Lois Beck Quoted in June 2021 Issue of Smithsonian Magazine
“Most nomads and former nomads in Iran are deeply attached to their traditional territories,” says Lois Beck, an anthropologist at Washington University in St. Louis and an expert on Iran’s nomadic tribes. “Each of these groups has an intense sense of solidarity, and they are aware that they are a minority in Iran, and are often marginalized and repressed. And so they’re interested in keeping who they are and passing what they are to the next generation, and the seasonal migration is part of that. If you asked a Bakhtiari at random, what’s the most important thing about his culture? He would probably say: ‘Migration.’”
May 2021 Anthropology Awards
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Wealth, status could not shield 19th-century families from parasitic infection
Parasitic infections, including tapeworm and whipworm, were a common problem in the United States until the 20th century. It is commonly believed that these infections mainly impacted lower-income, urban areas where conditions — including shared public spaces, lack of sewage systems and poor sanitation — were prime for disease spread. However, new research — conducted by researchers at Washington University in St. Louis and Dartmouth College and published in the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports — suggests that parasitic disease was likely widespread in New England, even in remote rural areas and in wealthy households.