Everything I Ever Really Needed to Know I Learned in Anthropology Class

'Tis the season for academic rites of passage and for many of us to say goodbye to the students who have been our intellectual companions for the past four years. Here are some of the (mostly) lighthearted thoughts I shared with my graduating anthropology majors and minors at our department reception this week. *Please note … Continue reading Everything I Ever Really Needed to Know I Learned in Anthropology Class

Kennewick Man Sighted Buying Groceries in Virginia

by Cynthia van Gilder Most everyone in the anthropological community is familiar with the controversial human skeletal find known as Kennewick Man. Discovered in 1996 by some hikers on the Columbia River, Washington, Kennewick Man was initially identified as a 19th century Euro-American settler, but closer inspection revealed a projectile point embedded in his pelvis … Continue reading Kennewick Man Sighted Buying Groceries in Virginia

If a tree falls in the forest and no one posts it on Youtube, does the tree actually have a healthier sense of self?

As many of you know from earlier posts,  I am the mother of a 15 year old.  Although I have certainly been aware of the need for constant email, phone, and camera usage everywhere she and her friends congregate, it came to me this spring that although she embraces this practice enthusiastically, it seems to … Continue reading If a tree falls in the forest and no one posts it on Youtube, does the tree actually have a healthier sense of self?

Married with Chintzes

On Tuesday, May 26th, the California Supreme Court upheld Proposition 8, a voter initiative that declared that marriage could only exist between a man and a woman.  Subsequent media reports were quick to point out that unions between same-sex couples would still be recognized, and that essentially this ruling "merely" stripped gay spouses of the … Continue reading Married with Chintzes

Yes, Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus – but don’t hold your breath for a meritocracy, honey.

I had an experience recently that started me nostalgically reflecting on my undergraduate days and the path that has since led me to become my current jaded, cynical self.  I've wanted to be an archaeology professor since I was 12.  A life of teaching in the academy, mentoring students, undertaking research, reading and learning, designing … Continue reading Yes, Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus – but don’t hold your breath for a meritocracy, honey.

Indiana Jones and the Myth of the Moundbuilders (Big Time Spoiler Alert)

The hat. The whip. That crooked, knowing smile. For Indy fans, any excuse to be in the big-screen presence of their idol is a cause for celebration. Yes, as an archaeologist who was a teenager in the late 80’s, of course I have a soft spot for Henry Jones, Jr., but for the record, I … Continue reading Indiana Jones and the Myth of the Moundbuilders (Big Time Spoiler Alert)

Cindy’s Top Ten Things Anthropologists Should NOT Do When They Are Drunk

10. Operate heavy machinery (for those of you who are looking for a loophole - this not only includes pick-up trucks, but also flot machines, all remote sensing equipment, AND tape recorders) 9. Call your ex and read your CV over the phone 8. Pinch the silver-back male while he’s sleeping just to see what … Continue reading Cindy’s Top Ten Things Anthropologists Should NOT Do When They Are Drunk