Man v fish in the Amazon rainforest

11 Nov 2016

The Enawenê-nawê people of the Amazon rainforest make beautifully engineered fishing dams. Living alongside this indigenous community, Dr Chloe Nahum-Claudel observed how the act of trapping fish shapes their minds, bodies and relationships. The proximity of life and death brings human vulnerability sharply into focus.

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Latest archaeological finds at Must Farm provide a vivid picture of everyday life in the Bronze Age

14 Jul 2016

Excavation of a site in the Cambridgeshire fens reveals a Bronze Age settlement with connections far beyond its watery location. Over the past ten months, Must Farm has yielded Britain’s largest collections of Bronze Age textiles, beads and domestic artefacts. Together with timbers of several roundhouses, the finds provide a stunning snapshot of a community thriving 3,000 years ago.

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Bringing Berber empires into focus as contributors to Islamic culture

06 Jul 2016

The Almoravid and Almohad empires flourished in the western Mediterranean of the 11th and 12th centuries. Despite controlling vast tracts of land, these Berber dynasties are little known in the English-speaking world. In her latest book, Dr Amira Bennison looks at the rise and fall of Berber empires that made a lasting contribution to the history of Islamic culture.

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Arms and the man: how a culture of warfare shapes masculinity

31 Mar 2016

The trappings of violence were embedded into the culture of 16th century Europe. Victoria Bartels, a PhD candidate in the Faculty of History, has conducted research in a Florentine archive to show how, even at a time when the bearing of arms was prohibited, men negotiated ways to sport their daggers and swords in public.

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‘Traditional authority’ linked to rates of deforestation in Africa

24 Nov 2015

New analysis reveals a strong correlation between precolonial institutions in Africa and current levels of deforestation. Researchers suggest that many of these structures still operate at a local level, controlling and exploiting natural resources under the radar of the state, and that such legacies of governance pose a major challenge for implementing conservation policies. 

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How we fell in love with shopping

20 Mar 2015

An exhibition of ‘treasured possessions’ from the 15th to the 18th centuries reveals how we first fell in love with shopping, and takes us back to an age when our belongings were made by hand and passed down through the generations.

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Mongolia: unravelling the troubled narratives of a nation

27 Feb 2015

In two separate books, anthropologists Dr Franck Billé and Dr Christopher Kaplonski look at the identity of Mongolia, a country that stands at a cultural and political crossroads.  While Billé explores Mongolia’s relationship with its powerful neighbours, Kaplonski revisits a dark period in the country’s recent history.

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