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Anthropology


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Essay/
Anthropology
Did laughter make the mind?

A psychological relief valve and a guard against despotism, laughter is a uniquely human – and collective – activity

Chris Knight

Essay/
Rituals & Celebrations
Daily grace

Everyday rituals are ephemeral prayers, a hint to the gods for protection, encircling life like a fragrant garland

Jay Griffiths

Essay/
Law & Justice
Purity rules

It is difficult to catch and straightforward to treat. So why does society still shame and punish people infected with HIV?

Rose George

Essay/
Anthropology
At home with the homeless

Is a home made of bricks and mortar or hopes and dreams? Dispatches from among the rough sleepers on the streets of Paris

Johannes Lenhard

Essay/
Human Evolution
The hunt for human nature

We still live in the long shadow of Man-the-Hunter: a midcentury theory of human origins soaked in strife and violence

Erika Lorraine Milam

Essay/
Social Psychology
Masters of reality

The trances and healing powers of shamans are so widespread that they can be counted a human universal. Why did they evolve?

Thomas T Hills

Essay/
Anthropology
Relics of power

From the foreskin of Jesus to the scarf of Elvis: why humans cannot resist the magical potency of charismatic objects

Jesper Sørensen

Essay/
Cognition & Intelligence
Gesture talks

Across vast cultural divides people can understand one another through gesture. Does that make it a universal language?

Kensy Cooperrider

Essay/
Anthropology
Envy’s hidden hand

Namibian hunter-gatherers deride those who stand out. What does this tell us about why, and how, we care about fairness?

James Suzman

Essay/
Anthropology
Infanticide

There is nothing so horrific as child murder, yet it’s ubiquitous in human history. What drives a parent to kill a baby?

Sandra Newman

Essay/
Rituals & Celebrations
Who first buried the dead?

Evidence of burial rites by the primitive, small-brained Homo naledi suggests that symbolic behaviour is very ancient indeed

Paige Madison