Czech Dictionary of Anthropology

Jan Filipský filipsky at RZONE.CZ
Sun Jan 10 17:08:26 UTC 2010

Dear All,


those list members who read Czech may be interested in the following
encyclopedic tool published December last:

"The Dictionary of Anthropology (with consideration of the history of
literature and art) or What Every Human Should Know about Humans" by
Jaroslav Malina et al., Akademicke nakladatelstvi CERM, Brno 2009. ISBN


The printed part (293 p.) contains more than 170 specimen entries, the
complete dictionary comprising the total of 20 000 entries (4737 p.) is
available on the attached CD.

The utility value of this publication is significantly increased by its free
internet access at

Through this gesture, the authors and publishers have joined an
international initiative in support of open access to scientific research in
the spirit of the Berlin Declaration of 2003, so far signed by nearly 300
prestigious universities and research institutes from all over the world
(for the Czech Republic: the Academy of Sciences and the Czech Science
Foundation), thereby aligning themselves with the pioneers of the idea of
Free Online Scholarship.


In the over one hundred-year long history of Czech anthropology, this
dictionary is the first of its kind. It was compiled by leading Czech
specialists for students of anthropology and related disciplines
(archaeology, biology, economics, political science, ethnology, history,
culturology, linguistics, media studies, medicine, law, psychology, religion
studies, sexology and sociology), for teachers and students of secondary
school, and for the general public. The team of 170 authors (including my
humble self) was headed by the foremost Czech anthropologist prof. Jaroslav
Malina, Director of the Anthropological Institute of the Masaryk University
in Brno.


The dictionary was systematically constructed as an integral database of
knowledge obtained in the area of the sciences of humans, society and
culture within the context of development in anthropology and its
sub-disciplines, research methods, paradigms and theories. In contrast to
standard Anglo-Saxon dictionaries, its thematic area of interest expands to
include the belles-lettres and fine arts. A complex variety of entries
dedicated to the area of art culture, which has been largely omitted by
traditional anthropology, has been integrated into the dictionary.
Publishing this dictionary can therefore be considered an expansion of the
epistemological background of anthropology as well as a contribution to the
development of the anthropology of art, which has not yet been
comprehensively discussed at the international level. The topics are
explored broadly and include the origins of basic livelihood strategies
(hunting, agriculture), settlement (urbanization), social organization and
culture (urban civilization, the early state), technology (stone tools,
ceramics, metallurgy), kinship, sexuality, marriage, rituals, law,
mythology, religion, writing and literature. In their origins these topics
are usually associated with the areas of the Ancient Near East, the Far East
and the Indian subcontinent, where much inspiration and ideas for other
civilizations have arisen, including the European civilization.

The Dictionary of Anthropology can be used as a regular reference work as
well as an anthropological textbook.


Best regards,

Jan Filipsky, Oriental Institute




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