Anthropology Magazine
Aztec Antichrist: A Performance of the Apocalypse

A 16th-century play written by the descendants of the Aztecs after the Spanish conquest dramatically reveals Indigenous people’s responses to…

Misperceiving Life Expectancy in the Deep Past

An archaeologist explains that most people do not calculate life expectancy correctly. This leads to misunderstandings. This article was originally…

Archaeology at the Borders of the Refugee Crisis

Archaeological methods, which are typically used to study the past, can also illuminate the experiences of today’s displaced people. This…

Excavating My Dad’s Life

An archaeologist navigates her dad’s passing by using the methods of her discipline to preserve his office and gain insight…

Living With the Prospect of Assisted Dying

In a culture that valorizes battling for life until the very end, a man diagnosed with ALS grapples with what it means to stop fighting.

Haunted by a Secret War

In a new book of ethnographic fiction on the lingering effects of the United States’ Secret War in Laos, the living must find ways to pacify the ghosts of those who suffered past violence.

Reinterpreting Life and Death in Ancient Nubia

In the Nile River Valley, powerful yet misunderstood civilizations flourished thousands of years ago. Now bioarchaeologists are rethinking funerary rituals and life in ancient Nubia, and empowering local Sudanese scholars.

Raiding Graves—Not to Rob but to Remember

Two archaeologists offer surprising new data suggesting people in medieval Europe took items from graves as heirlooms.

I Carry My Grief With Me, but I Also Carry My Joy

The domino effect of anguish and loss unmoors, but a Black poet-anthropologist carries their joy as ritual—in the palms of their hands, soft, delicate.

Mourning Kin After the End of Cannibalism

A Brazilian anthropologist reflects on the death of her adopted father, an Indigenous Wari’ man from Amazonia, and what he taught her about mortuary cannibalism and other rituals of grieving.