JAR Distinguished Lecture: R.G. Klein on the African Origins of Modern Humans

Volume 57, Number 1, Abstracts

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JAR Distinguished Lectures


Richard G. Klein
Program in Human Biology, Building 80, Inner Quad, Stanford University,
Stanford, CA 94305-2160

Together with human fossils from eastern and northern Africa, southern African specimens show that anatomically modern or near-modern people were present by 100,000 years ago, when only the Neandertals occupied Europe and different, equally nonmodern people lived in eastern Asia.  However, the artifacts found with early modern or near-modern African fossils imply
nonmodern, Neandertal-like behavior.  Artifactual markers of fully modern behavior appeared in Africa between 50,000 and 40,000 years ago, and only then were modern Africans able to expand to Eurasia, where they swamped or replaced the Neandertals and other nonmodern humans.  Archaeological food debris from the western and southern coasts of South Africa suggest that an enhanced ability to hunt and gather accompanied the artifactual advance after 50,000 years ago.


Lawrence A. Kuznar
Department of Sociology-Anthropology, Indiana University-Purdue
University at Fort Wayne, Fort Wayne, IN 46805

A case of mutualistic plant/human/animal interaction occurs in Navajo corrals in which Navajo herders create ideal environments for the propagation of economically and ceremonially useful nondomesticated plants.  This example informs current issues in ecological anthropology, including the concept of domiculture, the importance of symbiotic plants in subsistence, the role of humans in dispersing plants, and the domestication of companion crops.  Furthermore, the benefits Navajo derive from these mutualistic interactions affirm certain ideological tenets of Navajo religion and philosophy, leading to misunderstandings between Navajo herders and range specialists interested in developing Navajo pastoralism.


E. Paul Durrenberger
Department of Anthropology, The Pennsylvania State University
University Park, PA 16082

In the United States there are both classes and a folk model that denies their existence.  I explore some anthropologists' and sociologists' conceptualizations of class and folk models of class.  I then discuss the salience of elements of these folk models that Katherine Newman outlined as meritocratic individualism for some lawyers, paralegals, and support staff in a legal agency and for some service sector union stewards.  I conclude that there are powerful forces in the United States that operate against folk models that recognize class, among them, the structuring of everyday workplace experience by law and administration practice that operate against the recognition of class.  The same is even more true of academics, and that situation provides the experiential basis from which some scholars perpetuate counterfactual folk models of individualism in their academic


Carol Trosset
Director of Institutional Research, Department of Anthropology, Grinnell College
Grinnell, IA 50112-1690

Doug Caulkins
Department of Anthropology, Grinnell College, Grinnell, IA 50112-1690

In anthropology, triangulation, or the use of multiple methods and sources of data, is usually practiced within a single study, rather than between different studies.  Unusual, too, are attempts to confirm results of earlier studies, rather than reinterpret them in competing frameworks.  In this article we use systematic interviewing and consensus analysis to test the results of an earlier participant observation study of five Welsh concepts of personhood.  We develop a set of scenarios, or brief narratives, to illustrate behavior characteristic of each concept.  In systematic interviews we obtained judgments about the "Welshness" of each of these scenarios.  Consensus analysis of these judgments confirms and refines the earlier results, illustrating a productive means of reducing bias in research.


Primate Communities.  John G. Fleagle, Charles, Janson, and Kaye E. Reed, eds. New York: Cambridge Univesity Press, 1999, 329 pp. $74.95, cloth; $29.95, paper.
Reveiwed by Jill Pruetz, Miami University

The Archaeology of Death and Burial. Mike Parker.  College Station, Tex.: Texas A&M University Press, 2000, 250 pp., black-and-white illustrations. $34.95.
Reviewed by Jane Buikstra, University of New Mexico

Adventures in the Bone Trade: The Race to Discover Human Ancestors in Ethiopia's Afar Depression.  Jon Kalb. New York: Copernicus Books, 2000, 416 pp., 46 illustrations.  $29.00, cloth.
Reviewed by Osbjorn Pearson, University of New Mexico.

The Geography of Neandertals and Modern Humans in Europe and the Greater Mediterranean. Ofer Bar-Yosef and David Pilbeam, eds.  Harvard Peabody Museum Bulletin 8. Cambridge, Mass., 2000, x + 197 pp. $25.00, cloth.
Reviewed by Lawrence Guy Straus, University of New Mexico

Depositional History of Franchthi Cave: Sediments, Stratigraphy and Chronology.  Excavations at Franchthi Cave, Greece, 12. William R. Farrand with a report on the background of the Franchthi Project by Thomas W. Jacobsen.  Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana Univesity Press, 2000, 135 pp., black-and-white illustrations, halftones. $49.95, paper.
Reviewed by Lawrence Guy Straus, University of New Mexico

The Prehistory of Food: Appetites for Change. Chris Gosden and Jon Hunter, eds.  New York: Routledge, 1999, 523 pp. $145.00, cloth.
Reviewed by Mark Nathan Cohen, State Univesity of New York, Plattsburgh

Gender Archaeology.  Marie Louise Stig Sorenson. Cambridge, Eng.: Polity Press, 2000, 248 pp. L14.99, paper; L50.00, cloth.
Reviewed by Sarah M. Nelson, University of Denver

Indigenous South Americans of the Past and Present: An Ecological Perspective. David J. Wilson. Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1999, xxii + 480 pp. $69.00, cloth; $36.00, paper.
Reviewed by A.C. Roosevelt, Field Museum and University of Illinois

Domestic Architecture and Power: The Historical Archaeology of Colonial Ecuador. Ross W. Jamieson. New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, 2000, xvii + 244 pp. $75.00, cloth.
Reviewed by William R. Fowler, Vanderbilt University

The Politics of trade in Safavid Iran: Silk for Silver, 1600-1730. Rudolph P. Matthee. Cambridge Studies in Islamic Civilization.  New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000, 312 pp., halftones, maps. $64.95, cloth.
Reviewed by C.C. Lamberg-Karlovsky, Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University

Sacrifice as Terror: The Rwandan Genocide of 1994. Christopher C. Taylor. New York: Berg Publishers, 1999, 224 pp. $65.00, cloth; $19.50, paper.
Reviewed by William A. Douglass, University of Nevada, Reno

Return to Nisa. Marjorie Shostak. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2000, 251 pp., 20 halftones. $24.95, cloth.
Reviewed by Carmel Schrire, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

And Along Came Boas: Continuity and Revolution in American Anthropology.  Regna Darnell.  Philadelphia and Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing, 1998, 331 pp. $89.00, cloth.
Reviewed by Curtis M. Hinsley, Northern Arizona University

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