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Formal disposal of the dead is widely practised today, but this has not always been the case; among prehistoric societies so few burials are encountered that it appears to have been the exception rather than the rule. When did ‘formal’ burial and cremation become generalised? What significance did this have for the development of religious belief and human self-awareness? A new project funded by the John Templeton Foundation is being undertaken by an inter-disciplinary team from Durham University. The project which started in October 2012 involves a team of specialists; Principal Investigator Chris Scarre (prehistory of western Europe) and Co-Investigators Professors Graham Philip (Levant), Charlotte Roberts (skeletal analysis) and Douglas Davies (anthropologist and theologian), as well as an international Board of Advisors. Two post-doctoral researchers are also working on the project: Dr. Jennie Bradbury (Levant) and Dr. Mandy Jay (Britain). The project aims to provide a new understanding of the emergence of religious belief and self-awareness over the past 12,000 years. It is examining archaeological data from across two regions (Britain and the Levant) in order to explore the temporal, social and economic contexts of changing relationships between human socio-religious beliefs and concepts of the body and the afterlife.
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This is to accommodate Yom Kippur.
Eugenie C. Scott’s journey to the front lines of the evolution wars began in 1974, when James Gavan, a physical anthropologist at the University of Missouri, accepted an invitation to debate Duane Gish, a biochemist and a leader in the creationist movement.
The 20th Annual Meeting of the Midwest Bioarcheology and Forensic Anthropology Association will be hosted by the Graduate Students of Anthropology Association at The Ohio State University on November 8-10. Pre-registration and abstract submission is open until October 11th. Registration rates increase after October 11th.