How researchers can solve the bottle-opener problem with compute capsules

Imagine a group of people playing a sport together on a hot day. Although it’s a friendly match, they play vigorously and at the end of their game they’re hot and thirsty.…


Testing the fossil record: how simulations help us understand the relative roles of diversification and preservation underlying diversity gradients in deep time

Biodiversity hotspots and gradients are a striking feature across the globe today. While the Latitudinal Diversity Gradient is the best known of these biodiversity patterns, strong gradients in species richness also exist in relation to topography and habitat heterogeneity.…


Women of Discord – the power of women in Aztec society

Women held an extraordinary position in Aztec society.  Through their connection to the earth through childbirth, they were believed to wield primal forces which gave them both access to awesome power and the potential for catastrophic disruption.…


Planning for international travel with “high-tech” field equipment

The Society for American Archaeology’s paper of the month for February comes from Advances in Archaeological Practice and is entitled: ‘Strategies for International Travel with “High-Tech” Archaeological Field Equipment’.…


Unearthing the lineage of living fossils: the oldest mawsoniid coelacanth in Europe

The study “A mawsoniid coelacanth (Sarcopterygii: Actinistia) from the Rhaetian (Upper Triassic) of the Peygros quarry, Le Thoronet (Var, southeastern France)” by Uthumporn Deesri et al., recently published in Geological Magazine, presents and describes for the first time fossil evidence for a mawsoniid coelacanth recently unearthed from a quarry in southeastern France.…


Research Reveals the Unique Political Organization and Landscape of Chichén Itzá

The Society for American Archaeology’s paper of the month for July comes from Latin American Antiquity and is entitled “The Political Organization and the Landscape of Chichén Itzá, Yucatan, Mexico, in the Classical Terminal Period (830-930AD)” Authors: Péter Bíró and Eduardo Pérez de Heredia The absence of references to the great city of Chichén Itzá in the Colonial chronicles, both indigenous and Spanish, which refer almost exclusively to the last century before the conquest, is very striking.…


The Archaeology of Drinking in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico

The Society for American Archaeology’s paper of the month for June comes from American Antiquity and is entitled: ‘Drinking Performance and Politics in Pueblo Bonito, Chaco Canyon’.…


Can we learn to reuse? Digital Literacy, Data and Open Science in Archaeology

The Society for American Archaeology’s paper of the month for May comes from Advances in Archaeological Practice and is entitled: ‘Teaching Open Science: Published Data and Digital Literacy in Archaeology Classrooms‘.…


The Future of American Archaeology: Engage the Voting Public or Kiss Your Research Goodbye!

The Society for American Archaeology’s paper of the month for May comes from Advances in Archaeological Practice and is entitled: ‘The Future of American Archaeology: Engage the Voting Public or Kiss Your Research Goodbye!‘ Authors: Terry H.…


We think we’re the first advanced earthlings—but how do we really know?

Imagine if, many millions of years ago, dinosaurs drove cars through cities of mile-high buildings. A preposterous idea, right? Over the course of tens of millions of years, however, all of the direct evidence of a civilization—its artifacts and remains—gets ground to dust. How do we really know, then, that there weren’t previous industrial civilizations on Earth that rose and fell long before human beings appeared? It’s a compelling thought experiment, and one that Adam Frank, a professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Rochester, and Gavin Schmidt, the director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, take up in a paper published in the International Journal of Astrobiology.


New Research Points to the Origins of Agricultural Strategies in South America

The Society for American Archaeology’s paper of the month for April comes from Latin American Antiquity and is entitled: ‘Estrategias Humanas, Estabilidad Y Cambio en la Frontera Agricola Sur Americana’.…


Understanding the Complicated History of Shaft-and-Chamber Tomb Use in NW Jalisco, Mexico

The Society for American Archaeology’s paper of the month for April comes from Latin American Antiquity and is entitled: ‘Es Complicado: 1.260 Años de Tumbas de Tiro y Cámara en el Noroeste de Jalisco, México’.…