Anthropology Magazine

All stories

A landscape features a grassy complex with a large, tiered structure made of stones that towers upward toward a blue, cloud-filled sky. Mountains taller than the structure are barely visible behind clouds in the distance.

Decoding Diversity and Power at Machu Picchu

New DNA analysis has revealed surprising diversity among remains from burial sites in Peru. A genetic anthropologist explains what this suggests about the 15th century Inca palace.
In the center of a huge, multistory room, multiple computers hanging on a wall display images of city streets. In the foreground, dozens of people sit at cubicles looking at similar computer images on their desks.

Inside Mexico City’s Surveillance State

An anthropologist investigates how one city’s rapidly expanding video surveillance system is transforming criminal investigation—sometimes in deeply flawed ways.
An adult with short hair, a mustache, and glasses, and two young people with long hair held by barrettes—one holding a pen—sit on the floor around a large piece of construction paper, markers, and a camera.

Through Film, Discovering Hope in the Face of Environmental Destruction

In the midst of acute eco-anxiety, can community-based filmmaking help young people imagine a different future?
Colored in sepia tones, a photo shows a person in a dark headwrap and robes with a walking stick traveling behind a herd of sheep and goats on rocky terrain that rises into a steep hill.

What Ancient Goat Teeth Reveal About Animal Care

Unraveling a mystery around millennia-old goat bones, an archaeologist reflects on the harm people can cause their most cherished animals.
In a science lab, a masked person wearing a white hazmat suit, face shield, and bouffant cap holds small objects under the glass hood of a silver metal workstation.

The Hidden Ancestry Extracted From an Ancient Pendant

An anthropologist explains how new forensics tools offer unprecedented answers to questions about who likely held or wore Stone Age objects.
A person wearing a brown floral shirt, red beaded necklace, and feather in their hair closes their eyes. In a blurred background, other people—one holding a red-and-white STOP sign—gather on a lawn in front of a white building.

Archaeological Tropes That Perpetuate Colonialism

Two Indigenous archaeologists from the U.S. Southwest shed light on how “abandonment” and other common archaeological terms continue to cause harm. They offer insights into how to rewrite narratives of the past.
Al frente de muchas personas sentadas alrededor de una plaza, una persona con un sombrero marrón está parado en el centro sobre un montón de hojas verdes sobre una manta con diseños. Está sosteniendo una bolsa por una cuerda.

Justo y equilibrado: pesando coca con un wipi en el Perú

El uso de balanzas en una comunidad andina muestra cómo los significados de equidad y justicia varian entre distintas culturas.
A graphic features a mastodon with its head raised and mouth open on rocky ground in front of a blue sky filled with swirling lights.

Forensic Methods Unveil Clues About Megafauna Extinctions

An archaeologist explains how novel applications of forensic methods—namely, blood residue analyses—have yielded evidence that Paleoindians hunted mastodons, mammoths, and other megafauna in eastern North America 13,000 years ago.
Two people hug in a bathroom, with one seated on a closed toilet and the other kneeling on a tan-and-brown tiled floor. Two standing onlookers flank the image’s foreground.

How Eugenics Shaped the U.S. Prenatal Care System

Black women in the U.S. are far more likely to die from complications related to pregnancy and birth than White women. Two scholars explore how the discrediting of Black midwives helped create these racial disparities—and call for alternative models of prenatal care.
Dark gray clouds hang in a pale blue sky. With orange light shining from behind them, these clouds seem to touch dark rolling hills scattered with trees and buildings.

Speaking in Tongues

A scholar from Nagaland in India offers visceral, familial insights on language and culture loss in her Indigenous tribal community.
A black silhouette of a person contrasts with an illuminated cobalt-blue background with two bright spotlights shining from behind their head.

Bringing Nhakpoti, the Kayapó Story of Star Girl, to the Screen

Over years and across long distances, an international filmmaking team collaborated to bring to life the origin story of how agriculture came to Kayapó communities, Indigenous peoples in the Brazilian Amazon.
From an aerial view, several people in long-sleeved shirts, khaki pants, and boots are shown standing inside a rocky cave. One person in the center carrying a camera points at two sites, one with each hand.

Dating the Arrival of Modern Humans in Asia

A team of researchers explains how the discovery of a human skull and jawbone helps push back the timing of modern humans’ migration into Southeast Asia.
Several people stand on a grassy cliff with green shallow water off to their left and blue water and a mountain range in the distance.

Can Archaeology Help Restore the Oceans?

On the Channel Islands, archaeologists draw lessons in sustainability from historic Chumash fishing practices.
Two people in uniforms—one in black, the other in tan—wearing black boots and hats topped with matching fans face each other and kick one leg up, their feet traveling above their heads. Other people in uniform stand at attention along the roadside behind them.

Imagining Other Worlds at the India-Pakistan Border

For decades, soldiers at the border between Attari, India, and Wagah, Pakistan, have staged an elaborate ceremony for onlookers. An anthropologist reflects on the ceremony as a legacy of Partition—and imagines other futures for the two nations.
A close-up image features the wrinkled hands of a person wearing a cardigan and printed skirt as they mold clay into a bowl shape.

What Pots Say—and Don’t Say—About People

Archaeologists long abandoned the simple notion that “pots are people”—that people’s identities directly correspond with the pottery they made and used. What, then, can ceramics reveal about past lives?
Four people, one wearing a red baseball cap and another a blue shirt, ride a boat on a khaki-colored river surrounded by dense forest.

Writing Indigenous Oral Tradition to Fight a Dam

In the northern Philippines, the Isnag are documenting their Traditional Stories to sustain their culture and fight a legal battle against dams that would inundate their homelands.