The anthropological seminar offers a wide range of domestic and foreign experts

September 2023

Unless stated otherwise, lectures are held in person every Thursday at 3:00 PM in the Aula (room 01026, Kotlářská 2).

21. 9. 2023

Lucie Rigaill

Centre National de Recherche Scientifique

Multimodal sexual communication in afroeurasian primates

Reproduction is a crucial activity for all animal species. Individuals have to find mating opportunities, defend partners, and mate at the appropriate timing to maximize their reproductive success while dealing with the costs associated with reproduction. In this context I am interested in how individuals strategically communicate through multiple sensory modalities (vision, olfaction, audition) to decide when and with whom to mate. I have especially focused on ovulatory signaling in several species of Afro-Eurasian primates, including humans. I will present an overview of my research and discuss how socio-sexual, and to some extent, environmental, constraints have shaped the evolution of different communication frameworks – through similar biological mechanisms! – across closely related species.

5. 10. 2023

Kateřina Vymazalová

Anatomický ústav LF MU

Paleopatologie jako prostředek pro poznávání života historických populací

Paleopatologie je věda, jejímž základem je kombinace fyzické antropologie a medicínských znalostí. Zabývá se zkoumáním zdravotního stavu historických populací z mnoha pohledů. Nedílnou součástí paleopatologické analýzy jsou i další odborná vyšetření, jako radiologické vyšetření, genetická analýza, histologické vyšetření či analýza stopových prvků. Na našem pracovišti jsme měli možnost studovat nemoci a zranění na kosterních pozůstatcích pravěkých, středověkých i novověkých populací. Věnujeme se jednotlivým kazuistikám i sledování komplexního zdravotního stavu celých populací.

12. 10. 2023

Pavel Flegontov

Přírodovědecká fakulta, Ostravská univerzita

From the Danube to the Volga: traditional archaeogenetic methods vs. direct visualization of relatedness networks for studying the spread of Slavs and Indo-Iranians

Archaeogenetics, especially focused on humans and domestic animals, is a rapidly growing field of science. Few methods relying on allele frequencies became a cornerstone in archaeogenetic studies of population history: PCA, ADMIXTURE (inferring complex mixture models for individuals), f-statistics (simple tests for gene flow or cladality), qpAdm (testing simple admixture models for groups or individuals), and admixture graphs (inferring phylogenetic trees with admixture events added that fit f-statistic data). The popularity of these methods is explained by their modest computational requirements and ability to analyse both ""imperfect"" and ""perfect"" archaeogenetic data: pseudo-haploid and diploid, SNP capture and shotgun sequenced, including those with high missing data rates. In my talk I will make a short overview of these methods' strengths and weaknesses, and present a new method based on autosomal haplotypes.

In a series of preprints we showed that the traditional analytical methods either generate demographic models poorly constrained by data (admixture graphs) or tend to demonstrate correlated false signals of gene flow (qpAdm, PCA, ADMIXTURE). This is especially pertinent to exploring complex population histories in the Eurasian steppe and forest-steppe zones in the Late Bronze Age, Iron Age, and early Medieval periods. In these periods population history is so complex and ""fluid"" that methods relying on pre-defined groups of individuals (f-statistics, qpAdm, admixture graphs) no longer make sense, and individual-level methods such as PCA and ADMIXTURE often lack power to resolve small genetic differences between populations involved. To overcome these problems, we suggest combining this standard archaeogenetic toolkit with methods based on detection of shared long autosomal haplotypes (identity-by-descent, IBD) that are now being actively developed in archaeogenetics. We argue that a method relying on networks of IBD sharing between individuals allows to explore human interaction networks through which language and culture spread much more directly than the traditional archaeogenetic approaches. Here I illustrate this conclusion with several examples: the spread of early Slavs and competing hypotheses on the origin of Indo-Iranians."

19. 10. 2023

Martin Drahanský

Ústav antropologie PřF MU

Vlastní výzkum a vývoj v oblasti biometricých a medicínských systémů

Na začátku přednášky bude proveden stručný úvod do problematiky biometrických systémů a jejich funkčnosti. Poté bude následovat představení čtyř námi vyvíjených biometrických systémů - otisky prstů, krevní řečiště, obličej a sítnice oka. Zejména u posledního biometrického tématu dochází k přesahu do medicíny, kde budou prezentovány detekce patologií v sítnici oka, následované detekcí solitárních plicních uzlů a detekcí patologií kanálků Meibomových žláz.

26. 10. 2023

Chris Stantis

University of Utah

How Isotopes Can Answer Questions of All Sizes

In this presentation, Dr Chris Stantis (University of Utah), will discuss two ongoing projects of hers that utilize isotope analysis. In a large-scale project (Project FIND-EM), Chris and her team are collecting modern teeth to strengthen our understanding of stable oxygen isotope values in the human body to improve forensic interpretations. Then, Chris will talk about an archaeological project that focuses on only one dog, and show how studying him helps us understand part of a wider story about the past. Dr Chris Stantis is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Utah. Specializing in isotope analyses in human tissues, she has worked on archaeological sites across the United Kingdom, tropical Polynesia, and ancient Egypt. A member of the Executive Board of IsoArcH, she is also interested in open data and the ethics surrounding science.

2. 11. 2023

Ismail Silva, Paride Bollettin, Martin Čuta

Universidade Federal da Bahia, Ústav antropologie PřF MU

Disputed spaces, bodies and identities in Salvador (Bahia-Brazil)

This exhibition, affectionately titled “Ruas, Santos e Axé” (streets, saints and axé), is built with black African blood and sweat. The photographs on display capture different events and years of meetings, encounters and disagreements. They are insights of years engaged in photographing walks and religious manifestations in the streets of the city of Salvador-Bahia. The street is a space considered to be public. As a public space it is an experience of access and exclusion, of freedom and violence. A violence that is physical and symbolic, structural and structuring. The street is a space of hatred and enchantment. Afro-Brazilian religious manifestations are acts of identity reaffirmation of historically enslaved and marginalized peoples. The “povo do santo” (people of the saint) were forbidden to practice their religion of African origins, and their occupation of the streets now symbolises their emancipation and political struggle. Their actions reaffirm the black presence in the city with their bodies as places of resistance and empowerment. The photographs record their “axé”, power, energy and force.

9. 11. 2023

Diego López Onaindia

University of Bordeaux

Understanding the expansion of the agro-pastoral populations in the north of the Iberian Peninsula, with a special interest in the Basque Country. Chronology, funerary practices and population dynamics

The development of agriculture and a productive economy that arrived with the expansion of the Neolithic in Europe had an extensive influence on the human groups, the typology of settlements and therefore the environment. In order to try to understand the population dynamics of the human groups that developed and continued these practices in the North of the Iberian Peninsula, it is necessary to study the chronology of different cultural traits, mainly the funerary practices. By combining dating campaigns, with anthropological, archaeotanatological and isotopic approaches we are creating a robust understanding on the relationship between the biology of the human groups, and the diversity of the funerary practices (open air cemeteries, megalithic monuments, sepulchral caves…). In addition, we have approached the relationship between diet and oral health status. Finally, we propose an heterogeneous model for explaining the origin for the agropastoral populations that combines both population replacement, admixture between local hunter-gatherers and arriving groups, and also the subsistence of local hunter gatherers in the westernmost studied area.

16. 11. 2023

Alžběta Filipová

Filozofická fakulta MU

Skeletons, Stones, and Stories: Unearthing Georgia's European Identity

Georgia and the broader South Caucasus region have long been recognized as a geographical crossroads between Europe and Asia, serving as a cultural bridge connecting these two continents. Additionally, the country has been framed as an exotic periphery within the Russian and later the Soviet Empire. However, in the last two decades, a noticeable shift towards European integration has emerged, giving rise to a dynamic European identity narrative within Georgia. This presentation delves into the historiographic construction of Georgia’s historical and cultural "Europeanness," shedding light on the key scientific narratives in anthropology, archaeology, and art history that have permeated the public consciousness. In the field of anthropology, Georgia occupies a pivotal place as the site where the first known Eurasian hominoids outside of Africa were unearthed. These ancient skeletons, discovered in the early 1990’s near the village Dmanisi, establish a tangible link to our shared human origins while simultaneously revealing a unique facet of Georgia’s identity. Remarkably, Georgia has not merely treated these discoveries as scientific findings; it has embraced them as an integral part of its own heritage, assigning them typical Georgian names and incorporating them into the national narrative as “First Europeans”. Simultaneously, Georgia’s medieval art historiography presents a compelling argument for its deep European roots. Some art historians emphasize a Europe-centric perspective in recounting its extensive history, reinforcing the notion of Georgia’s enduring connection not only to the European continent but also to the contemporary European community. In this presentation, we will briefly introduce these narratives stemming from scientific exploration and artistic heritage. Subsequently, we will explore the role of media and public opinion in shaping this perspective, collectively contributing to the creation of Georgia’s image not just as a part of Europe, but as the place where Europe itself began.

23. 11. 2023

Matija Črešnar

University of Ljubljana

Bude upřesněno

30. 11. 2023

Miroslav Kopecký

Ústav preklinických oborů, Fakulta zdravotnických věd, Univerzita Palackého Olomouc

Možnosti klinické antropometrie při hodnocení tělesného složení u gravidních žen pomocí Matiegkových rovnic

Vstup do těhotenství s nadváhou nebo obezitou je spojen se zvýšeným rizikem vzniku gestačního diabetu a hypertenze a je spojen s vyšší pravděpodobností ukončení porodu císařským řezem. V mezinárodním měřítku je diagnóza obezity založena na hodnotě BMI (Body Mass Index), kdy hodnota BMI > 30,00 kg/m2 je považována za obezitu. Vzhledem k mnoha omezením v použití indexu BMI je třeba přezkoumat hodnocení adipozity matek. Z uvedeného důvodu je v současné době věnována pozornost tělesnému složení a jeho změnám v průběhu těhotenství u skupin žen v příslušných kategoriích BMI. Přednáška uvádí výsledky longitudinálního antropologického výzkumu, který byl zaměřen hodnocení tělesného složení v průběhu těhotenství a šestinedělí na tělesné složení u poprvé těhotných žen pomocí metod standardizované antropometrie s využitím metody frakcionace tělesného složení podle Matiegkových rovnic.

7. 12. 2023

Thomas Higham

University of Vienna

The impact of new scientific methods in our understanding of what happened when Neanderthals met modern humans (and Denisovans)

Understanding the complex issues which surround the dispersal of Homo sapiens out of Africa and what happened when they encountered Neanderthal and Denisovan populations has improved significantly in the last 2 decades with improvements in the application of different scientific methods. In this talk I will mention three significant improvements and give examples to illustrate their impact. The first is improved accelerator-based radiocarbon dating. Chronology is crucial to explore whether there was overlap between the different populations. Second, ancient genomics, which provides unparalleled information regarding interbreeding and admixture. Thirdly, palaeo-proteomics, which enables archaeologists to identify the tiny remains of human bones which are lost within the detritus of archaeological sites. I will examine a range of archaeological sites which date to the period between 30-70,000 years ago, and draw wider conclusions about what we think happened with these different human groups interacted with one another and, in the case of Neanderthals and Denisovans, disappeared eventually from the fossil record.

Tom Higham is a Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology at the University of Vienna. For 20 years up until August 2021 he was based at the University of Oxford’s Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit, where he was the Director of one of the first accelerator mass spectrometry radiocarbon labs. His area of expertise is in pretreatment chemistry, of improving the reliability of radiocarbon dating using AMS, Bayesian modeling and chronology building in archaeology. He has worked for many years on the challenges of dating the disapperance of Neanderthals from Europe. He is also working on the enigmatic Denisovans, discovered in 2010 at the site of Denisova Cave in the Russian Altai. He hails from Aotearoa New Zealand and is the author of the recent book “The World Before Us: How science is revealing a new story of our human origins” (Penguin/RandomHouse).

4. 12. 2023

Adela Hupková

Ústav antropologie PřF MU

Vpísané do zubov - Čo prečíta metóda odontochronológie v mikroštruktúre zubov

Tvrdé zubné tkanivá majú jedinečnú schopnosť zaznamenávať metabolické zmeny prebiehajúce v organizme v čase ich formovania a uchovávať tento záznam vo svojej mikroštruktúre po celý život jedinca, ale aj tisíce rokov po jeho smrti - pokým zub existuje. Pomocou metódy odontochronológie založenej na mikroskopickom skúmaní histologických výbrusov zubov možno tento záznam analyzovať a získať cenné poznatky v mnohých oblastiach antropológie, bioarcheológie a v ďalších odboroch zaoberajúcich sa ľudským skeletom a zubami po stránke priebehu ontogenézy a životnej histórie, stresových faktorov a zdravotného stavu, dožitého veku či životných podmienok. Tento prístup umožňuje porovnávať rovnaké vývinové obdobia medzi jedincami, ktorí zomreli ako deti a jedincami, ktorí sa dožili dospelosti, ale aj medzi jedincami z populácií minulých, o ktorých živote svedčia len zuby a kostrové pozostatky, a populácií súčasných s dokumentovanou životnou históriou.

More articles

All articles

You are running an old browser version. We recommend updating your browser to its latest version.

More info