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I regularly read nature, science, PNAS, Current Anthropology, Journal of Archaeological Science, American Antiquity, Antiquity, Archäologische Informationen, Archäologisches Korrespondenzblatt, (most of them on paper – my one big indulgence and luxury) and whatever tidbits I’m led to by finding them being mentioned somewhere. Whoever happens to share my particular can find a list of all the highlights of the current week, together with abstracts and the personal comments I feel compelled to make, here.

For the time being the archive of older entries also resides in my now defunct old blog which offers a search.

(17-03-24) Articles to 2017-03-24

The results by Schmidt et al. are well founded, but aren’t they trivial? Has it any bearing at all on fake news and its distribution?

(17-03-17) Articles to 2017-03-17

First the link to this week’s complete list as HTML and as PDF.

(17-03-11) Articles to 2017-03-11

Whatever your academic subject and whatever your political persuasion, Spinney is required reading for everybody. Also see Kahan et al.

(17-03-02) Articles to 2017-03-02

The environment of Beringia was not that different from that of Siberia at the time. If, as Amorim et al. say, there is a strong selection in the first wave of Native Americans similar to that found in Inuit, then that is much more compatible with the conditions postulated in Stanford & Bradley’s Solutréen hypothesis.

(17-02-24) Articles to 2017-02-24

It would be very easy to quibble with Janssen et al.’s modeling. The terms in their equations alternate between overly detailed, overly simplified, and wrong. But the value ranges chosen for all their parameters look like a very sensible order of magnitude, making theirs a eminently welcome contribution to a highly understudied field of enquiry.

(17-02-18) Articles to 2017-02-18

I have often criticised over reliance on and religious belief in computer models and shall probably continue to do so. Bassis and Chen however are two examples of well designed, simple, and comprehensible models that are actually helpful and explain a lot.

(17-02-12) Articles to 2017-02-12

Nothing much to comment on this week but one point I failed to make last week for lack of time.

(17-02-05) Articles to 2017-02-05

First the link to this week’s complete list as HTML and as PDF.


Ordinary people’s choices are seldom as stupid and ill-informed as ivory-tower sociologists make them out to be. Are engineers really as sought after as Rozek et al. try to make out? From all I hear about career opportunities, pay offers, and forced early retirement, it does not look like it. What in American society are the real prestige jobs ...

(17-01-28) Articles to 2017-01-28

First the link to this week’s complete list as HTML and as PDF.


Helen Czerski’s The Physics of Everyday Life is exceptionally cheap at only 11.24 € for the upcoming paperback. If it’s only half as good as Engel claims it is, it may make the ideal gift for less science oriented friends.


(17-01-22) Articles to 2017-01-22

First the link to this week’s complete list as HTML and as PDF.


To my knowledge Croft et al. is the first report about a female menopause and grandmothering in a non-hominid species and should provide a good test for its differing explanatory hypotheses.

(17-01-15) Articles to 2017-01-15

First the link to this week’s complete list as HTML and as PDF.


The first reports on oxytocin a few years ago led some to ideas, that a small addition to our drinking water or similar might solve all our social ills. As Samuni et al. demonstrate, the hormone and its Janus-faced counterside have been part of primate evolution for quite some time.


(17-01-08) Articles to 2017-01-08

First the link to this week’s complete list as HTML and as PDF.


Cheon & Hong start from a plausible hypothesis – high ranking primates are known to monopolise high value food sources making it desirable for lower ranking ones to over indulge whenever there’s a chance. Unfortunately their study fails to prove their case and is systematically unsuitable for doing so. ...

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