Bronze Age Drugs, Swahili Genetics, Viking America, Natives Horses, Benin Bronzes & Mongolian Yak Dairy
Hey SAH, I've got a question.
So in the section about horses you quote from the paper, "...suggest that ancestral Comanche had already integrated horse raising, ritual practices, and transport into their lifeways at least a full half century before their southward migration..."
It caught my eye that the authors used "lifeways" here to describe what I would have called lifestyle. I am curious when the language of "lifeway" came about and if it means anything significantly different from "lifestyle"? Is it one of those terms that gives away a certain philosophical outlook on archeology or is it a neutral term to describe something that can be reasonably objectively studied?
The Swahili paper's chrY Hg analysis is pretty shabby. Many problems in it.
They should've looked into deeper clades, instead of classifying the Hgs into Indian/Persian/African so superficially.
The point is: scholarly fashion has often set archaeology in conflict with written evidence. But if we only had archaeology for the Roman Empire, we would at best postulate a "Tiber Valley Civilization" that slowly spread into the Med, and then other parts of Europe. We wouldn't see warfare as a major factor, because we wouldn't dig in places like Alesia--a "founding myth," obviously, and not a real battle.
Using meaningless terms like "propaganda" or "discourse" simply invalidates real evidence--and places unevidenced speculation in its place. Either one uses the mental toolkit developed by Abelard and Ockham--or loses oneself in a "Propaganda Hall of Mirrors."