A composite window into human history

SMU Research Originally Posted: October 3, 2017 Better integration of ancient DNA studies with archaeology promises deeper insights. DNA testing alone of ancient human remains can’t resolve questions about past societies. It’s time for geneticists and archaeologists to collaborate more fully in the face of ever greater advancements in ancient DNA research, according to SMU archaeologist David J. Meltzer and his colleagues in a recent article in the scientific journal Science. The authors write in “A composite window into human history” that over the past decade, DNA testing of ancient human remains has become a valuable tool for studying and understanding past human population histories. Most notably, for example, is how sequencing of ancient genomes resolved the dispute over our species’ evolutionary relationship with Neanderthals, the authors point [...]

By | 2017-10-12T11:33:50+00:00 October 12th, 2017|Anthropology, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Faculty News|Comments Off on A composite window into human history

Prehistoric humans formed complex mating networks to avoid inbreeding

SMU Research Originally Posted: October 10, 2017 A new study has sequenced the genomes of individuals from an ancient burial site in Russia and discovered that they were, at most, first cousins, indicating that they had developed sexual partnerships beyond their immediate social and family group. A new study has identified when humans transitioned from simple systems designed to minimize inbreeding to more complex ones suitable for hunter-gatherer societies. The study findings are reported in the journal Science and demonstrate that, by at least 34,000 years ago, human hunter-gatherer groups had developed sophisticated social and mating networks that minimized inbreeding. The study examined genetic information from the remains of modern humans who lived during the early part of the Upper Palaeolithic, a period when modern humans from [...]

By | 2017-10-11T07:50:16+00:00 October 11th, 2017|Anthropology, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Faculty News|Comments Off on Prehistoric humans formed complex mating networks to avoid inbreeding

Congratulations to SMU Anthropologist Caroline Brettell inducted to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences on Oct. 7

SMU News Originally Posted: October 6, 2017 DALLAS (SMU) — Noted SMU anthropologist Caroline Brettell will be inducted as a fellow into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences during a ceremony on Saturday, Oct. 7, at the Academy’s headquarters in Cambridge, Mass. Brettell joins 228 new fellows and foreign honorary members — representing the sciences, the humanities and the arts, business, public affairs and the nonprofit sector — as a member of one of the world’s most prestigious honorary societies. “Caroline Brettell is an internationally recognized leader in the field of migration, and one of Dedman College’s most productive scholars,” said Thomas DiPiero, dean of SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. “I couldn’t be happier to see her win this well-deserved accolade.” “I am surprised and deeply honored to receive [...]

By | 2017-10-07T09:53:21+00:00 October 7th, 2017|Anthropology, DCII, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Faculty News|Comments Off on Congratulations to SMU Anthropologist Caroline Brettell inducted to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences on Oct. 7

Congrats! Dedman College alumna Katie Logsdon and Dr. Smith-Morris, Anthropology, published in Midwifery Journal

Originally Posted: September 22, 2017 "As an undergraduate at SMU, I knew many opportunities existed for me to conduct research... Dr. Smith-Morris immediately encouraged me in my ideas and refined my research."-Katie Logsdon, #DedmanCollege '17, whose manuscript on her undergraduate research in Amsterdam with the SMU Department of Anthropology's Dr. Smith-Morris was published in the October edition of Midwifery Journal. Congratulations on this accomplishment, Katie! Read her research here: http://ow.ly/FWe030fkshV

By | 2017-09-22T10:53:22+00:00 September 22nd, 2017|Anthropology, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Faculty News|Comments Off on Congrats! Dedman College alumna Katie Logsdon and Dr. Smith-Morris, Anthropology, published in Midwifery Journal

It’s about more than Standing Rock

Daily Campus Originally Posted: September 18, 2017 “Can everyone hear me? I have a cold and I sound a bit like Kathleen Turner today,” SMU professor Kacy Hollenback joked to a tightly packed room in Heroy Hall. Around 40 students and faculty members gathered on Wednesday, Sept. 13 to hear the anthropology professor’s lecture, Its About More Than Standing Rock, a presentation on energy development on the North American Great Plains. Audience members chatted amongst themselves, eager to hear her speak, specifically about the Dakota Access Pipeline and its effect on Indian tribes. “I’ve seen it unfold on the news but I wanted to find out more,” audience member and fellow anthropology professor Sara Mosher said. A student in Hollenback’s Archaeology class Anna Braman also wanted to attend [...]

By | 2017-09-19T10:36:54+00:00 September 19th, 2017|Anthropology, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Events, Faculty News|Comments Off on It’s about more than Standing Rock

Why the Famous Folsom Point Isn’t a Smoking Gun

Sapiens Originally Posted: August 29, 2017   Remember the iconic Folsom point? The one that I said, in my last post, changed the future of archaeology? To recap: On August 29, 1927, paleontologists from the Colorado Museum of Natural History (renamed the Denver Museum of Nature & Science in 2000) discovered a stone projectile point embedded in the ribs of an extinct form of bison. After making that discovery in the field, the researchers left the point sitting where it was and immediately sent out a call to their colleagues to come to northeastern New Mexico to see it for themselves. Within two weeks a number of well-known scientists had visited the site, seen the point in position, and established a scientific consensus: Native Americans lived [...]

By | 2017-08-29T10:37:44+00:00 August 29th, 2017|Anthropology, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Faculty News|Comments Off on Why the Famous Folsom Point Isn’t a Smoking Gun

This Lab Replicates Weapons to Reveal Stone Age Feats of Engineering

Smithsonian Magazine Originally Posted: August 23, 2017 The so-called Clovis people, one of the earliest communities to inhabit North America, left behind more than 10,000 arrowheads scattered throughout the continent. Depending on their location, the crafted blades have slightly differing designs, but archaeologists still aren't sure why these differences evolved. Over the last year, however, Kent State University archaeologist Metin Eren has turned his lab into a modern-day weapons workshop to find out. Recently, Eren's experiments helped solve a long simmering mystery about grooves carved in some Clovis points, reports Dake Kang for the Associated Press. Outwardly, the grooves in the blades appear to serve no functional purpose, leading archaeologists in the past to speculate they were decorative or served some religious purpose, reports Kang. However, by using replicated arrowheads, a mechanical crusher and computer simulations, Eren revealed [...]

By | 2017-08-29T08:04:30+00:00 August 23rd, 2017|Anthropology, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Faculty News|Comments Off on This Lab Replicates Weapons to Reveal Stone Age Feats of Engineering

Medical anthropologists like SMU’s Carolyn Smith-Morris are helping the biomedical community untangle the social roots of diabetes

Sapiens Originally Posted: August 22, 2017 Mary (a pseudonym) was 18 years old and halfway through her second pregnancy when anthropologist Carolyn Smith-Morris met her 10 years ago. Mary, a Pima Indian, was living with her boyfriend, brother, parents, and 9-month-old baby in southern Arizona. She had been diagnosed with gestational diabetes during both of her pregnancies, but she didn’t consider herself diabetic because her diabetes had gone away after her first birth. Perhaps her diagnosis was even a mistake, she felt. Mary often missed her prenatal appointments, because she didn’t have a ride to the hospital from her remote home on the reservation. She considered diabetes testing a “personal thing,” so she didn’t discuss it with her family. As Smith-Morris’ research revealed, Mary’s story [...]

By | 2017-08-23T04:57:28+00:00 August 23rd, 2017|Anthropology, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Faculty News|Comments Off on Medical anthropologists like SMU’s Carolyn Smith-Morris are helping the biomedical community untangle the social roots of diabetes

On Being an Anthropologist in the Era of Big Data

SMU Adventures Originally Posted: August 3, 2017 Megan B. is a graduate student studying anthropology. She was awarded a Maguire and Irby Family Foundation Public Service Fellowship for summer 2017 from SMU’s Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility. She is spending the summer studying environmental advocacy with the Trinity River Audubon Society. READ MORE  

By | 2017-08-06T19:20:02+00:00 August 6th, 2017|Anthropology, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Graduate News|Comments Off on On Being an Anthropologist in the Era of Big Data

Eighteen distinguished faculty members with a combined total of nearly 585 years of SMU service retired with emeritus status in the 2016-17 academic year.

SMU News Originally Posted: June 8, 2017 Eighteen distinguished faculty members with a combined total of nearly 585 years of SMU service retired with emeritus status in the 2016-17 academic year. The professors, and their dates of service: • Thomas E. Barry, Professor Emeritus of Marketing, Cox School of Business, 1970-2017 • Janis Bergman-Carton, Professor Emerita of Art History, Meadows School of the Arts, 1991-2017 • Edward Biehl, Professor Emeritus of Chemistry, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, 1962-2017 • Gordon Birrell, Professor Emeritus of World Languages and Literatures, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, 1974-2017 • Dolores M. Etter, Professor Emerita of Electrical Engineering, Lyle School of Engineering, 2008-2016 • Richard F. Gunst, Professor Emeritus of Statistical Science, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, 1971-2017 • C. Michael Hawn, University Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Church Music, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, 1992-2017 • Debora Hunter, Professor Emerita of Art, Meadows School of the Arts, [...]

By | 2017-06-15T09:40:41+00:00 June 15th, 2017|Anthropology, Chemistry, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Earth Sciences, English, History, Philosophy, Statistical Science, World Languages and Literatures|Comments Off on Eighteen distinguished faculty members with a combined total of nearly 585 years of SMU service retired with emeritus status in the 2016-17 academic year.
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