The Human Family

Teotihuacan: Temple of the Feathered Serpent offerings

Tlalocan Project symposium at National Museum of Anthropology

Tip of the hat to Don Paul Liffman for alerting me that today and tomorrow, 30–31 October 2014, a symposium will be held at the Museo Nacional de Antropología in Mexico City to announce preliminary results of the Tlalocan Project’s work at Teotihuacan. From an INAH press release:

In announcing the latest findings of the Tlalocan project, which have lead to the threshold of three chambers beneath Teotihuacan’s Temple of the Feathered Serpent, Teresa Franco, Director General of INAH, indicated that that the finds, in conjunction with other INAH-sponsored projects, will lead to a reappraisal of the culture areas of Meso- and Arido-america.

Illustration of the tunnel beneath the Temple of the Feathered Serpent where the offerings were found.

La Jornada video

The Interwebs will be filthy with algorithm chasing English language posts soon enough, so stay tuned. In the meanwhile, here is a nicely produced video from La Jornada that you should be able to follow regardless of your Spanish language proficiency.

About the author

Matthew Timothy Bradley


Ely S. Parker and Native contributions to anthropology

Friend of Lewis H. Morgan, U.S. Grant’s secretary, Commissioner of Indian Affairs

[T]he dismissal of anthropology as a merely White science of the Other is woefully underinformed historically. (Whiteley 2004: 501)

The life of Ely Samuel Parker gives the lie to the taken for granted notion that Native Americans were passive, exploited research specimens during the early days of anthropology in the United States.

Ely Samuel Parker was born in 1828 near Tonawanda Creek on what was then Seneca territory.

Marker near Tonawanda Creek in Genesee County, New York, commemorating the birthplace and life of Ely S. Parker.


Settlement pattern research levels of analysis

Bruce Trigger at his best

Few writers could turn difficult concepts into easily-read prose better than could Bruce Trigger have made the difficult read easily better than did Bruce Trigger, and rarely did he do it better than in his 1968 programmatic essay “The determinants of settlement patterns” (in Settlement archaeology, ed. Kwang-chih Chang (Palo Alto, Calif.: National Press Books, 1968), 53–78).


Analogism: an ontology visualized

Descola’s ontology illustrated

Analogism can be seen as a hermeneutic dream of completeness and totalization which proceeds from a dissatisfaction: admitting that all the components of the world are separated by tiny discontinuities, it entertains the hope of weaving these weakly differentiated elements in a canvas of affinities and attractions which has all the appearances of continuity.1

The hydra is a classic—and Classical—representation of analogism.

Hercules slaying the Hydra in a 3rd century mosaic from Roman Hispania.


Marilyn Strathern has a gift for you

Godelier’s ‘The Metamorphoses of Kinship’ reviewed

Get it?


Lower Town historical geography

Locating Cherokee sites in SC and North Georgia

During the mid-18th century a number of the Cherokee settlements in the Savannah and Chattahoochee river basins relocated, dissolved, or were destroyed in the wake of conflict with the Creek Nation and outbreaks of infectious disease. This turmoil, combined with Cherokee place name conventions, clouds attempts to track movement amongst these Lower Towns.

I have come to know the various historical documents, maps, archaeological reports, and landscape features well enough to become convinced that it would be possible to reconstruct the c. 1720 Lower Town settlement pattern to serve as a benchmark for research in Cherokee historical geography. Such a reconstruction would identify points in Cartesian space in order to help tie communities named in the documentary record to landmarks on the terrain. This post is meant to illustrate the most important of the sources and methods available for the creation of a synchronic Lower Town settlement pattern for the year 1720.

The paths up from Charleston to Keowee and Chauga on George Hunter’s 1730 map.


Cherokee stickball: the first written documentation

Winter ball play in Tugalo, Estatoe, and Keowee

On January 11th, 1715–16, an officer from the Carolina Colony on an expedition into the Cherokee Country wrote in his journal that

this day ther was a greatt ball play att Esttohee agenst ye peapl of Tugaloe1


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