anthropology Archives - State of the Planet

The research team in Madagscar presenting their archeological research.

Cataloging the Past for Clues to Future Climate Adaptation

A Q&A with archaeologist and anthropologist Kristina Douglass, who studies the evolving relationships between people and the environment.

by |February 7, 2023
home made out of orange earth

Colonialism Distorts the Quest to Save Heritage Threatened by Climate Change, Say Researchers

Climate change threatens to destroy invaluable heritage sites and traditions in marginalized countries — but empowering local people is key to saving it.

by |February 14, 2022
A sketch of a Viking home's original shape

Melting Ice and a High Altitude Dig Reveal Viking Secrets in Norway

A wealth of ancient artifacts stand to be discovered as high altitude ice melts, but the relationship between high altitude archaeology and climate change is a somber one.

by |August 6, 2021

Paige West, Environmental Anthropologist, Wins Guggenheim Fellowship

A Q&A with the anthropologist, who plans to continue her work supporting Indigenous land stewardship in Papua New Guinea and is also working on a new book.

by |April 29, 2021

Age Newly Verified, One of Oldest Prehuman Fossils Leads to New Finds

Controversy over the age of an early fossil of Homo erectus has been settled, and has led to other specimens.

by |April 13, 2021
paige west standing in shallow water along coast

Paige West Works to Uplift Indigenous Voices and Traditions in Papua New Guinea

Her work supporting Indigenous sovereignty over biodiversity was recently recognized by the Explorer Club on its list of 50 people who are changing the world.

by Sydney Williams |February 17, 2021

Cultural Appropriation in the Peruvian Andes Sparks Discussion Around Indigenous Identity

New research details an emerging politics of indigeneity surrounding Quyllurit’i, a major annual pilgrimage through Peru’s high glaciated peaks.

by |September 22, 2020

Ben Orlove on the Anthropology of Climate Change and Glacier Retreat

Scientist Ben Orlove discusses why it’s important to bring an anthropological dimension to the science of climate change and glacial retreat.

by |July 10, 2019
yaks in bhutan

What Yak Herders in Northern Bhutan Are Saying About Global Warming

Yak herders in the Himalayas are observing climate change in action, and it’s one of the factors threatening their way of life.

by |October 18, 2018

Photo Essay: Seeking Humanity’s Roots

East Africa’s rift valley is considered by many to be the cradle of humanity. In the Turkana region of northwest Kenya, researchers Christopher Lepre and Tanzhuo Liu of Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory are cooperating with colleagues to study questions of human evolution, from the creation of the earliest stone tools to climate swings that have affected developing civilizations.

by |June 8, 2016