Detail of A View of Maitavie Bay, on the island of Otaheite by William Hodges

Known and unknown: great travellers of the Pacific

05 Nov 2011

Islanders: The Pacific in the Age of Empire tells the story of the Pacific Islanders and their early interactions with Western travellers from the viewpoint of the Islanders themselves and sets the arrival of Westerners within a context of existing voyages within the region.

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Debt: an enduring human passion

No such thing as a free lunch?

10 May 2011

The process of giving and receiving (and being in debt) is an inescapable part of human experience. From sub-prime lending and student loans to organ donations and gift-giving in ancient cultures, a conference at Cambridge this week will explore how debt is a central feature of the way in which societies think about and organise themselves.

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Still from the film Cave of Forgotten Dreams

32,000 years of special effects

01 Apr 2011

The only Briton to have entered the spectacular cave featured in Werner Herzog’s new documentary explains how rock-art was just one element of multi-sensory performances staged by early human communities.

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Cambridge Ideas - Vanishing Voices

15 Nov 2010

Of the world's 6,500 living languages, half will cease to be spoken by the end of this century.

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Recitation of oral texts

Voices of vanishing worlds

28 Sep 2009

A new project is recording and making accessible the endangered oral literatures of indigenous peoples before they are lost forever.

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Camp Fire

A strange way to share food

01 Apr 2007

Close scrutiny of the ancient remains of our ancestors’ meals gives us some sense of the development and rationale behind our strange food-sharing behaviour.

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