Around the Web Digest: Week of August 16

Dear readers, either the blogs have been quiet this week or I’m missing some, which you can rectify by sending me links at

The most shocking, terrible news in anthropology this week was the Islamic State’s murder of archaeologist Khaled al-Asaad for refusing to reveal the location of artifacts from Palmyra that had been moved for safekeeping. Archaeologist Kristina Killgrove posted a tribute to him on her Forbes blog: Archaeologists Respond to the Murder of Khalel al-Asaad at Ancient Palmyra

An exhibit at the National Geographic Museum uses Indiana Jones as an entry point to dispel myths about archaeology… it even uses the arguably non-canonical fourth installment (#notmyindy) to explore alien astronaut pseudoscience. The Geek Anthropologist’s review: “It Belongs in a Museum”: Indiana Jones and the Adventure of Archaeology Review 

The blog How to Anthropology isn’t advocating laziness in the post How to Talk About Books You Haven’t Read; instead, it’s about how to keep up with our immense reading load and deal with imposter syndrome

Somatosphere tells the story of Kelly, a US soldier in Iraq who experienced what she felt to be a near brush with death (rather than a near brush with murdering an Iraqi civilian), to look at the “fog of war” as a morass of confusion structured by guidelines that both empasizes and removes individual responsibility: “He Didn’t Blow Us Up”: Routine Violence and Non-Event as Case

The Guardian reports on a salvage ethnographic project: Racing to Record Indigenous Languages Under Attack from “Onslaught of English”


I love hearing people talk about their career trajectories, so I appreciated this post on Anthropologizing, which profiles three researchers who use anthropological methods to let companies know what users need and want: Getting Into User Experience Research: 3 Senior Practitioners Share Their Stories 

Are anthropologists crazy? This post on looks at the craziness of anthropology as a field and the ways that it can make celebrities of groups like the Ju/’Hoansi through an exploration of the careers of ethnographers Gene and Mary Long: Ethnography as a Contact Sport: The Mla Bri and the Long Family of Phrae Thailand 

When did Homo sapiens leave Africa and spread around the world? This Dienekes’ Anthropology Blog post radiates with vindication, as a new article suggests that the date of ~70,000 years ago needs to be revised: Rethinking the Dispersal of Homo Sapiens Out of Africa

Rebecca Nelson

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).