Four Stone Hearth #80

If you follow 1-80 for 2,900 miles, you end up in New York.

While much of the world has already woken up, drank their coffee and read the newsp….er, checked out news online, it’s 6am here in California and time for a new Four Stone Hearth! I like the big, round numbers in our honored series, having hosted Four Stone Hearth #60 just a little while ago. So let’s start!

For those of you thinking of hitching your way down FSH80, you might be relieved to know that thumbs are not required for tool use among animals. Michelle over at SpiderMonkeyTales disputes the anatomical linkage to a perceived exclusive use of tools by humans and chimpanzees. Thumbs? Who needs ’em?

A few other pieces from our friends who study our more or less distant cousins, a discussion of the Science article regarding chimpanzee and human amino acids from John Hawks and from Ed Yong. A Primate of Modern Aspect has a post on The third trochanter and gluteus maximus of Ardipithecus and what they tell us about locomotion. Sadly, Eric Michael Johnson comes along to put poor Ardi in her place, with Breaking the Chain: Ardipithecus is not a Missing Link. Finally, Ad Hominin zeros in on the fascination with the forehead and the differences between us, Homo erectus, and Neandertals in Full Frontal Hominins.

Influenza porcina en México by Sarihuella.

Only one submission from our friends in the Socio-Cultural realm this edition: Krystal D’Costa’s Anthropology in Practice takes on issues of authority and knowledge in the modern day in her posts Much Ado About the (Swine) Flu and Minerva Revealed: Questions of Authority in a Digital World.  I hadn’t heard of the Korean financial guru “Minerva,” but I constantly encounter anthropologists who are worried about interpretive authority and authorship online, so it was a good read.

Junction of US 64 and US 160, Teec Nos Pos, Arizona, from Gambler's House

Plenty from the archaeologists, however–we’re a bit talky, I suppose.  Gambler’s House has a long, lovely photo essay and discussion of Pueblo and Navajo identity, past and present. Farther north, Northwest Coast Archaeology tackles a controversial CRM Problem in Cadboro Bay. Apparently a builder had an archaeological assessment performed on land that had a lot of archaeological sites, and then completely ignored the report and built anyway. It will be interesting to see how this case develops.

Martin, the pater familias of FSH, blogs about a curious statue that was found by metal detectorists in Denmark. Is it Odin? No, it’s Freya!

One of my colleagues responded to my call for blog posts on Facebook with this entry about the Marsh Arabs in southern Iraq and their changing way of life.

Finally, in what is perhaps a first, a facebook blog post from John Bartram about a British bank who is now investing in the treasure-hunting firm, Odyssey Marine Exploration. Has the financial world come completely unglued?

Oh, hey, it’s already 7:30!  People in England have just started to think about their first beers of the day, and the sun has fully set in Abu Dhabi, so I should get this posted.  I hope you have enjoyed this edition of Four Stone Hearth, look for the carnival next time at Spider Monkey Tales.

Four Stone Hearth 80 – Call for Submissions

Broken Heart, by Phoenix Daily Photo

I’m hosting the next Four Stone Hearth on November 18th, please send your submissions to me:

For this edition, it would be nice to get a lot of photos with captions! I need some inspiration–my camera hasn’t seen much use lately.

Four Stone Hearth 79 was hosted at

Four! Stone! Hearth! 60!

Art by Hirotoshi Itoh
Art by Hirotoshi Itoh, photo by Aaron Shumaker

It is my honor to host the 60th edition of Four Stone Hearth. The next edition will be hosted at The Moore Groups Blog, and they’re a pretty hard group to impress, so cowboy up and submit your best!  Let’s get to it!

The Ideophone has a whole heap of gorgeous, thought-provoking photographs submitted to the AAA Photo contest.  Y’know, I meant to submit my own photographs to this contest, but Mark’s photos are amazing and so well described that I’m fairly certain mine would not have made it to the top 20.

Speaking of gorgeous photography, Aardvarchaeology has some chilly images from snowy Wales.  After checking out the photos of the Pillar of Eliseg, the Basingwerk Cistercian abbey, the sculpted ring cross of Maen Achwyfan, and Offa’s Dyke, I wanted a cup of hot chocolate and a nice peaty fire to warm my feet!

A more armchair-ish journey was conducted by the Testimony of the Spade, who uncovered the first Swedish work on archaeology, written in 1675.  Sadly, Bruce Trigger is not around to update his brilliant A History of Archaeological Thought accordingly.  Regardless, I truly love the old illustrations.

The Spittoon discusses two Science articles regarding bacterial genetics and the peopling of the Pacific.  Got Helicobacter pylori?

The vaunted and sometimes daunting Neuroanthropology blog ponders marketing and desire through the lenses of Coke, American Girl, and Google.  Put in your stock buys and hold on tight!

You should probably check out the comments of Babel’s Dawn and read the article in Current Anthropology before getting too worked up about the “Venus of Tan Tan.”

Remote Central visits the South of Spain, where Neanderthals apparently survived a bit longer due to the biodiversity in the region.  I wouldn’t mind a bit of time on the Iberian peninsula right about now.

Zenobia: Empress of the East describes laser scanning of the Hung-e Axhdar rock relief.  I’m a bit of a skeptic regarding laser scanning, but it was put to use in an interesting way here, and I hope that they’re able to use it to answer the questions raised about the relief.  More interesting than the laser scanning was the descriptions of the decorative elements and the connections to depictions of the king of Elymais on various coins.

Some of the archaeologists have gotten together a little game called “Where on Google Earth” wherein you test your skills identifying archaeological sites on Google Earth.  The latest site is on Rolled Up Sleeves.  I haven’t had time to play, but I hope it keeps going!

Finally, Where in the Hell am I? brings us back to the stones and bones of contract archaeology in Texas, where a pipeline survey has uncovered a surprising array of archaeological sites.  I wonder if I’ll be done with my dissertation in time to help dig the Presidio and Caddo sites!

Thank you for visiting Middle Savagery, and I hope you’ve enjoyed this edition of Four Stone Hearth.

Art by Hirotoshi Itoh, photo by Aaron Shumaker
Art by Hirotoshi Itoh, photo by Aaron Shumaker
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