Anthropology

Pagan-Christian trade supplied horses for sacrifices overseas

Horses crossed the Baltic Sea in ships during the Late Viking Age and were sacrificed for funeral rituals, according to a study led by Cardiff University and Washington State University researchers. Published in the journal Science Advances, the study on the remains of horses found at ancient burial sites in Russia and Lithuania show that they were […]

A painting of a white horse curled up with soil around it like it is in a grave.

THC lingers in breastmilk with no clear peak point

When breastfeeding mothers in a recent study used cannabis, its psychoactive component THC showed up in the milk they produced. The Washington State University-led research also found that, unlike alcohol, when THC was detected in milk there was no consistent time when its concentration peaked and started to decline. Importantly, the researchers discovered that the […]

Closeup of an infant breastfeeding with cannabis plants superimposed in the background.

Awards honor outstanding faculty, staff, and students

Undergraduate awards Twenty-three outstanding seniors, each representing a degree program offered in the College of Arts and Sciences at WSU Pullman, will be honored at a separate medallion ceremony on Friday, May 3, the day before commencement. By College of Arts and Sciences for WSU Insider.

Group photo of College of Arts and Sciences award winners on stage.

Top research coverage of 2023

Whisky, contraception, cannabis: many of the Washington State University studies that garnered the most attention from news media in 2023 seemed to involve human pleasures—and their consequences. That focus may say something about the global mood in the first post-pandemic year, but it also speaks to the real-world impact of WSU’s research enterprise. Three initiatives […]

Whisky being poured into a glass with ice on a wooden table. Two other glasses are in the background.

Guide on how to use climate data to inform human adaptation

A framework for combining climate and social data could help scientists better support climate change adaptation ahead of future weather-related disasters. The Washington State University-led research draws on the expertise of climate and social scientists to show how data on different characteristics of climate variability can be used to study the effectiveness of various human […]

Satellite image of a hurricane approaching North and South America.

Aging societies more vulnerable to collapse

Societies and political structures, like the humans they serve, appear to become more fragile as they age, according to an analysis of hundreds of pre-modern societies. The study, which holds implications for the modern world, provides the first quantitative support for the theory that resilience of political states decreases over time. Triggers of societal collapse […]

A painting of a Roman style city being sacked.

WSU anthropologist edits special journal issue on cultural climate adaptation

Human communities across the globe have a long history of generating effective solutions to climate change, and many of these often-little-known cultural adaptations could prove useful today.  That’s according to a new special issue of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, edited by Washington State University anthropologist Anne Pisor. The special issue brings together a […]

Rice paddies from Jatiluwih, Balican can be seen from the air.

Meet the new faculty of 2023

The breadth of scholarly interests and teaching expertise of the college’s newest faculty—from environmental humanities and many-body physics to economic globalization and the history of visual storytelling—enriches and expands the arts and sciences across the WSU system. Click “read more” to learn a little about each of these new faculty members. Arts & Humanities | […]

Washington State University. College of Arts and Sciences.

Mom’s behavior may show up in child’s epigenome

Adding evidence to the importance of early development, a new study links neutral maternal behavior toward infants with an epigenetic change in children related to stress response. Epigenetics are molecular processes independent of DNA that influence gene behavior. In this study, researchers found that neutral or awkward behavior of mothers with their babies at 12 […]

Mother and Son Reading Books at the Garden, with Mandarins on the Picnic Table.

Mayan “supermarkets”

More than 500 years ago in the midwestern Guatemalan highlands, Maya people bought and sold goods with far less oversight from their rulers than many archeologists previously thought.  “Scholars have generally assumed that the obsidian trade was managed by Maya rulers, but our research shows that this wasn’t the case at least in this area,” […]