Anthropology Magazine
Will a Nobel Prize Make Paleogenomics More Accountable?

An anthropologist offers possible directions for ancient DNA studies moving forward—especially regarding the field’s complex histories with Indigenous communities and…

Is Donated Blood a Gift or a Commodity?

An anthropologist dives into the morally fraught blood and plasma industry and what it reveals about human societies—the good, the bad, and the gory.

Requiem for a War Robot

An anthropologist explores the brave new world of virtual warfare—and the fraught relationship between humans and machines.

Should You Feel Bad About Your Pandemic-Era Plastic Waste?

Anthropologists in Hong Kong explore how COVID-19 has intensified consumers’ reliance on single-use plastics—revealing the limits of individual action in the face of a global crisis.

The Cultural Anxieties of Xenotransplantation

A genetically engineered pig heart was transplanted to a human body for the first time this year. While many celebrated, others remain uneasy. Anthropologists can shed light on why.

The Hard Labor That Fuels the Hair Trade

Anthropologists are studying the global supply of human hair—a billion dollar industry for wigs, weaves, toupees, and more—that relies on hair pickers who gather discarded strands from streets and drains to make ends meet.

Head of a Maiden

A poet-anthropologist considers the life of a looted fourth-century B.C. Etruscan maiden.

Does DNA Simplify or Complicate Repatriation Claims?

A restitution effort in South Africa illustrates the challenges to scientists, policymakers, and living descendants as they navigate the complex repercussions of genetic analysis for unethically obtained human remains.

The Blockbuster Exhibit That Shouldn’t Have Been

Museum curators have occasionally embellished archaeological finds with compelling but questionable stories. Consider the Field Museum’s “Magdalenian Girl.”

Repatriation Has Transformed, Not Ended, Research

A myth persists that when museums and other institutions return ancestral remains to Indigenous communities, it is in opposition to research—that needs to change.