Department of Anthropology

FSU anthropologist receives fellowship to study prehistoric violence and inequality during social transitions

A Florida State University faculty member has been awarded a distinguished fellowship from the Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies at Aarhus University, Denmark, to study the relationship between interpersonal violence and the rise of wealth inequality during societal transitions in Europe, Asia and Africa. Tom Leppard, an assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology, part […]

Researchers find apelike brain in human ancestor

New research from a team of anthropologists has found that a species widely accepted to be an ancestor to humans had a brain with characteristics of apes. The research, led by a team of scientists from Max Planck Institute in Germany that included Florida State Professor of Anthropology Dean Falk, is published in Science Advances. […]

FSU researcher helps Louisiana students explore disappearing coastline

With rising sea levels eroding the Louisiana coastline, valuable archaeological sites that shed light on life in the United States thousands of years ago are disappearing into murky waters. The Mississippi River Delta is losing land at an alarming rate — since the mid-1930s, Louisiana has lost about 2,000 square miles. Now, a Florida State […]

Archaeologist unearths history in Mississippi River Valley

In the farmlands of the Mississippi River Valley, earth is continuously cleared and leveled — a result of the region’s booming agriculture industry. But beneath the soil lies an important piece of American history, one a Florida State University anthropology professor is working to piece together. In 2007, a planned farming operation at what’s known […]

Modern economic theory explains prehistoric Mediterranean societies

A Florida State University professor’s research suggests a theory by famed economist Thomas Piketty on present-day wealth inequality actually explains a lot about how smaller-scale societies in the prehistoric Mediterranean developed. Piketty’s theory says that high-growth economic conditions can slow the rate of wealth inequality and low-growth can accelerate it. In a new study, FSU […]

Keeping the beat: Turtle shells served as symbolic musical instruments for indigenous cultures

Turtles served as more than tasty treats for many Native American tribes throughout North America. In fact, turtle shells were used as rattles and other musical instruments, said FSU Associate Professor of Anthropology Tanya Peres. “Music is an important part of many cultures in ways we may not realize,” Peres said. “Musical instruments have a […]

Archaeologists investigate history of Mission San Luis

Back in a corner of the grounds of a 17th century Spanish mission, FSU students and their professor have been spending a lot of time digging in the dirt. The site is Mission San Luis and the students and their professor are working on the first archaeological dig in 10 years at the living history museum […]

FSU researchers: Deer antlers played large role in Cherokee society

It’s not uncommon to see a person holding onto a rabbit’s foot key chain for good luck, but in the traditional Cherokee homelands of the southern United States, deer antlers were a symbol of luck and heritage. In a new paper in the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, Associate Professor of Anthropology Tanya Peres and […]