Category Archives: Anthropology

Beneath Downtown Phoenix, More Hohokam Finds

Photo courtesy City of Phoenix.

Archaeologists have uncovered more remains of a Hohokam settlement at the site of the next CityScape development in downtown Phoenix.

The site sits in the heart of downtown, near Chase Field and Talking Stick Resort Arena.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
Hohokam Farm Found On Site of Future Phoenix Fry’s

Mesa Verde Builders Possibly Used Geometry in Sun Temple

A plan view of Mesa Verde national Park's Sun Temple with geometric figures overlaid.
Photo courtesy of Sherry Towers.

A sacred site built in southwest Colorado around 800 years ago hints that the ancestral Pueblo people might have used geometry.

The analysis of the Sun Temple at Mesa Verde National Park offers the first hard evidence that a prehistoric North American society possibly employed such figures in construction.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
Geometry Possibly Used In Mesa Verde Sun Temple Construction

Rude Burials Might Have Fueled Blood Feuds Among Ancient Sonorans

Photo of cacti at sunset
Photo by Tomas Castelazo.

Bodies buried  in unusual postures and without funeral rites could suggest a history of revenge and blood feud in certain ancient Sonoran Desert cultures, according to a paper in the August 2016 edition of Current Anthropology.

The authors say a rude burial would have deeply distressed the victim’s family and community — and sent a message of dominance and defiance. Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:

Haphazard Burials May Suggest Revenge, Blood Feud Among Sonoran Desert Cultures

The Circle of Archaeology: Veterans Processing Finds by Other Veterans

A Mimbres pottery image from the center's collection.
A Mimbres pottery image from the center’s collection.
(Photo courtesy Center for Digital Antiquity)

An Arizona State University program this semester will use veterans to archive digital archaeological data from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The four veterans will train and work at ASU’s Center for Digital Antiquity, which houses the nation’s largest archive of digital archaeological data.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
ASU Taps Veterans To Archive For US’s Largest Digital Archaeology Database

A Bizarre Bazaar of Food Facts

Smashed buildings and detritus litter a flooded street following the Boston Molasses Disaster of 1919.
The aftermath of the Boston Molasses Disaster of 1919. Photo courtesy Globe Newspaper Co.

Food is both mundane and magical, ephemeral and essential – the ultimate cultural touchstone. Our religions proscribe taboo foods, oblige sacred meals and employ food as a conduit for sacred power. Our myths abound with divine edibles that grant gods immortality, while our folktales counsel against feasting in fairyland lest we trap ourselves forever.

But for all the reverence we pay them, many comestibles arose from humble, bizarre or even disgusting sources, while what we choose, or are compelled, to eat is driven by everything from necessity to neurosis. For better or worse, food scientists, molecular gastronomists and, yes, marketing  firms channel these impulses in profitable (if not always healthy directions). The results are, shall we say, appetizingly bizarre …

10 Weird-but-true Food Facts