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Humans, Volume 4, Issue 2 (June 2024) – 3 articles

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9 pages, 194 KiB  
Essay
The Community of Practice: An Essential and Elegant Framework for Archaeological Interpretation
by Randall Souza
Humans 2024, 4(2), 183-191; https://doi.org/10.3390/humans4020010 - 22 May 2024
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Abstract
Archaeologists deploy a variety of models and theories, often tailored to specific questions or situations, in making sense of the material record we study. The concept of the community of practice, originally developed in the context of modern work and learning situations, describes [...] Read more.
Archaeologists deploy a variety of models and theories, often tailored to specific questions or situations, in making sense of the material record we study. The concept of the community of practice, originally developed in the context of modern work and learning situations, describes among other things how participation in shared activities can create and shape social relationships. It therefore offers a powerful and flexible framework for the many archaeological research agendas in which group dynamics play a role. Some archaeologists have already begun to use the community of practice approach (CoP) as an interpretive framework, and this essay argues that a wider embrace would be a benefit to individual archaeologists and to the field as a whole. Full article
35 pages, 13172 KiB  
Article
Dog Consumption at Tell Zirāʿa: Is It a “Cultural Marker” for the “Sea Peoples”?
by Katja Soennecken and Haskel J. Greenfield
Humans 2024, 4(2), 148-182; https://doi.org/10.3390/humans4020009 - 28 Apr 2024
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Abstract
It has been argued that the increase in the consumption of dogs in the southern Levant during the Iron Age was due to the advent of the Philistines/“Sea Peoples” into the region. In this study, we test this proposal through the presentation of [...] Read more.
It has been argued that the increase in the consumption of dogs in the southern Levant during the Iron Age was due to the advent of the Philistines/“Sea Peoples” into the region. In this study, we test this proposal through the presentation of new information on dog consumption and its depositional context in Bronze and Iron Age strata from the archaeological site of Tell Zirāʿa (Jordan), and we compare the results to other sites in the region. Our study does not support that such behaviour is a signal of ethnic identity. Full article
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17 pages, 4769 KiB  
Article
Macro-Scale Population Patterns in the Kofun Period of the Japanese Archipelago: Quantitative Analysis of a Larger Sample of Three-Dimensional Data from Ancient Human Crania
by Hisashi Nakao, Akihiro Kaneda, Kohei Tamura, Koji Noshita and Tomomi Nakagawa
Humans 2024, 4(2), 131-147; https://doi.org/10.3390/humans4020008 - 2 Apr 2024
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Abstract
The present study collected a larger set of three-dimensional data on human crania from the Kofun period (as well as from previous periods, i.e., the Jomon and Yayoi periods) in the Japanese archipelago (AD 250 to around 700) than previous studies. Three-dimensional geometric [...] Read more.
The present study collected a larger set of three-dimensional data on human crania from the Kofun period (as well as from previous periods, i.e., the Jomon and Yayoi periods) in the Japanese archipelago (AD 250 to around 700) than previous studies. Three-dimensional geometric morphometrics were employed to investigate human migration patterns in finer-grained phases. These results are consistent with those of previous studies, although some new patterns were discovered. These patterns were interpreted in terms of demic diffusion, archaeological findings, and historical evidence. In particular, the present results suggest the presence of a gradual geological cline throughout the Kofun period, although the middle period did not display such a cline. This discrepancy might reflect social changes in the middle Kofun period, such as the construction of keyhole-shaped mounds in the peripheral regions. The present study implies that a broader investigation with a larger sample of human crania is essential to elucidating macro-level cultural evolutionary processes. Full article
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