Anthropology / Everything Human

Domesticating Water

Environment

  • The Dirt

    The “domestication” of water has been central to the development of agriculture.

    Domesticating Water

    For thousands of years, humans have worked to control water. But how will the looming water crisis change our trajectory?

  • Field Notes

  • Dwelling

    The Myth of the Virgin Rainforest

    Research exploring Borneo’s past and present illuminates the tangled relationship that has existed between humans and the rainforest for millennia.

  • Unearthed

    The remains of a 500-year-old Inuvialuit village are sliding into the ocean as the coast gives way. Archaeologists are moving quickly to excavate the most impressive of the semi-subterranean dwellings to understand the people who lived there.

    History Lost to Sea

    Researchers are racing to record—and save—the cultural treasures of the western Canadian Arctic before they fall victim to climate change.

  • The Human Palate

    King Ama Nune Benu of Boti sits on his porch, making a bag from fibers grown around him in the forests of West Timor, Indonesia.

    Airplane Food

    Late in January, I boarded a long-haul flight, 27 hours and 5 minutes, 9,405 miles, three connections. I packed emergency Larabars (food for quick energy), ordered gluten-free meals (a topic for discussion another day), and thought about my meeting with the king of Boti. Boti is a small kingdom in the Indonesian state of East Nusa Tenggara on the island of Timor. Centuries ago, this region was populated …

  • The Dirt

    Lucas van Valckenborch painted a cold winter landscape set near Antwerp, Belgium, in 1575. Europe was then in the midst of the Little Ice Age.

    Cold Enough for Ya?

    Every winter, on either the first or second cold snap, I hear the question “Cold enough for ya?” as I get on the bus, exit the Metro, or eavesdrop on colleagues’ conversations. We hear these words often and smile or join in the complaint. Weather is inherently used to initiate a conversation, resuscitate a stalled one, or to serve as a point of shared misery. But in archaeology, …