If you took to heart the recent cover story in The Economist, “How Science Goes Wrong,” you might be tempted throw your hands up and stop reading about scientific research entirely. The piece describes how scientists often fail to reproduce some of the most frequently cited findings in their fields, calling their conclusions into question. Science writers have also come under fire recently, most notably Malcolm Gladwell, who according to critics in the The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal, and Slate, among others, cherry-picks research to fit his thesis and hangs major arguments on poorly replicated studies in his latest book, David and Goliath.
Ancient ad for a brothel in Ephesus
This brothel advertisement is carved on one of the marble paving stones at the city of Ephesus, the ancient Roman capital of Asia Minor in modern day Turkey. The ad includes a heart, a cross, a woman’s head, a foot and cash. It has been translated as ‘turn left at the cross roads where you can buy a woman’s love’. The brothel is positioned opposite the famous ancient library.
Ephesus was home to the Temple of Artemis, one of the ancient wonders of the world, who was viewed as the goddess of fertility and crops. The temple was known throughout the ancient world for its prostitutes and hedonistic celebrations.
Emily was on the front page of Yahoo! which makes me very happy. Her video about sexism is fantastic and I am so happy she took the time to talk about the topic.
If you haven’t heard from me in the last few days, it’s because I’ve been inundated with interviews and media requests, phone calls and messages, book offers, broadcast television show proposals, TV appearances, tour circuit and lecture series offers. Someone even asked if I would write an endorsement for their children’s nature book. And, don’t get all nutty on me because I haven’t agreed to anything (yet [maybe]).
This has all come as a surprise for a few reasons: one, I had no idea this video would resonate so strongly with not just women, but men, parents, teachers, business people and CEOs and journalists.
Two, I am hugely surprised that everyone is acting as though this is news. My video wasn’t revealing anything ground breaking, previously unspoken, or unknown. The Internet has dealt with its anonymous critics since the beginning, people in the public eye will always be widely scrutinized, and women have had their appearance come before their accomplishments before.
But what I am the most surprised about is that the majority agrees with me on this one: that negative online communities are detrimental, and also that these things can improve and get better for content creators of all kinds. That if enough people speak up in favor of fostering encouraging environments online, it will happen. You see this environment in the comment section of PBS Idea Channel, an educational series known for their delightfully constructive community. You see this in the Nerdfighter community. Why not for other educational channels?
The reception of that video far exceeded any expectations I had, and I take it as an indication that we are all working together towards positive change. Thank you, all of you.
I AM SO HAPPY ABOUT THIS. Come by the Regenstein (Mon-Weds) so I can congratulate you in person!
Intimate X-Ray Couple Portraits
What would normally be intimate portrayals of couples holding each other close has been transformed into stark, almost eerie portraits by Japanese students and artists Ayako Kanda and Mayuka Hayashi. However there is an unspoken passion revealed in these x-ray portraits of couples that transcends any form of traditional imagery. The result is a series of ghostly white skeletons tangled in loving embraces.
Using an actual CT scan and x-ray machine, they photographed four couples revealing something more than what we would see in a doctor’s office. “X-ray images usually show the finite nature of our bodies composed only of matter,” say the duo. “But these couples portraits reveal a pulse that isn’t normally seen.”
Far too many people are reblogging this post without critiquing the validity of its claims.
I too want to improve the quality of research on women in history and prehistory. However, uncritically accepting spurious claims because they fit my feminist agenda (and yes I have a feminist agenda) is…
A very important discussion. I’ve been reblogging the story less to posit my own views and more to open the discussion, as I know little about the context itself.
The Etruscan prince/ss, however, I feel qualified to weigh in on: GRAVE GOODS TELL US NOTHING ABOUT SEX. Gender and/or gender roles, sure, but assuming the sex of a skeleton based on weapons and jewelry is extremely problematic. Notice the male skeleton was the one with the jewelry too. So the cave painting story kind of piggy backs on this, though they’re two different discussions. Sure, the Etruscan story shows some modern male bias, but that’s not the whole point.
Great news: I get to stay on at the Field Museum, AND work at the heritage museum! Yaaay!!
Now back to finding wax deities among the organs!
Skulls Unearthed In China Believed To Be Evidence Of Ancient Human Sacrifice-
Archaeologists in China made a grisly discovery earlier this week, unearthing about 80 human skulls from a burial ground that dates back 4,000 years. Mostly female, the skulls are believed to be evidence of human sacrifice.
The skulls were found in Shaanxi Province in northwestern China, among the ruins of Shimao, the largest prehistoric Chinese city ever unearthed. Archaeologists said the women might have been sacrificed as part of religious “foundation ceremonies” held before the city walls were built.
Forty-eight of the skulls were found in pits along the east gate of the ruins. The rest of the skulls were found along the city’s eastern wall, according to China’s Xinhua news agency. The women’s bodies were not found.
"The skulls show signs of being hit and burned," Sun Zhouyong, deputy head of the Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology, told state broadcaster CCTV of the discovery. "This collective burial might also have something to do with the founding ceremony of the city.”
Read more: Huffington Post
so what feminists have been saying for years and years is true. women have always been involved in hunting, have been warriors and have made art. women have been inventors and made great discoveries… and women experts are finally breaking through the sexism to get the facts heard.
"But bone analysis revealed the prince holding the lance was actually a 35- to 40-year-old woman, whereas the second skeleton belonged to a man.
Given that, what do archaeologists make of the spear?
"The spear, most likely, was placed as a symbol of union between the two deceased," Mandolesi told Viterbo News 24 on Sept. 26.
Weingarten doesn’t believe the symbol of unity explanation. Instead, she thinks the spear shows the woman’s high status.
Their explanation is “highly unlikely,” Weingarten told LiveScience. “She was buried with it next to her, not him.”
The mix-up highlights just how easily both modern and old biases can color the interpretation of ancient graves.
In this instance, the lifestyles of the ancient Greeks and Romans may have skewed the view of the tomb. Whereas Greek women were cloistered away, Etruscan women, according to Greek historian Theopompus, were more carefree, working out, lounging nude, drinking freely, consorting with many men and raising children who did not know their fathers’ identities.
Instead of using objects found in a grave to interpret the sites, archaeologists should first rely on bone analysis or other sophisticated techniques before rushing to conclusions, Weingarten said.
"Until very recently, and sadly still in some countries, sex determination is based on grave goods. And that, in turn, is based almost entirely on our preconceptions. A clear illustration is jewelry: We associate jewelry with women, but that is nonsense in much of the ancient world," Weingarten said. "Guys liked bling, too.""
had prints are cave-art signatures…
"This is a surprise, since most archaeologists have assumed it was men who had been making the cave art. One interpretation is that early humans painted animals to influence the presence and fate of real animals that they’d find on their hunt, and it’s widely accepted that it was the men who found and killed dinner.
But a new study indicates that the majority of handprints found near cave art were made by women, based on their overall size and relative lengths of their fingers.
"The assumption that most people made was it had something to do with hunting magic," Penn State archaeologist Dean Snow, who has been scrutinizing hand prints for a decade, told NBC News. The new work challenges the theory that it was mostly men, who hunted, that made those first creative marks.
Another reason we thought it was men all along? Male archeologists from modern society where gender roles are rigid and well-defined — they found the art. “[M]ale archaeologists were doing the work,” Snow said, and it’s possible that “had something to do with it.” “
I can’t stop giggling over how DESPERATE male archelogists are to try and make up some bullshit to explain away the idea of women being warriors and hunters in the past
Ovarian tumour, with teeth and a bone fragment inside, found in a Roman-age skeleton
A team of researchers led by the UAB has found the first ancient remains of a calcified ovarian teratoma, in the pelvis of the skeleton of a woman from the Roman era.
The find confirms the presence in antiquity of this type of tumour – formed by the remains of tissues or organs, which are difficult to locate during the examination of ancient remains. Inside the small round mass, four teeth and a small piece of bone were found.
Teratomas are usually benign and contain remains of organic material, such as hair, teeth, bones and other tissues. There are no references in the literature to ovarian teratomas in ancient remains like those found in this study, led by the researcher Núria Armentano of the Biological Anthropology Unit of the UAB and published in the International Journal of Paleopathology.
The tumour in question is rounded in shape, with a wrinkled surface, of the same colour as the bones, about 43 mm long and 44 mm in diameter. It was found in the right-hand part of the pelvis of a woman of between 30 and 40 years of age and who lived around 1,600 years ago, and came from the Roman cemetery in the archaeological site of La Fogonussa (Lleida). A macroscopic examination and a scan revealed four teeth of anomalous morphology inside the tumour, two of which were adhering to the inside wall of the tumour, and a small bone fragment.
Read more here
Original article: Núria Armentano, Mercè Subirana, Albert Isidro, Oscar Escala, Assumpció Malgosa, An ovarian teratoma of late Roman age, International Journal of Paleopathology, Volume 2, Issue 4, December 2012, Pages 236-239, ISSN 1879-9817, 10.1016/j.ijpp.2012.11.003.
What name is given to this pattern of wrist injury? ANSWER: http://goo.gl/5QAr3D
December Donation Drive http://ift.tt/1bam9Ro
suddenly i am filled with the passion of a thousand emily graslies about women in STEM fields
This makes me so happy.
Last week’s video went CRAZY.
I’m so pleased to see so much support. You’d think we’d be beyond this sort of thing, but alas.
Personal experience I forgot to mention: when I went to U of Chicago to scan Magdelenian Woman, one of the researchers on the medical side looked at me and said, “What are you doing here? You look like you’re in high school.” Maybe not necessarily a sexist comment, but way to minimize my worth with something as arbitrary as how old you think I look.
Are you frigging kidding me?!?