TED talks on Anthropology, Archaeology, History and Mythology

From December 22 to January 11. Each day, I have been watching a TED talk that touches on anthropology, archaeology, history, mythology and other things of that nature.

At first I thought it would be easy to search for these topics, but TED talks are chalked full of a variety of interesting topics.  It took a little time to compile. Here is the list & the days that I watched/tweeted them. Hope you enjoy as much as I do! If you know of any that I missed and should watch, please let me know.

JAN 11: How Language Transformed Humanity | Mark Pagel #anthropology #biology  – language is a piece of “social technology”. The theory is fascinating and worth hearing. – “Biologist Mark Pagel shares an intriguing theory about why humans evolved our complex system of language. He suggests that language is a piece of “social technology” that allowed early human tribes to access a powerful new tool: cooperation.”

JAN 10: The Secret Lives of Paintings | Maurizio Seracini – searching 4 Leonardo da Vinci’s lost painting #TED #art #history  – “Engineer Maurizio Seracini spent 30 years searching for Leonardo da Vinci’s lost fresco “The Battle of Anghiari,” and in the process discovered that many paintings have layers of history hidden underneath. Should they be part of the viewing experience too?”

New York -- before the city copy

JAN 9: New York – Before the City | Eric Sanderson – Fascinating way to view our #past thru digital landscape.  http://on.ted.com/awNe  #TED #history – “400 years after Hudson found New York harbor, Eric Sanderson shares how he made a 3D map of Mannahatta’s fascinating pre-city ecology of hills, rivers, wildlife — accurate down to the block — when Times Square was a wetland and you couldn’t get delivery.”

JAN 8: Lessons from Past PresidentsDoris Kearns Goodwin @DorisKGoodwin #TED#history. – “Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin talks about what we can learn from American presidents, including Abraham Lincoln and Lyndon Johnson. Then she shares a moving memory of her own father, and of their shared love of baseball.”

JAN 7: America’s Native prisoners of WarAaron Huey @aaronhuey – Some about American Indian past & present. #TED #anthropology #history #AIM – “Aaron Huey’s effort to photograph poverty in America led him to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, where the struggle of the native Lakota people — appalling, and largely ignored — compelled him to refocus. Five years of work later, his haunting photos intertwine with a shocking history lesson in this bold, courageous talk.”

JAN 6: A Rosetta Stone for the Indus Script | Rajesh Rao  #TED talk #language #writing #anthropology #history #archaeology “Rajesh Rao seeks to understand the human brain through computational modeling, on two fronts: developing computer models of our minds, and using tech to decipher the 4,000-year-old script of the Indus valley civilization.”

JAN 5: My Underground Art Miru Kim #TED Touches #history #archaeology #architect #humanity. Warning: Has Nudity. “Miru Kim is a fearless explorer of abandoned and underground places. Her photography underscores the vulnerable nature of the human explorer”…”Kim explores industrial ruins.. and then photographs herself in them, nude — to bring these massive, dangerous, hidden spaces into sharp focus.”

JAN 4: Ancient Clues (5 talks) | #TED talk playlist ”fascinating talks by #archaeologists & #biologists about humanity’s beginnings & journey”

JAN 3: What I Discovered in NYC Trash | Robin Nagle @rznagle #TED …#modern #anthropology #respect #understanding -“New York City residents produce 11,000 tons of garbage every day. Every day! This astonishing statistic is just one of the reasons Robin Nagle started a research project with the city’s Department of Sanitation. She walked the routes, operated mechanical brooms, even drove a garbage truck herself—all so she could answer a simple-sounding but complicated question: who cleans up after us?”

JAN 2: Tracking Ancient Diseases Using Plaque | Christina Warinner  #archaeology #TED #anthropology @twarinner … Fascinating. Honestly one of the best TED talks I have seen. -“TED Fellow Christina Warinner is an achaeological geneticist, and she’s found a spectacular new tool — the microbial DNA in fossilized dental plaque.”

JAN 1: Revealing the Lost Codex of Archimedes | William Noel @WillNoel  #TED #archives #AncientBooks #manuscripts -“Ancient books curator William Noel tells the fascinating story behind the Archimedes palimpsest, a Byzantine prayer book containing previously-unknown original writings from ancient Greek mathematician Archimedes and others.”

DEC 31: A Family Tree for Humanity | #Geneticist Spencer Wells on his Genographic Project in this #TED talk. #DNA #anthropology -“All humans share some common bits of DNA, passed down to us from our African ancestors. Geneticist Spencer Wells talks about how his Genographic Project will use this shared DNA to figure out how we are — in all our diversity — truly connected.”

DEC 30: Objects of Desire (7 talks) Some of these talks deal with #art,#archaeology & #history… #TED talk playlist. – “Learn about artifacts and images that have intrigued humans for centuries, and why we find them so alluring.”

DEC 29: 2600 Years of History in one Object | Neil MacGregor  #TED talk about Cyrus Cylinder #archaeology #history #artifact -“A clay cylinder covered in Akkadian cuneiform script, damaged and broken, the Cyrus Cylinder is a powerful symbol of religious tolerance and multiculturalism.”

DEC 28: A Dig for Humanity’s Origins | Louise Leakey @louiseleakey #TED talk#anthropology #hominid -It’s a Leaky, how can you not watch? -“Louise Leakey asks, “Who are we?” The question takes her to the Rift Valley in Eastern Africa, where she digs for the evolutionary origins of humankind — and suggests a stunning new vision of our competing ancestors.”

DEC 27: Archeology, Animal Photography, BBQ, Nuclear Reactors @NathanMyhrvold #TED – Briefly touches on archaeology. So interesting. “Nathan Myhrvold is a professional jack-of-all-trades. After leaving Microsoft in 1999, he’s been a world barbecue champion, a wildlife photographer, a chef, a contributor to SETI, and a volcano explorer.”

DEC 26: Bring Back the Woolly Mammoth! | Hendrik Poinar  #TED talks #biology #mammoth #history #paleo -“Hendrik Poinar gives an informative talk on … the quest to engineer a creature that looks very much like our furry friend, the woolly mammoth. The first step, to sequence the woolly genome, is nearly complete. And it’s huge.”

DEC 25: East vs. West — The Myths that Mystify | Devdutt Pattanaik #TED #mythology #history #culture #anth @devduttmyth -“Devdutt Pattanaik takes an eye-opening look at the myths of India and of the West — and shows how these two fundamentally different sets of beliefs about God, death and heaven help us consistently misunderstand one another.”

DEC 24: Ancient Wonders Captured in 3D | Ben Kacyra @TEDQuote: “We are losing sites faster than we can physically preserve them.” – Ben Kacyra  #TED #archaeology – “Ancient monuments give us clues to astonishing past civilizations — but they’re under threat from pollution, war, neglect. Ben Kacyra, who invented a groundbreaking 3D scanning system, is using his invention to scan and preserve the world’s heritage in archival detail.”

DEC 23: Skin Color is an Illusion | Nina Jablonski  So much talk on Santa’s skin, thought this #TED talk might be fitting… @NinaJablonski1  #anthropology -“Nina Jablonski says that differing skin colors are simply our bodies’ adaptation to varied climates and levels of UV exposure. Charles Darwin disagreed with this theory, but she explains, that’s because he did not have access to NASA.”

DEC 22:  Archaeology from Space | Sarah Parcak @indyfromspace  Satellite use 4 sites goes well beyond her talk, but the talk gives incredible insight to how the technology can be used. #technology  #archaeology -“TED Fellow Sarah Parcak introduces the field of “space archeology” — using satellite images to search for clues to the lost sites of past civilizations.”