JOURNAL of
ANTHROPOLOGICAL
RESEARCH
Volume 52, Number 1, Abstracts

Inaugural JAR Distinguished Lecture:
ELISABETH VRBA
on
Hominid Evolutionary Theory


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CLIMATE, HETEROCHRONY, AND HUMAN EVOLUTION

Elisabeth S. Vrba
Department of Geology and Geophysics, Yale University, P.O. Box 6666,
New Haven, CT 06511

The Late Neogene African records of climatic change at the start of the modern ice age, and of turnover in some mammalian groups including Hominidae, support the turnover pulse prediction. Many of the new species that appear 2.9-2.5 myr (millions of years) ago show similar suites of integrated character complexes, including larger bodies (consistent with Bergmann's Rule) and relative reduction in some body parts (Allen's Rule in the case of bodily extremities), together with enlargement of others including brains. I explore further the hypothesis (Vrba 1994) that the same evolutionary event of growth prolongation, or time hypermorphosis, as it acts on characters with different ancestral growth profiles in the same body plan, can result in a major reorganization- or "shuffling"-of body proportions such that some characters become larger and others smaller, some hyperadult and others more juvenilized. I suggest that this hypothesis applies to major features of hominid evolution including hominine encephalization.


RETHINKING HISTORICAL CHANGE IN SRI LANKAN RITUAL: DEITIES, DEMONS, SORCERY, AND THE RITUALIZATION OF RESISTANCE IN THE SINHALA TRADITIONS OF SUNIYAM

Seth L. Fleisher
182-A Chattanooga St., San Francisco, CA 94114

In this article, I argue against the theoretical and methodological approaches of Gananath Obeyesekere and Richard Gombrich and expand on the work of Bruce Kapferer, suggesting the need for more diachronically oriented and interdisciplinary approaches to the analysis of historical developments in South and Southeast Asian ritual traditions. I contend that the rise of urban sorcery traditions in Sri Lanka is by no means a new cultural "invention." Rather, the recent increase in the popularity of these traditions in Colombo is the result of a "translation" of a ritual repertoire from a "premodern" and rural ritual idiom to a "modern" urban one. The two key differences visible in this "translation " are a decrease in the extent to which the rituals are bound by textual forms and expectations and a resultant increase in the ritual practitioner's flexibility as a cultural agent. I suggest that the central element of continuity between the "premodern" and "modern" traditions is their function, in different historical periods and contexts, as active sociopolitical resistance for: (1) groups that were socially, economically, and/or politically disenfranchised and (2) groups that deemed the very integrity of their cultural identity to be in jeopardy. Through an application of the theoretical work of Jonathan Z. Smith, Catherine Bell, and Michel Foucault, I demonstrate that religious tradition in South and Southeast Asia is not only utilized to legitimate normative power structures, but it is also concomitantly deployed by the socioeconomically and politically disenfranchised in attempts to resist such structures. My research is based primarily upon etymological analysis, architectural analysis, ethnography, studied exegesis of several genres of Sinhala textual material, and data collected through the administration of multiple-choice and open-ended questionnaires.


MATTERS OF TASTE: FOOD, EATING, AND REFLECTIONS ON "THE BODY POLITIC" IN TUAREG SOCIETY

Susan Rasmussen
Department of Anthropology, University of Houston, Houston, TX 77004

In this article, I am concerned with two issues: to understand how power relations are embodied in beliefs, statements, and practices about food preparation, eating, and the body; and to determine how to represent these statements and practices in nonessentialist terms. The article explores how notions of strength/fragility, activity/passivity, and purity/pollution are used to construct, represent, and contest social distinctions in contexts of ritual, sociability, and politics within a stratified, seminomadic rural community of Tuareg in Niger, West Africa. I analyze reflections about food, conversation during eating, and more general food-connected practices as these relate to concepts of body and social origin. Food habits, I argue, are reflected in both traditional and changing social categories, and these social categories are evidenced in food as well as in other contexts which symbolically refer to eating and the body: for example, color and texture tastes, use of material cultural items such as utensils in food preparation, the etiquette of commensuality, and weaponry use in animal sacrifice, meat preparation, and armed conflict.


WHEN THE SALMON COMES: THE POLITICS OF SUMMER FISHING IN AN IRISH COMMUNITY

Adrian Peace
Department of Anthropology, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia,
Australia 5005

Despite the economic, political, and cultural pressures to which local level communities are currently subject, they frequently prove resilient in the maintenance of their distinctiveness. This paper examines the processes whereby the fishing families of Clontarf constitute themselves as a community within a community, especially when, as residents of the pier, they become preoccupied annually with the advent of the salmon.


THE FIRST HUMAN SETTLEMENT OF EUROPE

Eudald Carbonell, Marina Mosquera, Xosé Pedro Rodríguez, and Robert Sala
Laboratori d'Arqueologia, Universitat Rovira i Virgill
Plaga Imperial Tarraco, 1
43005 Tarragona, Spain

The question concerning the place of origin of humankind was widely debated for decades. Since it has been established that this was in Africa, much current research is focused on the age of the settlement of Eurasia. This work reviews three hypotheses concerning the age of the occupation of Europe. These hypotheses may be termed "Young," "Mature," and "Old" Europe, according to which systematic settlement took place either less than 500, 000 years ago, somewhat before 0. 78 mya (million years ago), or before 1. 5 mya, respectively. The arguments for and weaknesses of each hypothesis are discussed, and the "Mature Europe&qu ot; hypothesis is argued to be supported by the strongest current evidence.


BOOK REVIEWS

Lukurmata: Household Archaeology in Prehispanic Bolivia. Marc Bermann. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1994, 307 pp., $59.50 (cloth). Reviewed by Garth Bawden, University of New Mexico.

Conflict in the Archaeology of Living Traditions. R. Layton (editor). London: Routledge, 1994, ix + 243 pp., $22.95 (paper). Reviewed by Miriam Stark, University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Dating in Exposed and Surface Contexts. Charlotte Beck. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1994, 239 pp., $45.00 (cloth). Reviewed by Gary Huckelberry, Washington State University.

Kalinga Ethnoarchaeology: Expanding Archaeological Method and Theory. William A. Longacre and James M. Skibo (editors). Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1994, 256 pp., 38 photos, 62 line drawings, $49.50 (cloth). Reviewed by Richard A. Gould, Brown University.

Exploring Social, Political and Economic Organization in the Zuni Region. Todd L. Howell and Tammy Stone (editors). Tempe: Arizona State University Press, 1994, ix + 126 pp., 39 figs., 28 tables, 3 plates, bibliography, $17.50 (paper). Reviewed by Roger Anyon, Zuni Heritage and Historic Preservation Office.

Mobile Farmers: an Ethnoarchaeological Approach to Settlement Organization among the Raramuri of Northwestern Mexico. Martha Graham. Ann Arbor, Mich.: International Monographs in Prehistory, 1994, 113 pp., $29.50 (cloth), $18.00 (paper). Reviewed by Caroll I. Riley, Las Vegas, N.M.

Villagers of the Sierra de Gredos: Transhumant Cattle-raisers in Central Spain. William Kavanagh. Oxford and Providence: Berg, 1994, 149 pp., $44.95 (cloth). Reviewed by Lawrence Guy Straus, University of New Mexico.

Legal Anthropology. Norbert Rouland (trans. by Philippe G. Planel). Palo Alto, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1994, 352 pp., $45.00 (cloth). Reviewed by June Starr, Indiana University School of Law.

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