All stories

In a dusty, sepia-toned scene, a person wearing a headdress and long dress stands in the middle of a dirt road while a person operating a rickshaw passes them. A building, car, trees, and a distant mountain range fill the background.

Imphal as a Pond

As civil war continues to rip apart and threaten communities and families in Manipur in Northeast India, a poet reflects on those who leave and those who stay in the capital city of Imphal.
A person wearing a snorkel, wetsuit, and flippers floats underwater as sunlight streams into the ocean. In the background, another diver swims near the surface.

A Freediver Finds Belonging Without Breath

An anthropologist takes us on a journey “down the line” to explore what freediving can teach us about ourselves and kinship with the sea.
A large group of people—some seated and others standing behind them—gather under a stone roof and look at a black laptop sitting on a small maroon footstool placed on a wooden table.

The Trauma Mantras

An anthropologist’s memoir in prose poems offers insights into her experiences working with refugees and on humanitarian projects in many parts of the globe over the last 20 years.
A person’s hand leans on a car’s steering wheel while holding a black-and-white aerial photograph of a section of town with particular sites such as Patapsco River, Dundalk, and Arundel Corp. Shipyard labeled.

Baltimore’s Toxic Legacies Have Reached a Breaking Point

In a new book, an anthropologist reveals the heavy tolls industries have placed on residents in this eastern U.S. city. Here, she explains how these burdens have only worsened since the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge.
A child in a puffer coat squats in front of a memorial of flowers and various pictures of an owl, placing a piece of paper among the other objects.

What a Community’s Mourning of an Owl Can Tell Us

The outpouring of grief over New York’s Flaco the owl, who died recently, reveals how much attitudes toward these creatures have changed.
A stone figure with the body of a seated lion and the head of a person wearing a headdress sits in the foreground with a large stone pyramid towering in the distance.

Why I Talked to Pseudoarchaeologist Graham Hancock on Joe Rogan

An archaeologist explains his motivations and strategies for appearing on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast with a purveyor of misinformation about the ancient past.
A person wearing a white hat, red-and-black backpack, and holding two hiking poles walks down a sandy trail lined with high grasses.

Conflicting Times on the Camino de Santiago

As increasing numbers of pilgrims walk the Camino, a European network of historic pilgrimage routes, those who journey to “slow down” their lives often don’t recognize the burdens of tourism on locals.
The toppled steeple of a church lies on the ground among other pieces of collapsed metal. A large blue and white building with a gold object on its roof towers in the background.

Spotlighting War’s Cultural Destruction in Ukraine

An archaeologist, anthropologist, and film expert examine the staggering amount of damage to cultural heritage caused by Russia’s war on Ukraine.
Two side-by-side graphics depict skulls, one facing forward and the other in profile. Both images are outlined in blue and have sections shaded in yellow. The profile image has three red lines spanning across it in two V shapes.

Learning From Snapshots of Lost Fossils

Not all fossil discoveries happen in the field. In museum archives, researchers found photos of remains from Paleolithic children who had belonged to a group of early Homo sapiens in Eurasia.
In a pitch-black environment, a person with black smudges on their face wears a fur pelt and holds a lit torch.

How Accurate Is the Stone Age Thriller Out of Darkness?

An archaeologist with expertise in human origins assesses the accuracy of a 2022 film about Homo sapiens who encounter Neanderthals.
Three people stand in a line holding lit candles. The person in the center holds a piece of paper with a red triangle colored in with marker on the left side, and three horizontal stripes—black, white, and green—on the right. In the white area, text written in red marker reads, “MSJC family in solidarity.”

The Responsibility of Witnesses to Genocide

Palestinian narratives of their own dispossession are routinely dismissed—making witnessing Israel’s ongoing onslaught on Palestine that reignited in 2023 an urgent task. But witnessing is not enough.
Several people wearing matching brown jumpsuits sit on a long brown bench, holding landline phones and facing a large clear wall. On the other side of the first window, a person with a white headscarf on cries while holding a phone.

How Israeli Prisons Terrorize Palestinians—Inside and Outside Their Walls

An anthropologist in the West Bank explains how Israel’s prison regime dehumanizes Palestinians, who nevertheless dream of freedom and resist erasure.
Taken from under the frond of a leafy overhang, waters near the shore of a beach gently ripple under the bright orange glow of the setting sun.

Bila Mwili

A poet-historian in Tanzania remembers those who have passed but who are still nearby.
A header image on a cellphone of several people wearing military uniforms and holding hands is above a yellow logo and white text that reads, “Israel Defense Forces.” White text underneath reads, “Official IDF Twitter account. We tweet real-time information and updates in 7 languages—choose yours.”

The Viral Atrocities Posted by Israeli Soldiers

Tracing 75 years of Israeli war photography, an anthropologist explains how images that reframe disproportionate violence as proof of victory have intensified in the war on Gaza that erupted in 2023.
A group of people stand on an emptied dirt plot around a square hole. The one in the center, with lighter skin than the rest, holds the end of a shovel in the hole.

Unearthing the Origins of Plantation Slavery on São Tomé

The African island nation played a central—but little-known—role in the rise of the global sugar trade based on enslaved labor. To uncover this past, a team launched the country’s first archaeological research.
A large, tan cardboard box sits on a shelf with a label that reads “C2” below it. On two small pieces of black tape on the box’s front side, white letters read “Infant” and “Name Once Known.”

Infant, Name Once Known

A poet-anthropologist of the Chickasaw Nation honors infant remains historically used in teaching collections at the University of Illinois.