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  • ItemOpen AccessAccepted version Peer-reviewed
    Hounded out of time: Black Shuck’s Lesson in the Anthropocene
    (Duke) Woolley, Jonathan
    Drawing in nightmares, shadows and loneliness, this article follows a rarely-trodden and difficult path across the shifting geology of Norfolk; a track marked by fleeting glimpses and horrible signs of the deadly consequences of deep time and human choice. The subject of fascination for folklorists, cryptozoologists and the general public alike; in East Anglia stories abound of a huge, devilish hound, with saucer-shaped eyes and followed by the demonic stench of sulphur; Black Shuck. Pursued by - rather than pursuing - footprints in the mud, whispered stories from isolated places, and the mysteriously mutilated corpses of deer, this ethnographic description considers the significance of encounters with this phantasm for recent debates surrounding the proper understanding of the beginning of the Anthropocene, and the implications of this for our sense time and responsibility. In this era of unprecedented human power over the natural world, the Shuck - the mere sight of whom brings death - still haunts us; his chthonic presence reminding us of the inexorable, yet unpredictable power of death. By attending the monstrous, spectral ambiguity of the Shuck, and his ability to reformulate the landscape of East Anglia as a social space, this article explores the how coeval quality of the longue durée of deep time, and the haunting rupture entailed by the prospect of our own mortality, can enchant, rather than blunt, our sense of human responsibility in the Anthropocene.
  • ItemOpen AccessAccepted version Peer-reviewed
    Indigenous histories in metropole and periphery
    (Taylor & Francis, 2016-05-30) Clark, Alison
  • ItemOpen AccessAccepted version Peer-reviewed
    Trabecular bone structural variation throughout the human lower limb.
    (Elsevier BV, 2016-08) Saers, Jaap PP; Cazorla-Bak, Yasmin; Shaw, Colin N; Stock, Jay T; Ryan, Timothy M; Stock, Jay [0000-0003-0147-8631]
    Trabecular bone is responsive to mechanical loading, and thus may be a useful tool for interpreting past behaviour from fossil morphology. However, the ability to meaningfully interpret variation in archaeological and hominin trabecular morphology depends on the extent to which trabecular bone properties are integrated throughout the postcranium or are locally variable in response to joint specific loading. We investigate both of these factors by comparing trabecular bone throughout the lower limb between a group of highly mobile foragers and two groups of sedentary agriculturalists. Trabecular bone structure is quantified in four volumes of interest placed within the proximal and distal joints of the femur and tibia. We determine how trabecular structures correspond to inferred behavioural differences between populations and whether the patterns are consistent throughout the limb. A significant correlation was found between inferred mobility level and trabecular bone structure in all volumes of interest along the lower limb. The greater terrestrial mobility of foragers is associated with higher bone volume fraction, and thicker and fewer trabeculae (lower connectivity density). In all populations, bone volume fraction decreases while anisotropy increases proximodistally throughout the lower limb. This observation mirrors reductions in cortical bone mass resulting from proximodistal limb tapering. The reduction in strength associated with reduced bone volume fraction may be compensated for by the increased anisotropy in the distal tibia. A similar pattern of trabecular structure is found throughout the lower limb in all populations, upon which a signal of terrestrial mobility appears to be superimposed. These results support the validity of using lower limb trabecular bone microstructure to reconstruct terrestrial mobility levels from the archaeological and fossil records. The results further indicate that care should be taken to appreciate variation resulting from differences in habitual activity when inferring behaviour from the trabecular structure of hominin fossils through comparisons with modern humans.
  • ItemOpen AccessPublished version Peer-reviewed
    Eternal, impossible, returns: variations on the theme of dislocation
    (Disipline and Third Text Publications, 2016-10-01) Viejo Rose, D; Viejo Rose, Dacia [0000-0001-9434-2359]
    n 1994 Homi K. Bhabha published The Location of Culture; twenty years on cultures seems to be increasingly dislocated. With a particular focus on cultural heritage, this paper will explore some of the spatial and temporal dynamics of the dislocation. Thinking about cultural heritage in its material manifestations often comes accompanied with a sense that there are dangers from which it needs to be protected: deterioration, decay, destruction, and displacement. Responses to these dangers are posited as parallel reactions: restoration, conservation, and repatriation. Most of these approaches imply the existence of an original state that can be returned to: maintaining or restoring an object to its 'authentic' state or repatriating it to its place of origin. This underlying aspiration for return shapes media narratives, professional choices, policy decisions, and relationships between institutions, peoples, and countries. Yet return is never possible. Looking at different manifestations of displacement and destruction, this paper explores the idea of return, by reflecting on the artistic work of Julie Gough and in particular of her work The Lost World (part 2) exhibited in the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology of the University of Cambridge (23 October – 30 November 2013) and curated by Khadija von Zinnenburg Carroll.
  • ItemOpen AccessPublished version Peer-reviewed
  • ItemOpen AccessPublished version Peer-reviewed
    RE-EVALUATING MAPS OF DOMESDAY POPULATION DENSITIES: A case study from the Cambridgeshire fenland
    (Medieval Settlement Research Group, 2014) Oosthuizen, Susan; Oosthuizen, Susan [0000-0003-3837-6823]
    Professor Sir Clifford Darby’s county, regional and national maps of a range of data drawn from the Domesday Book revolutionized scholarship on the social and economic history of late Anglo-Saxon England (e.g. 1935, 1936a, 1936b, 1971, 1977). While this paper does not seek to challenge Darby’s general conclusions, a case study re-examination of the inter-relationship between population density and physical geography in the Cambridgeshire fenland in 1086 suggests the regional usefulness of methodological adjustments to his mapping. It indicates that the population density of the peat and silt fens in the late eleventh century may have been significantly higher than that shown in Darby’s original maps, with implications for the contemporary social and economic history of eastern England.
  • ItemOpen AccessAccepted version Peer-reviewed
    A truth universally acknowledged?: Morphology as an indicator of medieval planned market towns
    (Informa UK Limited, 2013-05) Oosthuizen, S; Oosthuizen, Susan [0000-0003-3837-6823]
    The paper explores, through the case study of March, a large town in the northern part of the Cambridgeshire peat fens, the general invariability of interpretation as planned markets of new medieval settlements that include both regular plots and one or more geometric open spaces. It asks whether manorial lords might achieve similar ends to those derived from medieval market grants — an increase in income from rents and tolls — by applying lessons learned from commercial planned settlements in other economic contexts.
  • ItemOpen AccessAccepted version Peer-reviewed
    Approaching rice domestication in South Asia: New evidence from Indus settlements in northern India.
    (Elsevier BV, 2017-02) Bates, J; Petrie, CA; Singh, RN; Petrie, Cameron [0000-0002-2926-7230]
    The nature and timing of rice domestication and the development of rice cultivation in South Asia is much debated. In northern South Asia there is presently a significant gap (c.4200 years) between earliest evidence for the exploitation of wild rice (Lahuradewa c.6000 BCE) and earliest dated evidence for the utilisation of fully domesticated rice (Mahagara c.1800 BCE). The Indus Civilisation (c.3000-1500 BCE) developed and declined during the intervening period, and there has been debate about whether rice was adopted and exploited by Indus populations during this 'gap'. This paper presents new analysis of spikelet bases and weeds collected from three Indus Civilisation settlements in north-west India, which provide insight into the way that rice was exploited. This analysis suggests that starting in the period before the Indus urban phase (Early Harappan) and continuing through the urban (Mature Harappan/Harappan), post-urban (Late Harappan) and on into the post-Indus Painted Grey Ware (PGW) period, there was a progressive increase in the proportion of domesticated-type spikelet bases and a decrease in wild-types. This pattern fits with a model of the slow development of rice exploitation from wild foraging to agriculture involving full cultivation. Importantly, the accompanying weeds show no increased proportions of wetland species during this period. Instead a mix of wetland and dryland species was identified, and although these data are preliminary, they suggest that the development of an independent rice tradition may have been intertwined with the practices of the eastern most Indus peoples. These data also suggest that when fully domesticated Oryza sativa ssp. japonica was introduced around 2000 BCE, it arrived in an area that was already familiar with domesticated rice cultivation and a range of cultivation techniques.
  • ItemOpen AccessAccepted version Peer-reviewed
    A Case for the One-offs: Improvisation and Innovation Within a Copper Age Potting Community
    (Cambridge University Press (CUP), 2016-08-01) Kohring, S
    Unique objects are often poorly integrated into discussions about the social organization of production or technological processes. Often they are frustratingly interpreted as ritual or prestige objects, or they are simply consigned to footnotes in archaeological reports. This does not do them justice and their contextualization may provide greater insight into the social factors involved in production activities. This paper attempts to demonstrate what unique, or one-off, objects can tell us about technological systems and how improvisational technical choices can lead to innovation within society. It focuses on a particular example of pottery production and usage at the Copper Age site of San Blas (Spain) and how two particular vessels on the surface appear to be unique one-off products. This paper shows that one-off objects may in fact be opening the door to innovation through acts of improvisation within existing socially sanctioned production aesthetics and object ideals.
  • ItemOpen AccessAccepted version Peer-reviewed
    Recognizing and Moving on from a Failed Paradigm: The Case of Agricultural Landscapes in Anglo-Saxon England c. AD 400–800
    (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2016) Oosthuizen, S; Oosthuizen, Susan [0000-0003-3837-6823]
    A central preoccupation for archaeologists is how and why material culture changes. One of the most intractable examples of this problem can be found between AD 400 and 800 in the enigmatic transformation of sub-Roman into Anglo-Saxon England. That example lies at the heart of this review, explored through the case of the agricultural economy. Although the ideas critically examined below relate specifically to early medieval England, they represent themes of universal interest: the role of migration in the transformation of material culture, politics, and economy in a post-imperial world, the significance of ‘‘core’’ and ‘‘periphery’’ in evolving polities, ethnogenesis as a strategy in kingdom building, property rights as a lens for investigating cultural change, and the relationship between hierarchical political structures and collective forms of governance. The first part of my argument proposes a structured response to paradigmatic stalemate by identifying and testing each underlying assumption, premise, and interpretative framework. The recognition of any fallacies, false premises, and flawed arguments might assist with an overall evaluation of the continuing utility of a discourse—whether it has life in it yet, or should be set aside. In either case, the recognition of its structure should enable arguments to be developed that do not lead into a disciplinary cul-de-sac, prevented by the orthodoxy from exploring new avenues for research. In the second part of the review, I deliberately adopt a starting point outside the limits of the current discourse. Freed from the confines of the conventional consensus, I experiment with an alternative ‘‘bottom-up’’ approach to change in early medieval England that contrasts with conventional ‘‘top-down’’ arguments. I focus in particular on how rights over agricultural property—especially collective rights—and the forms of governance implied by them may assist in illuminating the roles of tradition and transformation in effecting cultural change.
  • ItemOpen AccessAccepted version Peer-reviewed
    Beyond hierarchy: archaeology, common rights and social identity
    (Informa UK Limited, 2016-05-26) Oosthuizen, S; Oosthuizen, Susan [0000-0003-3837-6823]
    It is an archaeological commonplace that grazing across extensive pastures in many periods was shared, often over extended lengths of time, by kin-based communities who met there seasonally in large groups. Such explanations are richly implicit with models of social relations – there were large communities, they were made up of one or more kin groups, they shared pasture, and they had regular assemblies. How did that general framework of social structure and social relations work in practice, particularly at the level of the individual landholding? This paper explores the practical implications of a property rights approach to those questions, briefly illustrated in indicative examples drawn from the English fenlands across the longue durée. Its central contention is that the mutualities implied in the equitable, ‘horizontal’ governance of shared resources complemented and enriched ‘vertical’ hierarchies of power and status in complex societies of which they were both part.
  • ItemOpen AccessAccepted version Peer-reviewed
    What is the matter with transcendence? On the place of religion in the new anthropology of ethics★
    (Wiley Online, 2016-12-01) Robbins, J
    © Royal Anthropological Institute 2016 A focus on ordinary or everyday ethics has become perhaps the dominant concern in the rapidly developing anthropology of ethics. In this article, I argue that this focus tends to marginalize the study of the ways in which religion contributes to people's moral lives. After defining religion and transcendence in terms that make them less uncongenial to the study of ethics than many proponents of ordinary ethics suggest, I examine values as one sometimes transcendent cultural form that often informs ethical life. I draw on Victor Turner (along with Durkheim) to develop an account of how rituals often both present people with and allow them to perform transcendent versions of values. These encounters, in turn, shape people's ethical sensibilities, including those they bring to bear in everyday life, in ways we cannot understand unless we accord religion a more central role in the anthropology of ethics than it has played to this point. I illustrate my arguments with material drawn both from Turner's Ndembu ethnography and from my own research on Christianity in Papua New Guinea.
  • ItemOpen Access
    A Critique of the Natural Artefact: Anthropology, Art & Museology
    (Victoria University of Wellington, 2015-10-28) Thomas, Nicholas
    The lecture reflected on the constitution of collections, and in particular on collections of indigenous artefacts, proposing that the museum has the capacity to constitute a 'method' that can empower the interpretation of this kind of art.
  • ItemOpen AccessAccepted version Peer-reviewed
    Testing soil fertility of Prehispanic terraces at Viejo Sangayaico in the upper Ica catchment of south-central highland Peru
    (Elsevier BV, 2016) Nanavati, WP; French, C; Lane, K; Oros, OH; Beresford-Jones, D; French, C [0000-0001-7967-3248]; Lane, K [0000-0002-2491-1410]
    This study presents a pilot geoarchaeological investigation of terraced agricultural systems near San Francisco de Sangayaico, in the upper Ica catchment of the Southern Peruvian Andes. It aims to assess the evidence for soil fertility associated with agricultural strategies practiced throughout the Prehispanic, Spanish colonial and modern occupations in this region. A series of twenty-two test pits were hand excavated through two terraced field systems, and sampled to examine the changes in soil physical and chemical characteristics down-profile and downslope. This study provides the first geoarchaeological analyses of the agrarian soil system surrounding Viejo Sangayaico in the upper Ica catchment. Results demonstrate that the soil system was much modified prior to the creation of the terrace systems, probably about 900 years ago. This system was characterised by a weakly acidic to slightly calcareous pH, a consistent but low electrical conductivity, reasonable-but- variable phosphorus content, and a loamy soil texture with a component of weathered volcanic tonalite parent material. The shallow terrace soil build-up on the slopes investigated indicates that slope modification was as minimal as possible. Moreover, the relatively low frequencies of organic material and phosphorus suggest that the terraces were not heavily fertilised in the past, making the stability and management of the nutrient-rich topsoil vital. The results of these excavations and soil fertility analyses are situated within the context of the wider Andean ethno-historic and the archaeological record to address questions regarding how the terraces were built and maintained over time. Agricultural terraces undoubtedly mitigated the effects of slope erosion associated with cultivation. But, the terrace soil features observed at Sangayaico do not appear to be the same as those documented in other geoarchaeological studies of Andean terrace systems. These contrasts may be accounted for by a combination of differing geological substrate and hydrological conditions, as well as variable trajectories in past soil development, erosion factors, manuring/field management practices and crop selection.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Magic and memory
    (Oxford University Press (OUP), 2016-07) Adams, Julie
    In the archives at the University of Cambridge Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology are the field notes, journal and handwritten catalogue that accompany a collection of 200 ethnographic artefacts made in New Caledonia in 1914. This essay considers the context of the collection’s formation as well as its present significance and salience. In particular, it explores how this collection, hardly examined in the 100 years since the death of the collector, offers a valuable opportunity to think afresh about complex issues of loss, memory and remembrance when a little-known past is curated for new, present purposes.
  • ItemOpen AccessAccepted version Peer-reviewed
    Singapore, Big Village of the Dead: Cities as Figures of Desire, Domination, and Rupture among Korowai of Indonesian Papua
    (Wiley, 2016-06) Stasch, Rupert; Stasch, Rupert [0000-0002-4617-2153]
    An important theme in the anthropology of space is that specific spatial forms often work for people as mediations of historical consciousness. I analyze here the example of cities in recent experience of Korowai of Papua, and I develop two theoretical points. First, a spatial form’s power as a focus of consciousness rests in how it draws together multiple different elements of the historical field. In the example of Korowai thought about cities, these elements include “foreigners” as a type of people, consumer culture as an economic system, and urban superiority as a new social hierarchy. Second, a spatial form can be a powerful sign through which people engage specifically with emotional features of their historical condition, including emotional contradictions entailed in subjection to new hierarchies. I look at a striking Korowai pattern of associating cities with death, which I suggest is motivated by death and cities both being objects of contradictory feelings of simultaneous desire and repulsion, or involvement and separateness. The power of specific kinds of spaces to attract contradictory but conjoined emotions is also important to why people often seize upon them for reckoning cognitively with history at large.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The provenance, date and significance of a Cook-voyage Polynesian sculpture
    (Cambridge University Press, 2017-02-01) Thomas, N; Biers, T; Cadwallader, L; Nuku, M; Salmond, A; Biers, Trisha [0000-0002-1467-7667]; Cadwallader, Lauren [0000-0002-7571-3502]
    A unique wooden sculpture collected by James Cook during his first voyage to the Pacific is widely considered to be a masterpiece of Oceanic art, but its exact provenance has been unclear. New analysis of shavings from the object now indicate that a) the tree from which it was carved was felled between 1690 and 1728, and that the carving was therefore up to 80 years old when obtained, and b) it originated in Tahiti, despite its stylistic affinities with art from the Austral Islands. Motifs and forms clearly travelled within regions, and populations interacted in ways that blur presumed tribal boundaries. It is perhaps time to reconsider the association between region and style upon which the cataloguing and identification of objects routinely depends.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Hoards as collections: re-examining the Snettisham Iron Age hoards from the perspective of collecting practice
    (Informa UK Limited, 2016) Joy, J; Joy, J [0000-0001-8029-7817]
    In this paper it is argued that past examination of hoards and hoarding has concentrated too much on the moment of deposition to the detriment of the period of collection and accumulation of material that preceded it. An alternative perspective on prehistoric hoarding is proposed that concentrates on the processes by which objects were collected and assembled to form hoards and parallels are drawn with recent research examining how museum collections were formed. These ideas are applied to a case study which re-examines the material from the well-known Iron Age hoards from Snettisham, Norfolk, UK, as an example of how approaching hoards as collections can provide fresh insights on the practices of collecting and hoarding.