Around the Web Digest: Week of July 26

Happy August readers! Welcome to a month so great they stole a day from another month to make it longer. Let me know about anything cool I should feature here at rebecca.nelson.jacobs@gmail.com.

It’s a TED Talk! It argues that humans have been successful through our ability to create and believe in abstractions, which facilitate collective action.

A medical student reflects on how her background in anthropology helped her put a patient at ease: A Background in Anthropology Comes in Handy on the Wards 

This post on Popular Archaeology introduces Aşıklı Höyük, one of the earliest Neolithic sites ever found: Archaeologists Uncover Human Settlement Dated to the Dawn of Civilization

My social media has been positively blowing up with versions of this story, on four bodies tentatively identified as four high-status members of the Jamestown community. I like NPR’s coverage, which is media-rich: Bones In Church Ruins Likely The Remains Of Early Jamestown’s Elite 

Smithsonian Magazine answers the question, Who Were the First People to Eat Chickens? As far as we know: Israeli villagers as early as 400 BCE.

According to National Geographic, a recent find in Guatemala is provoking questions about the rivalry between Tikal and Calakmul: Maya Shrine Reveals Arrival of “New World Order.” An intriguing quote: “Venerating a vassal of Tikal in an area controlled by Calakmul [would be like] 20th-century Americans […] bringing offerings to a bust of Lenin.”

Live Science reports the discovery of an American Revolution-era shipwreck off the coast of North Carolina: Accidental Find: Scientists Stumble on Centuries-Old Shipwreck 

As Savage Minds celebrates the official demise of the Human Terrain System, Foreign Policy decries it: The Army Needs Anthropologists

Finally, the Global Social Media Impact Study suggests that Italians attempt to make their Facebook appearances reflect their real lives (to the extent of “curating” their everyday lives by selecting attractive outfits for parties where they expect to be photographed). This doesn’t necessarily square with my intuitive sense of U.S. Facebook use, in which a disconnect between self-presentation and “real” life seems to be expected and accepted:  Facebook as a Window: Managing Online Appearance. What do you think?

See you next week!

Rebecca Nelson is the executive director of América Solidaria U.S. She recently graduated with a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from the University of Connecticut. Her research focuses on volunteer tourism in Guatemala and how it is opening up new avenues for tourists and hosts to develop more cosmopolitan understandings of the world (as well as opening up new forms of friction over the circulation of knowledge).

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