Penisula specific enough to proof a human spent decades of adult adult there? This is not about the teeth, only about bones.
HannesH's user avatar
  • 1,559
8 votes
3 answers
1k views

What caused women to lose their access to resources and become a part of men's possessions with the start of the agriculture era?

I'm reading the book SEX AT DAWN: the prehistoric origins of modern sexuality, the book suggests that in prehistoric times, when homo sapiens were just foraging on the earth, the relation between men ...
Sepideh Abadpour's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
241 views

Looking for a people where the “traditional” gender roles are shifted [closed]

Quite some time ago, I read about a people —I think it was a people of islanders in the Pacific Ocean— where women were displaying what is considered in Western societies as a masculine behaviour, and,...
Asche's user avatar
  • 396
12 votes
2 answers
2k views

Historical, academic explanations for the near-universal second-class citizenship of women?

I just heard on the news that, in 70 countries, girls face risks by simply going to school and being girls. How did women come to be second-class citizens throughout the world? Are there any ...
shadowtalker's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
413 views

Why are cave paintings so few and rare? [closed]

Just watched a few documentaries about cave paintings. While I acknowledge the importance of discovery, I can't help but question one simple thing - why are there so few paintings in those caves? ...
Mike's user avatar
  • 29
21 votes
4 answers
3k views

Before the Land Bridge Theory, how was human presence in the Americas explained?

The Land Bridge Theory argues that humans crossed over to Alaska from Siberia, via a land bridge created by glaciation. The theory developed in the 1930s and became the popularly accepted explanation ...
BMS's user avatar
  • 311
9 votes
1 answer
36k views

What was the average height in Classical Greece?

This is a follow-up for Average height of Ancient Roman Men and Women? : I'm curious what was the average height and build of men & women citizens of Greek states (Athens, Sparta, etc) in 7th-...
Michael's user avatar
  • 4,680
28 votes
3 answers
131k views

What was the average height of Roman men and women?

On a field trip to Philadelphia as a child I visited Betsy Ross' house. I was only 11 at the time and yet my head almost reached the ceiling. The tour guide said that Americans used to be shorter than ...
whitewings's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
88 views

Were the ancient Hebrews basically an African tribe? [duplicate]

Hebrew is one of the earliest Afroasiatic languages. It has been argued that the Hebrews were an offshoot of the Canaanites, even akin to them. It is nearly undisputable that the Canaanites were ...
eliyah's user avatar
  • 239
8 votes
3 answers
5k views

Who are the ancestors of the Israelites?

Who were the historical ancestors of the Israelites? Do they have no ancestors? Please try to avoid Biblical references to Genesis if there are there any scientific, archeological or historical ...
Derfder's user avatar
  • 399
-1 votes
1 answer
113 views

In historical accounts, what relevance did the color yellow have as it relates to cultures and custums? [closed]

I am just curious on the history of yellow and the significance it may have had. I know purple often represented power, but what about yellow? Thank you!
Ava's user avatar
  • 29
3 votes
1 answer
329 views

How do we know the oldest New Testament manuscripts are copies? [closed]

Wikipedia claims over and over in different ways that we have no autographs of New Testament manuscripts, but we have lots of copies written by hand by various persons. Do we believe these manuscripts ...
kojiro's user avatar
  • 141
11 votes
2 answers
2k views

What surface area per person is required for hunter-gatherers?

I am sure I have read it somewhere, but I can't figure out in which book anymore (I think Steve Pinker's How the Mind Works) Most of human (pre-)history (and evolution) has happened in a foraging ...
neydroydrec's user avatar