Cultural Understanding

What are the feathers in those Amazonian headdresses?

Working at the Field Museum, I get to see some pretty special things. Whether it's because of rarity, antiquity, or something that's just plain weird, the museum provides surprises in abundance. Today was one of those days where routine gave way to surprise when Dylan Lott, a graduate student in Anthropology at the University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC), showed up needing help identifying feathers. These weren't just any feathers, they were feathers attached to incredible artifacts that a UIC professor had collected from an Amazonian tribe called the Parintintin in the late 1960s.

Video: Piecing Together Early Societies

Bill Parkinson studies 6500-year-old societies in eastern Europe.  How did those societies form?  How have they changed into the world we see today? How can anthropologists find out about them after all this time, with all the dirt, mud, and rocks in the way?  It seems to take a village--a multidisciplinary, long-term village of devoted researchers including Attila Gyucha and Rick Yerkes with the Koros Regional Archaeological Project. 

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