Man at a computer shining a bright light on a prehistoric grinding implement used to process food.

Department of Anthropology News

Anthropology focuses on the spectrum of the human experience - past and present. An anthropology degree balances practical, applied, and theoretical research within liberal arts, as well as interdisciplinary education.

Current Anthropology News

UNLV anthropologist Brian Villmoare
Research | August 5, 2022

In new paper, UNLV-led anthropology team balks at a widely held belief that modern humans experienced an evolutionary decrease in brain size.

woman posing with colorful lighting
People | August 4, 2022

This admin assistant has been running around campus since she was a kid. Now she's the 2022 President's Classified Employee of the Year.

Remember sculptor Claes Oldenburg who created UNLV's iconic Flashlight sculpture this month.
Campus News | August 3, 2022

A collection of news stories highlighting university experts’ insights on and contributions to health, environment, and society.

Lake Mead
Campus News | July 11, 2022

A collection of news stories highlighting UNLV experts who made headlines locally, nationally, and around the world.

2022 UNLV Spring Commencement Ceremony for the Graduate College.  May 13, 2022 (Josh Hawkins/UNLV)
Campus News | June 2, 2022

A collection of news stories highlighting the experts and student changemakers at UNLV.

Professor Alyssa Crittenden
People | May 20, 2022

Crittenden, a professor and graduate coordinator for UNLV's department of anthropology, will begin her new position on July 1.

Anthropology In The News

True Viral News
August 11, 2022

Humans are proud of their brainpower. Our noggins are some of the largest nature has to offer, and we like to think that we are an intelligent species.

Frontiers Science News
August 11, 2022

Last year, an article published to Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution made headlines across the world after it claimed human brains shrank in size approximately 3,000 years ago. This, according to the authors, may have driven by the externalization of knowledge in human societies, thus needing less energy to store a lot of information as individuals. As a result, we developed smaller brains.

August 10, 2022

Until now, our brains were thought to be bigger than they are today. They would have gone through a sudden contraction about 3000 years ago. Scientists are now coming back to that.

August 10, 2022

Did human brains shrink 3,000 years ago, downsizing by an amount equal to around four ping-pong balls?

Science Alert
August 10, 2022

Humans take a lot of pride in their brains. We like to think we are an intelligent species, and even though size isn't everything, our noggins are some of the largest nature has to offer.

Noticas De Hoy
August 9, 2022

According to research conducted in 2019, the human being underwent brain shrinkage 3,000 years ago. According to the authors, the reason was the ease of storing information in social groups. Thus, humans stopped containing in their brain all the information they needed to survive and began to rely on social or collective intelligence. This study was based on the evolutionary patterns of ants , due to the social organization of said insects. Despite the solid analysis that the scientists did, it may be that their proposal is not so accurate.

Anthropology Experts

An anthropologist and expert on hunter-gatherer adaptations in American Southwest to arid environments, and the transition from hunting and gathering to agriculture
An expert in Neolithic archaeological sites.
An expert in human behavioral endocrinology, evolution and fatherhood, human reproductive ecology, and human biology.
An expert in medical anthropology, health, disease, and maternal nutrition. 
An expert in forensic anthropology, bioarchaeology, human remains, and skeletal biology.
An expert on the anthropology of migration, gender, social movements, and activism.

Recent Anthropology Accomplishments

August 10, 2022
Elizabeth Johnson (Anthropology) published "Defining Terms Used for Animals Working in Support Roles for People with Support Needs" in the journal Animals. This paper presents the results of a collaboration between over 100 researchers, practitioners, and end users of animal-based support worldwide. This paper aims to provide…
July 21, 2022
Jennifer Byrnes (Anthropology) published a co-authored article, "A Child Left Behind: Malnutrition and Chronic Illness of a Child from the Erie County Poorhouse Cemetery," in International Journal of Osteoarchaeology with Jennifer Muller (University of Pittsburgh). This osteobiography describes a probable disease co-occurrence in a juvenile…
July 12, 2022
Graduate student Nikki Bennett (Anthropology), in collaboration with UNLV alumna Shelly Volsche (now professor at Boise State University), co-organized the annual International Society of Anthrozoology conference that was hosted by Boise State University on July 6-9. In addition to being the co-host, she presented her own PhD research, "An…
July 11, 2022
Lisa M. Johnson (Anthropology), along with Rosemary A. Joyce, edited Materializing Ritual Practices, which is being released through the University of Colorado Press
June 24, 2022
Iván Sandoval-Cervantes (Anthropology) participated in The World in Film program hosted by the Office of Resources for International and Area Studies (ORIAS) from University of California, Berkeley. Sandoval-Cervantes discussed the film Guie'dani's Navel  (El ombligo de Guie'dani) in the context of Mexican Indigenous politics, internal migration,…
May 8, 2022
Lisa Johnson (Anthropology) presented "Multivocality of an Ancient Maya City: Archaeology, Tourism and Indigenous Landscapes of Palenque, Mexico" at the Dumbarton Oaks Garden and Landscape Studies Symposium.