A burnin’ ring of fire: Four Stone Hearth 115

Ring of Fire / Johnny Ainsworth

Welcome everyone to the 115th Four Stone Hearth Blogging carnival! (my apologies for the Johnny Cash reference).

For the uninitiated, the Four Stone Hearth is:

a blog carnival that specializes in anthropology in the widest (American) sense of that word. Here, anthropology is the study of humankind, throughout all times and places, focussing primarily on four lines of research:

  • archaeology
  • socio-cultural anthropology
  • bio-physical anthropology
  • linguistic anthropology

The Hearth is an important institution among anthropology bloggers, and dates back to somewhere around the early Holocene (2006) when anthro blogging began to get serious.

It’s an interesting exercise to browse through some of the earlier editions of the Hearth, which were run by many bloggers who are still around today: Anthropology.net, Afarensis, Aardvarchaeology, Hot Cup of Joe, Greg Laden, John Hawks and many others. If you’re not familiar with the Hearth, I would urge you to browse through some of the earlier editions to get a taste of what it’s all about.

Some say the Hearth is diminishing in its appeal, and if so I’m not exactly sure why. I suspect part of it is due to a more diverse social media that has reduced the need for anthro bloggers to congregate and chat around a central Hearth, so to speak. This edition is relatively strong and I hope it continues this way into the foreseeable future. It’s too great an institution to let it languish .

We have a range of topics today with contributors reflecting on themes as varied as space archaeology, Christian religious rituals, stone artefact caches, gambling, and much more. Please take the time to read through what our contributors have to offer; I’ve tried to keep my overviews of their posts  short in the hope that you visit their blogs and read what it is that they have to say.

So please enjoy!

(more…)

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Four Stone Hearth 115 this week

A gentle reminder about the upcoming Four Stone Hearth blog carnival that I’m hosting here this week. The post will go up on Wednesday/Thursday Australian time, so please try to get your contributions to me within the next few days. I’m collating them now, so if you have something that you have written yourself, or a post that you have found that you think should be included, contact me on twitter or via my contact form.

This is the first time that I have hosted 4SH here. I briefly toyed with the idea of a themed carnival however it seems to have been a proposal that regular contributors either missed or may not have agreed with, so I am looking forward to seeing the usual diverse range of posts from across the anthropology ecosystem. If you have a post that you would like to promote that relates broadly to anthropology (in the American sense) please consider posting it here. It’s very easy and takes no time at all…

To be frank, I’m a little ambivalent about 4SH and I wonder if the carnival is diminishing in its appeal. I suspect this is in part due to changes in the way anthropologists are using the web; a few years ago, blogging was the key mechanism that anthropologists used to build and participate in online communities however an increasingly diverse social media has perhaps diluted the importance of these kinds of carnivals. Does 4SH need to shift a little to keep up?

In this edition I’d like to include contributions in the form of collections of twitter posts. Thus, if you’ve been using a hashtag to tweet about a  conference, field trip, or project that you are involved in please point it out to me or (even better) write a blog post that pulls them together.

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