HRAF News Vol. 2018-5
Happy fall! Here are some treats for you:
What good is an object if it's buried underground? Jeffrey Vadala uses eHRAF Archaeology to survey the cultural contexts in which ancient peoples purposefully buried possessions. One of our collaborators, Michele Gelfand, has published a new book. Her interview about the book helps to illuminate our shared work on the concept of tight and loose cultures. Finally, our 4-part podcasted interview with Choice is now complete. Enjoy listening to HRAF's president and board cha irman open up about our institutional history, our archives, and our future.
"Throughout history, humans have collected and buried groups of objects together, whether for ritual purposes (e.g., offerings to gods) or pragmatic reasons (e.g., for secret stores of food). Today, many cultural groups still practice caching objects for a variety of reasons. Anthropological and archaeological research suggests that caching is often correlated with specific social practices, such as the construction or rebuilding of sacred architecture, the performance of religious ceremonies, and human burial practices and funerals."

Click here to continue reading Jeffrey Vadala's brief survey of caches in eHRAF Archaeology . Included are an ancient Maya cache related to early royalty, a South American cache possibly associated with divination, and caches of weapons that may have been pragmatic hoards.
Michele Gelfand, a collaborator on our NSF-funded project, Natural Hazards and Cultural Transformations , published a new book in September. We're very excited to read Rule makers, rule breakers: how tight and loose cultures wire our world .

"Tight" and "loose" cultures fall on opposite ends of a spectrum. Tight cultures have many strong social norms and harsh punishment for deviation. Loose cultures afford more latitude in permissible behavior and are more lenient. With Gelfand's guidance, research assistants at HRAF coded about 90 non-industrial societies on the tight-loose scale. Stay tuned for our findings! And learn more about cultural tightness and looseness by listening to Michele Gelfand's interview with economist Tyler Cowen.
HRAF has partnered with Choice’s podcast  The Authority File  to create a 4-part series. In this series, Carol Ember, president of HRAF, and Peter Peregrine, professor of archaeology and HRAF board chairman, join Bill Mickey to talk about the history, make-up, and relevance of eHRAF — and how the cultures and cultural practices contained within its million pages of information can illuminate a wide variety research areas. 

Also available on Stitcher , iTunes, and Google Play .
Are you a librarian or professor looking for new resources this fall? Your institution can try out eHRAF World Cultures and eHRAF Archaeology for free for 60 days. All we need to set up the trial are the curren t IP addresses and permission from an institution official. Fill out this form or email

During trials, we provide the same extensive support we offer our members. Researchers, librarians, educators, and students can request personalized help with eHRAF over email, phone, or video chat. We also do webinars and have a suite of video tutorials and text guides .
HRAF at Yale University|