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  Subjects -> ARCHAEOLOGY (Total: 186 journals)
Abstracta Iranica     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Acta Antiqua     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 14)
Acta Archaeologica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 226)
Acta Archaeologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Advances in Archaeological Practice     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
African Archaeological Review     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9)
AIMA Bulletin     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Akroterion     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Altorientalische Forschungen     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
American Antiquity     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
American Indian Culture and Research Journal     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 12)
American Journal of Archaeology     Partially Free   (Followers: 31)
Anatolica     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8)
Ancient Asia     Open Access   (Followers: 10)
Ancient Near Eastern Studies     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 18)
Ancient Society     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 9)
Annuaire du Collège de France     Open Access  
Annual of the British School at Athens     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 13)
Anthropology & Archeology of Eurasia     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 11)
Antiqua     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Antiquaries Journal, The     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 15)
Antiquite Tardive     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
AntropoWebzin     Open Access  
Apeiron     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Arabian Archaeology and Epigraphy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 10)
Archaeologia     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 11)
Archaeologiai Értesitö     Full-text available via subscription  
Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 14)
Archaeological Dialogues     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 163)
Archaeological Journal     Hybrid Journal  
Archaeological Prospection     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 12)
Archaeological Reports     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Archaeologies     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 13)
Archaeology in Oceania     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8)
Archaeology International     Open Access   (Followers: 16)
Archaeology, Ethnology and Anthropology of Eurasia     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 17)
Archaeometry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 17)
ArcheoArte. Rivista Elettronica di Archeologia e Arte     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Archeological Papers of The American Anthropological Association     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11)
Archeomatica     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
ArcheoSciences     Open Access   (Followers: 7)
Archiv für Papyrusforschung und verwandte Gebiete     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Archivo Español de Arqueología     Partially Free  
Arkeos     Open Access  
Arqueología de la Arquitectura     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
ART-SANAT     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Artefact : the journal of the Archaeological and Anthropological Society of Victoria     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Asian Journal of Earth Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 17)
Asian Perspectives     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Australasian Historical Archaeology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Australian Archaeology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10)
Australian Canegrower     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Azania: Archaeological Research in Africa     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
BABesch - Bulletin Antieke Beschaving     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Boletim do Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi. Ciências Humanas     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Boletín del Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Britannia     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8)
Bryn Mawr Classical Review     Open Access   (Followers: 21)
Bulletin du centre d’études médiévales d’Auxerre     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 9)
Bulletin of the History of Archaeology     Open Access   (Followers: 19)
Cambridge Archaeological Journal     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 204)
Catalan Historical Review     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Chinese Archaeology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Chiron     Full-text available via subscription  
Chronique des activités archéologiques de l'École française de Rome     Open Access  
Complutum     Open Access  
Continuity and Change     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 10)
Deltion of the Christian Archaeological Society     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Digital Applications in Archaeology and Cultural Heritage     Hybrid Journal  
digitAR - Revista Digital de Arqueologia, Arquitectura e Artes     Open Access  
Documents d’archéologie méridionale - Articles     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Dotawo : A Journal of Nubian Studies     Open Access  
Economic Anthropology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Estudios Atacameños     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Estudios de Cultura Maya     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Ethnos: Journal of Anthropology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 190)
Etruscan Studies     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Études océan Indien     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
European Journal of Law and Economics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 191)
Evolution of Science and Technology / Mokslo ir technikos raida     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Exchange     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Frühmittelalterliche Studien     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Geoarchaeology: an International Journal     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 12)
Geochronometria     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Germanistik     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies     Open Access   (Followers: 11)
Heritage Science     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Hesperia     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10)
Hispania Epigraphica     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Hortus Artium Medievalium     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
International Journal of Cultural Property     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 12)
International Journal of Heritage in the Digital Era     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
International Journal of Historical Archaeology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 193)
International Journal of Nautical Archaeology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 169)
International Journal of Paleopathology     Partially Free   (Followers: 7)
International Journal of Speleology     Open Access   (Followers: 10)
Internet Archaeology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 12)
INTRECCI d'arte     Open Access   (Followers: 6)
IpoTESI di Preistoria     Open Access   (Followers: 3)

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Journal Cover Journal of Archaeological Science
   [177 followers]  Follow    
   Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
     ISSN (Print) 0305-4403 - ISSN (Online) 1095-9238
     Published by Elsevier Homepage  [2575 journals]   [SJR: 1.373]   [H-I: 57]
  • First comprehensive peat depositional records for tin, lead and copper
           associated with the antiquity of Europe's largest cassiterite deposits
    • Abstract: Publication date: March 2012
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 39, Issue 3
      Author(s): Andrew A. Meharg , Kevin J. Edwards , J. Edward Schofield , Andrea Raab , Joerg Feldmann , Annette Moran , Charlotte L. Bryant , Barry Thornton , Julian J.C. Dawson
      Tin, as a constituent of bronze, was central to the technological development of early societies, but cassiterite (SnO2) deposits were scarce and located distantly from the centres of Mediterranean civilizations. As Britain had the largest workable ore deposits in the ancient Western world, this has led to much historical speculation and myth regarding the long-distance trading of tin from the Bronze Age onwards. Here we establish the first detailed chronology for tin, along with lead and copper deposition, into undisturbed ombrotrophic (rain-fed) peat bogs located at Bodmin Moor and Dartmoor in the centre of the British tin ore fields. Sustained elevated tin deposition is demonstrated clearly, with peaks occurring at 100–400 and 700–1000 calendar years AD – contemporaneous with the Roman and Anglo-Saxon periods respectively. While pre-Roman Iron Age tin exploitation undoubtedly took place, it was on a scale that did not result in convincingly enhanced deposition of the metal. The deposition of lead in the peat record provides evidence of a pre-Roman metal-based economy in southwest Britain. Emerging in the 4th century BC, this was centred on copper and lead ore processing that expanded exponentially and then collapsed upon Roman colonization during the 1st century AD.
      Highlights ► Investigations of peat core profiles in SW Britain enable us to address the use of tin in antiquity. ► The first prolonged elevation of tin influx to a peat profile corresponds to Roman occupation. ► There was a collapse in production during the early Anglo-Saxon period. ► There was a re-expansion in tin production during the later Anglo-Saxon period. ► British tin appears to be the source of the used in wider European trade for this latter period.

      PubDate: 2014-12-18T10:13:09Z
       
  • Icelandic volcanic ash from the Late-glacial open-air archaeological site
           of Ahrenshöft LA 58 D, North Germany
    • Abstract: Publication date: March 2012
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 39, Issue 3
      Author(s): R.A. Housley , C.S. Lane , V.L. Cullen , M.-J. Weber , F. Riede , C.S. Gamble , F. Brock
      Cryptotephra of Icelandic origin from the open-air archaeological site of Ahrenshöft LA 58 D (Kr. Nordfriesland, Schleswig-Holstein), northern Germany overlies a Late-glacial Havelte lithic assemblage, hitherto dated by 14C and biostratigraphy to the earliest part of the Late-glacial interstadial (GI-1e to GI-1c3). Peaks in ash shards are observed in two profiles. Major and minor element geochemistry indicates volcanic ash originating in the Katla system. Precise correlation to previously described tephra is uncertain due to overlapping chemical characteristics. The Ahrenshöft 14C determinations, litho- and bio-stratigraphy encompass a broad age-span for the cryptotephra bearing sediments, from the end of the Allerød to the Preboreal. The most plausible volcanic eruption correlates are the Vedde Ash (∼Younger Dryas), already known from the European mainland, tephra AF555 (late Younger Dryas) and the Suduroy tephra (∼Preboreal/Boreal), hitherto recorded only in the North Atlantic region. These three ash horizons have been dated to, respectively, 12,171 ± 57 yr b2k in the NGRIP ice-core, c.11,500 cal BP, in Scotland and c.8000 cal BP, by radiocarbon from the Faroe Isles. Ongoing research on deposits from the type sites for the tephra layers may in the future differentiate these markers leading to better discrimination of the chemistries and a resolution of this question.
      Highlights ► Analyse tephrostratigraphy of a Late-glacial open-air archaeological site in north Germany. ► Site taphonomy revealed as crucial factor in cryptotephra preservation. ► Geochemistry indicates one Icelandic rhyolitic eruption from Katla. ► Three potential correlates identified – Vedde Ash or AF555 tephra or Suduroy tephra.

      PubDate: 2014-12-18T10:13:09Z
       
  • Organic geochemical analysis of archaeological medicine pots from Northern
           Ghana. The multi-functionality of pottery
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2012
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 39, Issue 7
      Author(s): Sharon E. Fraser , Timothy Insoll , Anu Thompson , Bart E. van Dongen
      Sherds from pots found layered under a granite boulder in the Tong Hills of the Upper East Region of Northern Ghana seem, based on their deposition context to have been used for the preparation of medicines. Organic geochemical and isotopic analyses of these sherds and a modern day analogue reveal an n-alkanoic acid composition that is consistent with their being used in the preparation of plant derived substances. Isotopic analyses of the modern medicine pot indicate a contribution of n-alkanoic acids derived from plants that use C4 carbon fixation, most likely maize, sorghum and/or millet suggesting that this pot was used for cooking C4 based plant substances, perhaps, based on current analogy, staple porridge type food. The modern medicine pot could thus have had a prior use. The absence of C4 plant residues in the archaeological sherds suggests that either staple foodstuffs differed radically to today, or, more likely, were not prepared in vessels that were to be used for medicinal purposes.
      Highlights ► First organic geochemical and isotopic analyses of Ghana medicine pots. ► Analyses indicating a usage in the preparation of plant derived substances. ► Analyses of modern analogue indicates usage in cooking C4 based plant substances. ► Medicine was a more firmly bounded and demarcated domain of practice than today.

      PubDate: 2014-12-18T10:13:09Z
       
  • Investigating the production provenance of iron artifacts with
           multivariate methods
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2012
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 39, Issue 7
      Author(s): Michael F. Charlton , Eleanor Blakelock , Marcos Martinón-Torres , Tim Young
      The quest for suitable data, data treatments and statistical methods for identifying the provenance of iron artifacts has led to a variety of analytical strategies. Researchers working on the problem have been slow to develop or adopt the use of multivariate statistical techniques, despite their successful implementation in other archaeomaterials sourcing frameworks. This paper explores the analytical potential of a comprehensive multivariate statistical strategy for identifying the primary production origins of bloomery iron artifacts using bulk chemical analyses of bloomery smelting slag and slag inclusions in iron artifacts. This strategy includes a multivariate model for identifying distinct slag inclusion types introduced during smelting and refining. Principal component analysis and linear discriminant analysis are then applied to smelting slag training sets to create multivariate provenance fields, the chemical distributions of which are defined by kernel density estimation. Single and multi-group evaluation methods are examined. Appropriate data transformations are discussed to facilitate the projection of the chemistry of “unknown” slag inclusions into the multidimensional space generated by the smelting slag groups of known provenance. The efficacy of this strategy is demonstrated through its application to a previously examined data set derived from three iron production experiments and a published archaeological example. Results indicate that an appropriately designed multivariate strategy can be an effective tool for evaluating provenance hypotheses for bloomery iron artifacts.
      Highlights ► We introduce a multivariate strategy for sourcing slag inclusions in iron objects. ► We model slag inclusion formation and chemistry using principal component analysis. ► Principal component analysis identified experimental objects to correct source. ► Linear discriminant analysis identified experimental objects to correct source. ► Multivariate provenance techniques performed well with published archaeological data.

      PubDate: 2014-12-18T10:13:09Z
       
  • Opacifiers in Late Bronze Age glasses: the use of ToF-SIMS to identify raw
           ingredients and production techniques
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2012
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 39, Issue 7
      Author(s): Chloë N. Duckworth , Julian Henderson , Frank J.M. Rutten , Kalliopi Nikita
      Time of Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) is applied to the study of four samples of opaque glass of Late Bronze Age date. The technique is uniquely capable of identifying compositional heterogeneity at a sub-micron resolution within the crystalline opacifiers dispersed through homogeneous glass matrices. It is shown that this provides crucial information on the possible raw ingredients of the opacifying inclusions used, and has the potential for highlighting regional variations in the production technology involved in creating different colours of opaque glass.
      Highlights ► ToF-SIMS is applied to the analysis of opacifying inclusions in glass. ► Composition and production processes of opaque glasses are discussed. ► The use of sintered preparations in creating New Kingdom yellow glass is supported. ► The production and ToF-SIMS analysis of replica glasses is advised.

      PubDate: 2014-12-18T10:13:09Z
       
  • Phylogeographic analysis of barley DNA as evidence for the spread of
           Neolithic agriculture through Europe
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2012
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 39, Issue 10
      Author(s): Glynis Jones , Huw Jones , Michael P. Charles , Martin K. Jones , Sue Colledge , Fiona J. Leigh , Diane A. Lister , Lydia M.J. Smith , Wayne Powell , Terrence A. Brown
      Results of analyses of the photoperiod response gene (PPD-H1) and simple sequence repeats (SSRs) in modern landraces of cultivated barley were used as evidence for the mechanism of agricultural spread in Neolithic Europe. In particular, we explored the usefulness of considering adaptive genes as indicators of past selective pressures acting on crops, during their spread through Europe. In some areas, such as the Alpine region, Britain and Scandinavia, we have evidence to suggest that the adaptation of crops to certain climatic conditions may have contributed to the timing of agricultural spread. At the northern fringes of Europe, and in higher altitude locations in central Europe, the introduction of more suitably adapted cereals may have facilitated successful agriculture to trigger agricultural expansion. This research opens up the possibility of investigating other genetic adaptations to climate, which would permit a fuller evaluation of the relative contributions of climate/crop and forager/farmer interactions in the process of agricultural spread.
      Highlights ► Phylogeographic analysis of barley DNA is used to identify the mechanism of agricultural spread. ► Climatic adaptation is thought to have played a role in the spread of agriculture in the Alpine Foreland. ► Modern cereal landraces seem to retain a genetic signal of the spread of agriculture into Europe.

      PubDate: 2014-12-18T10:13:09Z
       
  • Integrating radar and laser-based remote sensing techniques for monitoring
           structural deformation of archaeological monuments
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2013
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 40, Issue 1
      Author(s): Deodato Tapete , Nicola Casagli , Guido Luzi , Riccardo Fanti , Giovanni Gigli , Davide Leva
      Ground-Based Synthetic Aperture Radar Interferometry (GBInSAR) and Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS) were purposely integrated to obtain 3D interferometric radar point clouds to facilitate the spatial interpretation of displacements affecting archaeological monuments. The paper describes the procedure to implement this integrated approach in the real-world situations of surveillance of archaeological and built heritage. Targeted tests were carried out on the case study of the Domus Tiberiana sited along the northern side of the Palatino Hill in the central archaeological area of Rome, Italy, and displacements of the monument were monitored over almost one year of acquisition. The GBInSAR – TLS integration provided updated information about the condition of the archaeological structures in relation to their history of instability mechanisms, and did not highlighted a general worsening for the stability of the entire monument. Point-wise and prompt detection of displacement anomalies and/or sudden changes in displacement trends proved the suitability of the method to support early warning procedures, also to evaluate effects on the masonry due to human activities.
      Highlights ► Monuments in Rome were monitored with terrestrial radar and laser scanner. ► Interferograms integrated with point cloud confirmed stability of Domus Tiberiana. ► Real time monitoring of ongoing deformation allowed effective early warning. ► Human-induced effects on structures were clearly detected and monitored. ► This methodology can support archaeological heritage conservation.

      PubDate: 2014-12-18T10:13:09Z
       
  • Charcoal from a prehistoric copper mine in the Austrian Alps:
           dendrochronological and dendrological data, demand for wood and forest
           utilisation
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2013
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 40, Issue 2
      Author(s): Thomas Pichler , Kurt Nicolussi , Gert Goldenberg , Klaus Hanke , Kristóf Kovács , Andrea Thurner
      During prehistory fire-setting was the most appropriate technique for exploiting ore deposits. Charcoal fragments found in the course of archaeological excavations in a small mine called Mauk E in the area of Schwaz/Brixlegg (Tyrol, Austria) are argued to be evidence for the use of this technology. Dendrochronological analyses of the charcoal samples yielded calendar dates for the mining activities showing that the exploitation of the Mauk E mine lasted approximately one decade in the late 8th century BC. Dendrological studies show that the miners utilised stem wood of spruce and fir from forests with high stand density for fire-setting and that the exploitation of the Mauk E mine had only a limited impact on the local forests.
      Highlights ► Charcoal fragments found in a small mine are argued to be evidence for the use of fire-setting during prehistory. ► Dendrochronological analyses of the charcoal samples yielded calendar dates in the late 8th century BC. ► Selective wood procurement – only softwood species and primarily stem wood of limited diameter was common. ► The demand for wood for fire-setting activities was limited and could be met by exploiting only local forests.

      PubDate: 2014-12-18T10:13:09Z
       
  • Evaluating effects of chemical weathering and surface contamination on the
           in situ provenance analysis of building stones in the Cuzco region of Peru
           with portable XRF
    • Abstract: Publication date: April 2013
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 40, Issue 4
      Author(s): Dennis Ogburn , Bill Sillar , Julio César Sierra
      As the only type of instrument capable of determining artifact geochemistry in a wide variety of settings, portable X-Ray Fluorescence (PXRF) may be frequently utilized as probably the best option for collecting data when removal of objects in part or in whole is unfeasible. However, using PXRF in circumstances where sample selection and preparation diverge from standards developed for lab-based instrumentation requires assessing the impact of new and potentially limiting factors to establish the validity of the method in these new contexts. Here we examine the effects of surface contamination and chemical weathering on the ability to assess provenance of igneous building stones used in the Cuzco region of Peru. Surface contamination was assessed through comparing low-impact cleaning methods on diorite and andesite blocks, and weathering was examined by comparing weathered vs. fresh surfaces of samples from two andesite quarries. In general, the lightest elements were most impacted by contamination and weathering while measurements of many of the heavier elements commonly used in provenance studies were relatively unaffected. Concentrations of Pb and Zn were problematic in the urban context of Cuzco because of pollution. Ability to determine provenance of building stones within those limitations (i.e., the validity of this application of PXRF) was demonstrated in a preliminary study by comparing measurements from uncleaned, exposed building stones in the region to fresh quarry samples.
      Highlights ► Portable XRF was found to be valid for sourcing igneous stone objects in the Cuzco region of Peru. ► Chemical weathering impacted measured concentrations of lighter but not heavier elements. ► Measurements of some lighter elements were impacted by surface contamination. ► Low impact cleaning only marginally reduces impact of surface contamination on lighter elements.

      PubDate: 2014-12-18T10:13:09Z
       
  • Identification of fossil hairs in Parahyaena brunnea coprolites from
           Middle Pleistocene deposits at Gladysvale cave, South Africa
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2013
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 40, Issue 10
      Author(s): Phillip Taru , Lucinda Backwell
      This research focuses on scale pattern and cross sectional morphology of hair to identify an expanded sample of fossil hairs from Parahyaena brunnea coprolites from Gladysvale cave in the Sterkfontein Valley, South Africa. The coprolites are part of a brown hyaena latrine preserved in calcified cave sediment dated to the Middle Pleistocene (257–195 ka). Forty-eight fossil hairs were extracted from 12 coprolites using fine tweezers and a binocular microscope, and examined using a scanning electron microscope. Hair identification was based on consultation of standard guides to hair identification and comparison with our own collection of samples of guard hairs from 15 previously undocumented taxa of indigenous southern African mammals. Samples were taken from the back of pelts curated at the Johannesburg Zoo and Ditsong National Museum of Natural History (formerly Transvaal Museum, Pretoria). Based on the fossil hairs identified here, this research has established that brown hyaenas shared the Sterkfontein Valley with hominins, warthog, impala, zebra and kudu. Apart from humans, these animals are associated with savanna grasslands, much like the Highveld environment of today. These findings support the previous tentative identification of fossil human hair in the coprolites, provide a new source of information on the local Middle Pleistocene fossil mammal community, and insight into the environment in which archaic and emerging modern humans in the interior of the African subcontinent lived.


      PubDate: 2014-12-18T10:13:09Z
       
  • Dating the Trollesgave site and the Bromme culture – chronological
           fix-points for the Lateglacial settlement of Southern Scandinavia
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2013
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 40, Issue 12
      Author(s): Anders Fischer , Morten Fischer Mortensen , Peter Steen Henriksen , Dorte Rørbeck Mathiassen , Jesper Olsen
      The Bromme culture belongs to the Lateglacial, the period when people settled in the recently deglaciated Southern Scandinavia. Until now there have been only a few imprecise fix-points relating to the chronological position of this archaeological culture. This situation can now be improved with the aid of research results from a Bromme culture settlement at Trollesgave in SE Denmark. Using pollen and plant macrofossil data, Lateglacial lacustrine deposits containing waste material from the settlement can be assigned to the end of the climatically mild Allerød period. A series of 14C dates establishes the age of the settlement as c. 10 826 ± 49 14C years BP (12 871–12 590 cal yr BP). By correlation with climate data from the Greenland ice cores, the occupation can be assigned to the early part of the cold climatic zone GS-1, thus demonstrating that the global ice-core climate zones are not absolutely synchronous with the regional division into biozones.


      PubDate: 2014-12-18T10:13:09Z
       
  • 5,000 years old Egyptian iron beads made from hammered meteoritic iron
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2013
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 40, Issue 12
      Author(s): Thilo Rehren , Tamás Belgya , Albert Jambon , György Káli , Zsolt Kasztovszky , Zoltán Kis , Imre Kovács , Boglárka Maróti , Marcos Martinón-Torres , Gianluca Miniaci , Vincent C. Pigott , Miljana Radivojević , László Rosta , László Szentmiklósi , Zoltán Szőkefalvi-Nagy
      The earliest known iron artefacts are nine small beads securely dated to circa 3200 BC, from two burials in Gerzeh, northern Egypt. We show that these beads were made from meteoritic iron, and shaped by careful hammering the metal into thin sheets before rolling them into tubes. The study demonstrates the ability of neutron and X-ray methods to determine the nature of the material even after complete corrosion of the iron metal. The iron beads were strung into a necklace together with other exotic minerals such as lapis lazuli, gold and carnelian, revealing the status of meteoritic iron as a special material on a par with precious metal and gem stones. The results confirm that already in the fourth millennium BC metalworkers had mastered the smithing of meteoritic iron, an iron–nickel alloy much harder and more brittle than the more commonly worked copper. This is of wider significance as it demonstrates that metalworkers had already nearly two millennia of experience to hot-work meteoritic iron when iron smelting was introduced. This knowledge was essential for the development of iron smelting, which produced metal in a solid state process and hence depended on this ability in order to replace copper and bronze as the main utilitarian metals.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2014-12-18T10:13:09Z
       
  • A charcoal-rich horizon at Ø69, Greenland: evidence for vegetation
           burning during the Norse landnám?
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2013
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 40, Issue 11
      Author(s): Rosie R. Bishop , Mike J. Church , Andrew J. Dugmore , Christian Koch Madsen , Niels A. Møller
      It is often assumed that the colonisation of Greenland by Norse settlers in c. A.D. 985 had a sudden and dramatic effect on the environment, involving substantial vegetation clearance and environmental degradation. Consequently, it has been argued that charcoal-rich horizons, visible in many sections in Greenland, represent the initial burning of the vegetation by Norse farmers to create land suitable for agriculture. In this study a charcoal-rich layer, visible in a modern drainage ditch beside the Norse farm of Ø69, was analysed using archaeobotany, sedimentary analysis and radiocarbon dating to test the date and formation processes of the horizon. It is demonstrated that the charcoal-rich layer at Ø69 was not derived from in situ vegetation burning in the 10th century and concluded that the layer was probably formed by the addition of midden material to the infields around Ø69 in the 13th and 14th centuries cal AD, perhaps as part of a soil amendment strategy. It is argued that caution must be exercised when interpreting charcoal-rich horizons as time-specific chronological markers in palaeoenvironmental sequences in Greenland.


      PubDate: 2014-12-18T10:13:09Z
       
  • New models of North West European Holocene palaeogeography and inundation
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2013
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 40, Issue 11
      Author(s): Fraser Sturt , Duncan Garrow , Sarah Bradley
      This paper presents new 500 year interval palaeogeographic models for Britain, Ireland and the North West French coast from 11000 cal. BP to present. These models are used to calculate the varying rates of inundation for different geographical zones over the study period. This allows for consideration of the differential impact that Holocene sea-level rise had across space and time, and on past societies. In turn, consideration of the limitations of the models helps to foreground profitable areas for future research.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2014-12-18T10:13:09Z
       
  • Application of luminescence dating and geomorphological analysis to the
           study of landscape evolution, settlement and climate change on the Channel
           Island of Herm
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2014
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 41
      Author(s): I.K. Bailiff , C.A. French , C.J. Scarre
      The optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating of sands and palaeosol horizons, sampled as part of an archaeological investigation and supported by geomorphological analysis, has been applied to identify critical stages in the development of the landscape on Herm, one of the Channel Islands that lies off the coast of Guernsey, on which megalithic monuments were constructed during the Neolithic period. In particular, there were three phases of significant aeolian activity during the prehistoric period, the onsets dated by OSL in this study to ca 4, 3 and 2.3 ka ago, where the first phase marked a significant change in the long term trend of aggradation of soils that persisted during the next two millennia. OSL ages were also obtained for palaeosols in which there was evidence of ploughing, placing this activity in the late 2nd millennium BC and the 4th and 13th centuries AD. The OSL ages for basal deposits of dune sands that cover the northern part of the island indicate that they were formed by phases of intense aeolian activity during the medieval period, commencing in the 13th century AD and continuing for several hundred years, which can be correlated with documented high intensity storms in the North Atlantic within the period 13th–15th centuries AD. The phases of significant aeolian activity dated by OSL to ca 4 and 2 ka ago can be linked with those detected in different regions of the North Atlantic coastal areas. The availability of chronologies for aeolian horizons provides a valuable tool in the study of the evolution of coastal landscape and how past coastal communities responded to climate change.


      PubDate: 2014-12-18T10:13:09Z
       
  • Species identification of archaeological marine mammals using collagen
           fingerprinting
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2014
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 41
      Author(s): M. Buckley , S. Fraser , J. Herman , N.D. Melton , J. Mulville , A.H. Pálsdóttir
      Throughout human history, coastal and marine resources have been a vital part of human subsistence. As a result archaeological faunal assemblages from coastal sites often contain large quantities of skeletal remains indicative of human interaction with marine mammals. However, these are often hard to identify due to a unique combination of factors regarding the procurement, utilisation, morphological and physical characteristics of marine mammal bones. These factors often result in a large number of archaeological cetacean and pinniped specimens fragmented beyond visual recognition, being labelled ‘whale’ or ‘marine mammal’. In this paper we report the development of a Zooarchaeology by Mass Spectrometry (ZooMS) method of collagen fingerprinting, for efficient and low cost discrimination of a wide range of marine mammal species including cetaceans and pinnipeds. We apply the technique to more than fifty archaeological specimens from seven different North Atlantic sites ranging from the Mesolithic until the Early Modern period.


      PubDate: 2014-12-18T10:13:09Z
       
  • Geometric morphometric analysis of grain shape and the identification of
           two-rowed barley (Hordeum vulgare subsp. distichum L.) in southern
           France
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2014
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 41
      Author(s): Jérôme Ros , Allowen Evin , Laurent Bouby , Marie-Pierre Ruas
      Hulled barley is one of the most frequently recovered cereals in European archaeological sites from Roman and medieval periods. In southern France this cereal is common in carbonized contexts such as cultural layers, ditches, pits, hearths, etc. The distinction between the two subspecies, two-rowed (Hordeum vulgare subsp. distichum L.) and six-rowed barley (H. vulgare subsp. vulgare L.) is usually based on morphological characters. The following criteria can be used to discriminate both subspecies from archaeological remains: the number of fertile spikelets per rachis segments, the linear or horseshoe shape depression of the lemma base, the maximum width of the caryopses and the proportion of twisted grains. The recovery of thousands of caryopses, some clearly twisted, and of rachis segments with sterile spikelets from the site of Petit Clos (Perpignan, Pyrénées-Orientales, France) dating to the Roman period suggests that both subspecies were cultivated during this time in southern Gaul. However evidence for two-rowed barley is usually scarce in archaeobotanical reports from Roman and medieval sites. To confirm the presence of two-rowed barley in the carbonized assemblage from Petit Clos and its cultivation, we developed a new method for analysing caryopses shape using geometric morphometrics with landmarks and sliding semi-landmarks. We compared modern reference specimens to the archaeological grains from several excavations from southern France dating from the 1st to the 11th century AD. Several varieties of both subspecies were correctly identified in the modern reference sample using GMM, both before and after carbonization. Archaeological specimens could then be accurately identified. The results confirm that both subspecies of barley were cultivated in southern France during the Roman period.


      PubDate: 2014-12-18T10:13:09Z
       
  • Slaves as burial gifts in Viking Age Norway? Evidence from stable
           isotope and ancient DNA analyses
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2014
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 41
      Author(s): Elise Naumann , Maja Krzewińska , Anders Götherström , Gunilla Eriksson
      Ten Viking Age individuals from the northern Norwegian site at Flakstad were analysed for δ13C, δ15N and ancient mitochondrial DNA fragments. The material derives from both single and multiple burials with individuals treated in different ways. The genetic analyses show that the individuals buried together were unlikely to be maternally related, and stable isotope analyses suggest different strata of society. It is, therefore, suggested that slaves may have been offered as grave gifts at Flakstad. A comparison with the remaining population from single graves shows that the presumed slaves had a diet similar to that of the common population, whereas the high status individuals in multiple graves had a diet different from both slaves and the common population. The results provide an insight into the subsistence of different social groups in a Viking Age society, exposing unexpected patterns of living conditions and food distribution.


      PubDate: 2014-12-18T10:13:09Z
       
  • Stable dietary isotopes and mtDNA from Woodland period southern Ontario
           people: results from a tooth sampling protocol
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2014
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 42
      Author(s): Susan Pfeiffer , Ronald F. Williamson , Judith C. Sealy , David G. Smith , Meradeth H. Snow
      Bioarchaeological research must balance scholarly commitment to the generation of new knowledge, descendants' interests in their collective past, and the now common practice of rapid re-interment of excavated human remains. This paper documents the first results of a negotiated protocol built on the retention of one tooth per archaeologically derived skeleton, teeth that can then be used for destructive testing associated with ancient DNA and stable isotope investigations. Seven archaeological sites dating from the 13th to 16th centuries provided 53 teeth, 10 of which were subdivided between DNA and isotope labs. All tooth roots yielded haplogroup results, and five provided more detailed sequence results. Stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen document heavy reliance on maize among all individuals, as well as reliance on a diverse range of fish. This work establishes baseline mtDNA information for Northern Iroquoians, and confirms the value of using dental tissues for dietary reconstruction. Particularly when human remains are fragmentary or co-mingled, this approach holds promise for ongoing incorporation of bioarchaeology into reconstructions of past peoples' lives.


      PubDate: 2014-12-18T10:13:09Z
       
  • Culture, space, and metapopulation: a simulation-based study for
           evaluating signals of blending and branching
    • Abstract: Publication date: March 2014
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 43
      Author(s): Enrico R. Crema , Tim Kerig , Stephen Shennan
      This paper explores the robustness of phylogenetic methods for detecting variations in branching and blending signals in the archaeological record. Both processes can generate a spatial structure whereby cultural similarity between different sites decays with increasing spatial distance. By generating a series of artificial records through the controlled and parameterised environment of an agent-based simulation, we: a) illustrate the weakness and the strength of different analytical techniques (empirical distogram, Mantel test, Retention Index, and δ-score); b) determine whether they are capable of assessing how spatial isolation determines cultural diversity; and c) establish whether they can detect variations in the nature of horizontal transmission over time. Results suggest that variables other than the spatial range of interaction (e.g. the frequency of fission events, population dynamics, and rates of cultural innovation) have different effects on the output of some phylogenetic analyses.


      PubDate: 2014-12-18T10:13:09Z
       
  • A house with a view? Multi-model inference, visibility fields, and
           point process analysis of a Bronze Age settlement on Leskernick Hill
           (Cornwall, UK)
    • Abstract: Publication date: March 2014
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 43
      Author(s): Stuart J. Eve , Enrico R. Crema
      This paper combines point-process modelling, visibility analysis and an information criteria approach to infer the reasons behind the Bronze Age settlement pattern of Leskernick Hill in Cornwall, UK. We formalise three alternative hypotheses as point process models characterised by different combinations of covariates. In addition to using traditional topographic variables, we use a form of affordance viewsheds, which we refer to as visibility fields, to investigate the visual properties of different parts of the landscape, both cultural and natural. We compare these three models by means of information criteria, and generate a fourth hybrid model by recombining variables drawn from each. The results reveal that a mixture of covariates drawn from the three hypotheses combined with a spatial interaction model provides the best overall model for the settlement pattern. We show that the settlement on Leskernick Hill was most likely the result of two separate decision-making processes, one to optimise the visibility of ritual monuments and important natural landmarks, and the other to optimise the visibility of nearby tin-extraction areas. We conclude that by using an information criterion approach it is possible to easily compare the models and identify which among these is the most satisfying in the present state of our knowledge.


      PubDate: 2014-12-18T10:13:09Z
       
  • The zooarchaeological application of quantifying cranial shape differences
           in wild boar and domestic pigs (Sus scrofa) using 3D geometric
           morphometrics
    • Abstract: Publication date: March 2014
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 43
      Author(s): Joseph Owen , Keith Dobney , Allowen Evin , Thomas Cucchi , Greger Larson , Una Strand Vidarsdottir
      The process of domestication increases the variety of phenotypes expressed in animals. Zooarchaeologists have attempted to study these changes osteologically in their search for the geographic and temporal origins of initial animal domestication during the late Pleistocene and early Holocene. Traditional biometric approaches have explored broad changes in body size over time, but this approach provides poor resolution. Here we investigate whether geometric morphometric (GMM) analyses of cranial shape can be used to provide better resolution between wild and domestic pigs (Sus scrofa), since shape is less affected by environmental factors than size. GMM combined with traditional multivariate statistics were applied to the crania of 42 modern domestic pigs (representing 6 breeds), 10 wild × domestic first generation hybrid pigs and 55 adult wild boar. Further analyses were carried out on morphologically discrete portions of the crania to simulate the fragmented nature of archaeological mammal remains. We found highly significant discrimination between wild and domestic pigs, both on the whole crania, and subsets including the parietal, the basicranium, the angle of the nasal and the zygomatic. We also demonstrate that it is possible to discriminate different domestic breeds on the basis of cranial morphology, and that 1st generation hybrid wild × domestic pig morphology more closely resembles wild pigs than domestic, suggesting that a wild phenotype (here represented by morphology) is dominant over a recessive domestic one. Our data demonstrate that GMM techniques can provide a quantifiable, clear classification between wild and domestic Sus (even using partial cranial remains) which has significant implications for zooarchaeological research.


      PubDate: 2014-12-18T10:13:09Z
       
  • Klipdrift Shelter, southern Cape, South Africa: preliminary report on the
           Howiesons Poort layers
    • Abstract: Publication date: May 2014
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 45
      Author(s): Christopher S. Henshilwood , Karen L. van Niekerk , Sarah Wurz , Anne Delagnes , Simon J. Armitage , Riaan F. Rifkin , Katja Douze , Petro Keene , Magnus M. Haaland , Jerome Reynard , Emmanuel Discamps , Samantha S. Mienies
      Surveys for archaeological sites in the De Hoop Nature Reserve, southern Cape, South Africa resulted in the discovery of a cave complex comprising two locations, Klipdrift Cave and Klipdrift Shelter. Excavations commenced in 2010 with Later Stone Age deposits initially being recovered at the former site and Middle Stone Age deposits at the latter. The lithic component at Klipdrift Shelter is consistent with the Howiesons Poort, a technological complex recorded at a number of archaeological sites in southern Africa. The age for these deposits at Klipdrift Shelter, obtained by single grain optically stimulated luminescence, spans the period 65.5 ± 4.8 ka to 59.4 ± 4.6 ka. Controlled and accurate excavations of the discrete layers have resulted in the recovery of a hominin molar, marine shells, terrestrial fauna, floral remains, organic materials, hearths, lithics, ochre, and ostrich eggshell. More than 95 pieces of the latter, distributed across the layers, are engraved with diverse, abstract patterns. The preliminary results from Klipdrift Shelter presented in this report provide new insights into the Howiesons Poort in this sub-region and contribute further to ongoing knowledge about the complex behaviours of early Homo sapiens in southern Africa. Excavations at the Klipdrift Complex will continue in the future.


      PubDate: 2014-12-18T10:13:09Z
       
  • Application of an entropy maximizing and dynamics model for understanding
           settlement structure: the Khabur Triangle in the Middle Bronze and Iron
           Ages
    • Abstract: Publication date: March 2014
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 43
      Author(s): Toby Davies , Hannah Fry , Alan Wilson , Alessio Palmisano , Mark Altaweel , Karen Radner
      We present a spatial interaction entropy maximizing and structural dynamics model of settlements from the Middle Bronze Age (MBA) and Iron Ages (IA) in the Khabur Triangle (KT) region within Syria. The model addresses factors that make locations attractive for trade and settlement, affecting settlement growth and change. We explore why some sites become relatively major settlements, while others diminish in the periods discussed. We assess how political and geographic constraints affect regional settlement transformations, while also accounting for uncertainty in the archaeological data. Model outputs indicate how the MBA settlement pattern contrasts from the IA for the same region when different factors affecting settlement size importance, facility of movement, and exogenous site interactions are studied. The results suggest the importance of political and historical factors in these periods and also demonstrate the value of a quantitative model in explaining emergent settlement size distributions across landscapes affected by different socio-environmental causal elements.


      PubDate: 2014-12-18T10:13:09Z
       
  • More evidence for cat taming at the Predynastic elite cemetery of
           Hierakonpolis (Upper Egypt)
    • Abstract: Publication date: May 2014
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 45
      Author(s): Wim Van Neer , Veerle Linseele , Renée Friedman , Bea De Cupere
      Continued excavations at the Predynastic elite cemetery HK6 at Hierakonpolis have yielded new evidence for the cultural control of cats during the Naqada IC-IIB period (c. 3800–3600 BC). In the same burial ground where evidence was previously found for the keeping of jungle cat (Felis chaus), a small pit was discovered containing six cats. The animals that were buried simultaneously, are a male and a female, and four kittens belonging to two different litters. The long bone measurements of the adult individuals clearly fall in the range of Felis silvestris and outside those of F. chaus and F. margarita. Comparison of the measurements – through the log-ratio technique – with data from the literature, as well as morphological characteristics of the mandible, suggest that the animals are domestic. It is argued that these results should be used with caution, since the criteria established to distinguish wild and domestic cat in European sites may reflect differences at the subspecies level (wild Felis silvestris silvestris versus the domestic form derived from Felis silvestris lybica). In northern Africa only F. s. lybica (wild or domestic) occurs, thus the established criteria may not be adequate when applied to Egyptian material. However, possible circumstantial evidence for the cultural control of the cats buried at Hierakonpolis is provided by their ages at death which indicate a deviation from the birth pattern reported in Egyptian wild cats.


      PubDate: 2014-12-18T10:13:09Z
       
  • Histomorphological species identification of tiny bone fragments from a
           Paleolithic site in the Northern Japanese Archipelago
    • Abstract: Publication date: June 2014
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 46
      Author(s): Junmei Sawada , Takashi Nara , Jun-ichi Fukui , Yukio Dodo , Kazuaki Hirata
      Bone histomorphology is an effective method for species identification of fragmentary osseous remains. The 1997–1998 excavations of the Kashiwadai 1 Upper Paleolithic site (ca. 22–20.5 kyBP) in Hokkaido (the northern island of the Japanese Archipelago) yielded tiny bone fragments, which had been burned to white and broken into pieces less than 1 cm in size, making their species identification by gross morphology alone impossible. For the purpose of species identification, histomorphological analyses were performed on thin sections of the Kashiwadai 1 bone fragments. Compact bone cross sections taken from medium- to large-sized land mammals in the Pleistocene and Holocene Hokkaido were prepared for comparison. The structures of the Kashiwadai 1 samples consisted of secondary osteons and plexiform bone. Consideration of the presence versus absence of plexiform bone and quantitative assessments of osteon sizes and bone cortical thickness allows for distinction between medium-sized deer, large-sized artiodactyls, small- to medium-sized carnivores, large-sized carnivores, elephants, and humans. The histomorphological characteristics of the Kashiwadai 1 samples were quite similar to those of both sika deer and ancient sika deer. A probable conclusion is that medium-sized deer was the primary game hunted by Paleolithic people at the Kashiwadai 1 site. Interestingly, the samples did not include elephant or large-sized artiodactyls, which were the predominant species in other Paleolithic sites of the Japanese Archipelago. This is the first evidence of human hunting medium-sized animals in the Upper Paleolithic period of the Japanese Archipelago based on faunal remains.


      PubDate: 2014-12-18T10:13:09Z
       
  • Comparison of two methods of extracting bone collagen for stable carbon
           and nitrogen isotope analysis: comparing whole bone demineralization with
           gelatinization and ultrafiltration
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2014
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 47
      Author(s): Judith Sealy , Malia Johnson , Michael Richards , Olaf Nehlich
      We compare two methods of isolating bone collagen for stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis. The older method (as practised at the University of Cape Town) demineralizes bone ‘chunks’, while the newer method (as practised at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig) involves demineralization, gelatinization and ultra-filtration to select only higher molecular weight protein fragments for isotopic analysis. The latter method was developed for problematic (i.e. poorly-preserved) samples and while it is more rigorous, it is also significantly more expensive and more labor-intensive. Our aim is to find out whether there is any difference between the δ13C and δ15N of bone collagen isolated from relatively well-preserved bones using the two methods. Our sample set consists of 5 modern and 47 archaeological animal and human bones from the southern and western parts of South Africa. Archaeological specimens range in age from a few hundred to approximately six thousand years old. Collagen was extracted, its quality assessed using %C, %N and C:N, and δ13C and δ15N values measured independently in both laboratories. There are no statistically significant differences between the sets of δ13C and δ15N values from the two laboratories. For relatively well-preserved bones, the ‘chunk’ method of collagen preparation continues to be an acceptable alternative to more sophisticated collagen extraction protocols for C and N isotope analysis.


      PubDate: 2014-12-18T10:13:09Z
       
  • Computer vision, archaeological classification and China's terracotta
           warriors
    • Abstract: Publication date: September 2014
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 49
      Author(s): Andrew Bevan , Xiuzhen Li , Marcos Martinón-Torres , Susan Green , Yin Xia , Kun Zhao , Zhen Zhao , Shengtao Ma , Wei Cao , Thilo Rehren
      Structure-from-motion and multiview-stereo together offer a computer vision technique for reconstructing detailed 3D models from overlapping images of anything from large landscapes to microscopic features. Because such models can be generated from ordinary photographs taken with standard cameras in ordinary lighting conditions, these techniques are revolutionising digital recording and analysis in archaeology and related subjects such as palaeontology, museum studies and art history. However, most published treatments so far have focused merely on this technique's ability to produce low-cost, high quality representations, with one or two also suggesting new opportunities for citizen science. However, perhaps the major artefact scale advantage comes from significantly enhanced possibilities for 3D morphometric analysis and comparative taxonomy. We wish to stimulate further discussion of this new research domain by considering a case study using a famous and contentious set of archaeological objects: the terracotta warriors of China's first emperor.


      PubDate: 2014-12-18T10:13:09Z
       
  • Tradition and indigeneity in Mughal architectural glazed tiles
    • Abstract: Publication date: September 2014
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 49
      Author(s): M.S. Gill , Th. Rehren , I. Freestone
      Glazed tiles were employed by the Mughals for the decoration of their monuments in northern India over the sixteenth and seventeenth century. The character and composition of thirty tile samples from Mughal buildings at Delhi, in northern India, were investigated by EPMA-WDS and SEM-EDS. Analysis shows that the tiles have stonepaste bodies, indicating that they form part of the family of Islamic ceramics. The glaze layers are determined to have local characteristics, through comparisons with traditional Indian glass compositions. A local source for the cobalt oxide used to colour dark blue coloured glazes has been suggested. Overall, the study considers the impact of an imported luxury/high status technology on local traditions, and how the two converge to develop a new chaîne opératoire which has aspects of Islamic and indigenous technologies.


      PubDate: 2014-12-18T10:13:09Z
       
  • On the importance of blind testing in archaeological science: the example
           from lithic functional studies
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2014
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 48
      Author(s): Adrian Anthony Evans
      Blind-testing is an important tool that should be used by all analytical fields as an approach for validating method. Several fields do this well outside of archaeological science. It is unfortunate that many applied methods do not have a strong underpinning built on, what should be considered necessary, blind-testing. Historically lithic microwear analysis has been subjected to such testing, the results of which stirred considerable debate. However, putting this aside, it is argued here that the tests have not been adequately exploited. Too much attention has been focused on basic results and the implications of those rather than using the tests as a powerful tool to improve the method. Here the tests are revisited and reviewed in a new light. This approach is used to highlight specific areas of methodological weakness that can be targeted by developmental research. It illustrates the value in having a large dataset of consistently designed blind-tests in method evaluation and suggests that fields such as lithic microwear analysis would greatly benefit from such testing. Opportunity is also taken to discuss recent developments in quantitative methods within lithic functional studies and how such techniques might integrate with current practices.


      PubDate: 2014-12-18T10:13:09Z
       
  • Herding cats – Roman to Late Antique glass groups from Bubastis,
           northern Egypt
    • Abstract: Publication date: September 2014
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 49
      Author(s): D. Rosenow , Th. Rehren
      Eighty-seven glass fragments from Roman and Late Antique layers at Tell Basta/Bubastis in the Eastern Nile Delta were typologically evaluated and chemically analysed to determine chronological and compositional patterns of glass use at this important Egyptian city, and how this relates to larger pattern of glass production and consumption in the first half of the first millennium AD. Bubastis is situated in geographical proximity to Alexandria, an important seaport, and at the same time close to the raw glass production areas in the Wadi Natrun and Sinai peninsula. This paper reports the first substantial set of compositional data of Roman to Late Antique glass from a settlement in northern Egypt, filling an important gap in our knowledge of glass consumption pattern in the first half of the first millennium AD. The glass from Bubastis falls into several compositional groups known already from elsewhere in the Roman and Late Antique world, including antimony- and manganese-decoloured glass and two varieties of HIMT glass. Changes in glass composition over more than 500 years are in line with earlier observations concerning changes in prevalence of these glass groups. However, compositional groups known to dominate archaeological glass assemblages elsewhere, such as Roman blue/green during the earlier part of the period under study, or Levantine I in the later period, are notably absent. For the later period, this is probably due to the proximity of Tell Basta to the suspected production region of HIMT glass in northern Sinai/Egypt. By analogy, this might indicate that the earlier Roman blue/green glass has a production origin further away from the Delta than the decolourised glasses prevailing in Bubastis. A particular vessel type, small-volume thick-walled dark green unguentaria, is made of probably Egyptian plant ash glass, indicating the existence of a specialised glassmaker during the early first millennium AD.


      PubDate: 2014-12-18T10:13:09Z
       
  • Assessing use and suitability of scanning electron microscopy in the
           analysis of micro remains in dental calculus
    • Abstract: Publication date: September 2014
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 49
      Author(s): Robert C. Power , Domingo C. Salazar-García , Roman M. Wittig , Amanda G. Henry
      Dental calculus is increasingly recognized as a major reservoir of dietary information. Palaeodietary studies using plant and animal micro remains (e.g. phytoliths, pollen, sponge spicules, and starch grains) trapped in calculus have the potential to revise our knowledge of the dietary role of plants in past populations. The conventional methods used to isolate and identify these micro remains rely on removing them from their microenvironment in the calculus, thus the microenvironment that traps and preserves micro remains is not understood. By using scanning electron microscopy and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM–EDX) on modern chimpanzee calculus from the Taï Forest, Côte d'Ivoire, and human calculus from the Chalcolithic site of Camino del Molino, Spain, we present the first reported observations on characteristics of the matrix setting that are conducive to the survival of starch in dental calculus. We also assess the potential for SEM–EDX to detect starch and differentiate it from structurally and molecularly similar substrates. We demonstrate that SEM–EDX may offer a non-destructive technique for studying micro remains in certain contexts. Finally, we compare traditional optical analytical techniques (OM) with less invasive electron microscopy. The results indicate that SEM–EDX and OM are both effective for observing micro remains in calculus, but differ in their analytical resolution to identify different micro remains, and we therefore recommend a sequential use of both techniques.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2014-12-18T10:13:09Z
       
  • Refining gold with glass – an early Islamic technology at Tadmekka,
           Mali
    • Abstract: Publication date: September 2014
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 49
      Author(s): Th. Rehren , S. Nixon
      We describe two crucible fragments from an early Islamic context at the West African site of Tadmekka, in the Republic of Mali. They are made from a very sandy fabric and contain numerous gold particles and mineral grains in a matrix of lightly-coloured glass-based crucible slag. We interpret these as remains of a process separating freshly-panned gold concentrate from residual mineral inclusions, by melting the concentrate together with crushed glass beads. The process has similarities in modern artisanal practice, and shows the versatility of craftspeople in this major urban trading centre famous for its gold wealth.


      PubDate: 2014-12-18T10:13:09Z
       
  • Multi-isotope analysis demonstrates significant lifestyle changes in King
           Richard III
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2014
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 50
      Author(s): Angela L. Lamb , Jane E. Evans , Richard Buckley , Jo Appleby
      The discovery of the mortal remains of King Richard III provide an opportunity to learn more about his lifestyle, including his origins and movements and his dietary history; particularly focussing on the changes that Kingship brought. We analysed bioapatite and collagen from sections of two teeth which formed during Richard's childhood and early adolescence, and from two bones: the femur (which averages long-term conditions), and the rib (which remodels faster and represents the last few years of life). We applied multi element isotope techniques to reconstruct a full life history. The isotopes initially concur with Richard's known origins in Northamptonshire but suggest that he had moved out of eastern England by age seven, and resided further west, possibly the Welsh Marches. In terms of his diet, there is a significant shift in the nitrogen, but not carbon isotope values, towards the end of his life, which we suggest could be explained by an increase in consumption of luxury items such as game birds and freshwater fish. His oxygen isotope values also rise towards the end of his life and as we know he did not relocate during this time, we suggest the changes could be brought about by increased wine consumption. This is the first suggestion of wine affecting the oxygen isotope composition of an individual and thus has wider implications for isotope-based palaeodietary and migration reconstructions.


      PubDate: 2014-12-18T10:13:09Z
       
  • The exploration of Sr isotopic analysis applied to Chinese glazes: part
           one
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2014
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 50
      Author(s): Hongjiao Ma , Julian Henderson , Jane Evans
      Ash glaze and limestone glaze are two major glaze types in southern Chinese ceramic technology. In this study strontium isotope compositions were determined in ash glaze samples from the Yue kiln dated to between the 10th and 12th centuries AD, limestone glaze samples from Jingdezhen dated to between the 15th and 18th centuries AD and ceramic raw materials from Jingdezhen. The Sr isotopic characteristics of limestone glaze and ash glaze are completely different. The Sr isotope characteristics of limestone glaze is characterised by low Sr concentrations, large 87Sr/86Sr variation, and a two component mixing line. On the other hand the strontium isotope characteristic of ash glaze samples is characterised by a consistent 87Sr/86Sr signature and high Sr concentrations with a large variation. The different Sr isotope compositions for the two types of glazes are a reflection of the various raw materials involved in making them. The Sr isotopic composition has been altered by the refinement process that the raw material was subjected to. It was found that the mineralogical changes caused by the alteration are reflected in the Sr isotope results. The potential of Sr isotopic analysis of Chinese glazes is evaluated according to the results produced by this, the first such study.


      PubDate: 2014-12-18T10:13:09Z
       
  • An Approximate Bayesian Computation approach for inferring patterns of
           cultural evolutionary change
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2014
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 50
      Author(s): E.R. Crema , K. Edinborough , T. Kerig , S.J. Shennan
      A wide range of theories and methods inspired from evolutionary biology have recently been used to investigate temporal changes in the frequency of archaeological material. Here we follow this research agenda and present a novel approach based on Approximate Bayesian Computation (ABC), which enables the evaluation of multiple competing evolutionary models formulated as computer simulations. This approach offers the opportunity to: 1) flexibly integrate archaeological biases derived from sampling and time averaging; 2) estimate model parameters in a probabilistic fashion, taking into account both prior knowledge and empirical data; and 3) shift from an hypothesis-testing to a model selection approach. We applied ABC to a chronologically fine-grained Western European Neolithic armature assemblage, comparing three possible candidate models of evolutionary change: 1) unbiased transmission; 2) conformist bias; and 3) anti-conformist bias. Results showed that unbiased and anti-conformist transmission models provide equally good explanatory models for the observed data, suggesting high levels of equifinality. We also examined whether the appearance of the Bell Beaker culture was correlated with marked changes in the frequency of different armature types. Comparisons between the empirical data and expectations generated from the simulation model did not show any evidence in support of this hypothesis and instead indicated lower than expected dissimilarity between assemblages dated before and after the emergence of the Bell Beaker culture.


      PubDate: 2014-12-18T10:13:09Z
       
  • Reconstructing the impact of human activities in a NW Iberian Roman mining
           landscape for the last 2500 years
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2014
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 50
      Author(s): Lourdes López-Merino , Antonio Martínez Cortizas , Guillermo S. Reher , José A. López-Sáez , Tim M. Mighall , Richard Bindler
      Little is known about the impact of human activities during Roman times on NW Iberian mining landscapes beyond the geomorphological transformations brought about by the use of hydraulic power for gold extraction. We present the high-resolution pollen record of La Molina mire, located in an area intensely used for gold mining (Asturias, NW Spain), combined with other proxy data from the same peat core to identify different human activities, evaluate the strategies followed for the management of the resources and describe the landscape response to human disturbances. We reconstructed the timing and synchronicity of landscape changes of varying intensity and form occurred before, during and after Roman times. An open landscape was prevalent during the local Late Iron Age, a period of relatively environmental stability. During the Early Roman Empire more significant vegetation shifts took place, reflected by changes in both forest (Corylus and Quercus) and heathland cover, as mining/metallurgy peaked and grazing and cultivation increased. In the Late Roman Empire, the influence of mining/metallurgy on landscape change started to disappear. This decoupling was further consolidated in the Germanic period (i.e., Visigothic and Sueve domination of the region), with a sharp decrease in mining/metallurgy but continued grazing. Although human impact was intense in some periods, mostly during the Early Roman Empire, forest regeneration occurred afterwards: clearances were local and short-lived. However, the Roman mining landscape turned into an agrarian one at the onset of the Middle Ages, characterized by a profound deforestation at a regional level due to a myriad of human activities that resulted in an irreversible openness of the landscape.


      PubDate: 2014-12-18T10:13:09Z
       
  • Archaeobotanical implications of phytolith assemblages from cultivated
           rice systems, wild rice stands and macro-regional patterns
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2014
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 51
      Author(s): Alison Weisskopf , Emma Harvey , Eleanor Kingwell-Banham , Mukund Kajale , Rabi Mohanty , Dorian Q. Fuller
      Rice can be cultivated in a range of arable systems, including upland rainfed, lowland rainfed or irrigated, flooded or décrue, and deep water cultivation. These agricultural regimes represent ecosystems controlled to large degree by agricultural practices, and can be shown to produce different weed flora assemblages. In order to reconstruct early rice cultivation systems it is necessary to better establish how ancient rice farming practices may be seen using archaeobotanical data. This paper focuses on using modern analogue phytolith assemblages of associated crop weeds found within cultivation regimes, as well as in wild rice stands (unplanted stands of Oryza nivara or Oryza rufipogon), as a means of interpreting archaeobotanical assemblages. Rice weeds and sediment samples have been recorded and collected from a range of arable systems and wild stands in India. The husks, leaves and culms of associated weeds were processed for phytolith reference samples, and sediment samples were processed for phytoliths in order to establish patterns identifiable to specific systems. The preliminary results of the phytolith analysis of samples from these modern fields demonstrate that phytolith assemblage statistics show correlation with variation in rice cultivation systems on the basis of differences in environmental conditions and regimes, with wetness being one major factor. Analysis of phytoliths from archaeological samples from contrasting systems in Neolithic China and India demonstrate how this method can be applied to separate archaeological regions and periods based on inferred differences in past agricultural practices, identifying wet cultivation systems in China, dry millet-dominated agriculture of north China and rainfed/dry rice in Neolithic India.


      PubDate: 2014-12-18T10:13:09Z
       
  • Holocene landscape intervention and plant food production strategies in
           island and mainland Southeast Asia
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2014
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 51
      Author(s): C.O. Hunt , R.J. Rabett
      In the areas adjacent to the drowned Pleistocene continent of Sunda – present-day Mainland and Island SE Asia – the Austronesian Hypothesis of a diaspora of rice cultivators from Taiwan ∼4200 years ago has often been linked with the start of farming. Mounting evidence suggests that these developments should not be conflated and that alternative explanations should be considered, including indigenous inception of complex patterns of plant food production and early exchange of plants, animals, technology and genes. We review evidence for widespread forest disturbance in the Early Holocene which may accompany the beginnings of complex food-production. Although often insubstantial, evidence for incipient and developing management of rainforest vegetation and of developing complex relationships with plants is present, and early enough to suggest that during the Early to mid-Holocene this vast region was marked by different approaches to plant food production. The trajectory of the increasingly complex relationships between people and their food organisms was strongly locally contingent and in many cases did not result in the development of agricultural systems that were recognisable as such at the time of early European encounters. Diverse resource management economies in the Sunda and neighbouring regions appear to have accompanied rather than replaced a reliance on hunting and gathering. This, together with evidence for Early Holocene interaction between these neighbours, gives cause for us to question some authors continued adherence to a singular narrative of the Austronesian Hypothesis and the ‘Neolithisation’ of this part of the world. It also leads us to suggest that the forests of this vast region are, to an extent, a cultural artefact.


      PubDate: 2014-12-18T10:13:09Z
       
  • New methods for reconstructing geographical effects on dispersal rates and
           routes from large-scale radiocarbon databases
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2014
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 52
      Author(s): Fabio Silva , James Steele
      We introduce a methodology for reconstructing geographical effects on dispersal and diffusion patterns, using georeferenced archaeological radiocarbon databases. Fast Marching methods for modelling front propagation enable geographical scenarios to be explored regarding barriers, corridors, and favoured and unfavoured habitat types. The use of genetic algorithms as optimal search tools also enables the derivation of new geographical scenarios, and is especially useful in high-dimensional parameter spaces that cannot be characterized exhaustively due to computer runtime constraints. Model selection is guided by goodness-of-fit statistics for observed and predicted radiocarbon dates. We also introduce an important additional model output, namely, modelled phylogenies of the dispersing population or diffusing cultural entity, based on branching networks of shortest or 'least cost' paths. These 'dispersal trees' can be used as an additional tool to evaluate dispersal scenarios, based on their degree of congruence with phylogenies of the dispersing population reconstructed independently from other kinds of information. We illustrate our approach with a case study, the spread of the Neolithic transition in Europe, using a database from the literature (Pinhasi, Fort and Amerman 2005). Our methods find support for a geographical model in which dispersal is limited by an altitudinal cut-off and in which there is a climate-related latitudinal gradient in rate of spread. This model leads to a deceleration in front propagation rate with geodesic distance, which is also consistent with models of the propagation of the Neolithic transition under space competition with pre-existing populations of hunter-gatherers. Our genetic algorithms meanwhile searched the parameter space and found support for an alternative model involving fast spread along the northern Mediterranean coast and the Danube/Rhine riverine corridor. Both these models outperformed the geography-free Great Circle distance model, and both also outperformed another, almost geography-free, model that constrains dispersal to land to and near-offshore coastal waters. The adjusted coefficient of determination for modelled and observed radiocarbon dates for first arrival supports the GA-derived model; the shortest path network analysis, however, gives greater support to the model with altitudinal cut-off and latitudinal gradient in dispersal rate, since it produces branching 'dispersal trees' that are more congruent with these archaeological sites' clade memberships (as defined by archaeological material culture).


      PubDate: 2014-12-18T10:13:09Z
       
  • Reconstructing regional population fluctuations in the European Neolithic
           using radiocarbon dates: a new case-study using an improved method
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2014
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 52
      Author(s): Adrian Timpson , Sue Colledge , Enrico Crema , Kevan Edinborough , Tim Kerig , Katie Manning , Mark G. Thomas , Stephen Shennan
      In a previous study we presented a new method that used summed probability distributions (SPD) of radiocarbon dates as a proxy for population levels, and Monte-Carlo simulation to test the significance of the observed fluctuations in the context of uncertainty in the calibration curve and archaeological sampling. The method allowed us to identify periods of significant short-term population change, caveated with the fact that around 5% of these periods were false positives. In this study we present an improvement to the method by applying a criterion to remove these false positives from both the simulated and observed distributions, resulting in a substantial improvement to both its sensitivity and specificity. We also demonstrate that the method is extremely robust in the face of small sample sizes. Finally we apply this improved method to radiocarbon datasets from 12 European regions, covering the period 8000–4000 BP. As in our previous study, the results reveal a boom-bust pattern for most regions, with population levels rising rapidly after the local arrival of farming, followed by a crash to levels much lower than the peak. The prevalence of this phenomenon, combined with the dissimilarity and lack of synchronicity in the general shapes of the regional SPDs, supports the hypothesis of endogenous causes.


      PubDate: 2014-12-18T10:13:09Z
       
  • New ways to extract archaeological information from hyperspectral pixels
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2014
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 52
      Author(s): Michael Doneus , Geert Verhoeven , Clement Atzberger , Michael Wess , Michal Ruš
      Airborne remote sensing for archaeology is the discipline that encompasses the study of archaeological remains using data collected from an airborne platform by means of digital or film-based aerial photography, airborne laser scanning, hyperspectral imaging etc. So far, airborne hyperspectral scanning or – more accurately – airborne imaging spectroscopy (AIS) has occupied only a very small niche in the field of archaeological remote sensing: besides reasons of cost, the common archaeologically-insufficient ground-sampling distance can be considered the main limiting factor. Moreover, the technical processing of these data sets with a high level of potential redundancy needs specialized software. Typically, calculation of band ratios and a principal component analysis are applied. As a result, the few practical applications of archaeological AIS have not been entirely convincing so far. The aim of this paper is to present new approaches for analysing archaeological AIS data. The imagery under study has a ground-sampling distance of 40 cm and covers the Roman town of Carnuntum (Austria). Using two algorithms embedded in a specifically developed MATLAB® toolbox, it will be shown how the extracted archaeological information can be enhanced from high-resolution hyperspectral images. A comparison with simultaneously acquired vertical photographs will indicate the specific advantages of high-resolution AIS data and the gain one can obtain when exploiting its potential using any of the newly presented methods.


      PubDate: 2014-12-18T10:13:09Z
       
  • The use of laser spectroscopy to investigate bone disease in King Henry
           VIII's sailors
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2015
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 53
      Author(s): Jemma G. Kerns , Kevin Buckley , Anthony W. Parker , Helen L. Birch , Pavel Matousek , Alex Hildred , Allen E. Goodship
      The Mary Rose was King Henry VIII's flagship before it sank in battle on the 19th July 1545. Over four hundred men went down with the ship and the environment of the Solent meant their remains were quickly covered in silt. Between 1979 and 1982 the remains of 179 individuals were recovered and examined as part of the excavation of the Mary Rose. The anaerobic environment created by the silt preserved the sailors' bones in remarkable condition and to date much has been learnt about life on the ship. In this study we used Raman spectroscopy (a non-destructive technique), to investigate the chemistry of the human bones, specifically for the identification of disease in archaeological specimens, for the first time. Raman data were collected from five anatomically normal tibiae and five tibiae that were bowed (individuals suspected to have suffered from bone disease in childhood). The data were processed using multivariate analysis (principal component analysis) and results showed the presence of chemical abnormalities in the bowed bones which resulted in the separation of the bones into two clearly defined groups, normal and bowed.


      PubDate: 2014-12-18T10:13:09Z
       
  • Copper processing in the oases of northwest Arabia: technology, alloys and
           provenance
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2015
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 53
      Author(s): Siran Liu , Thilo Rehren , Ernst Pernicka , Arnulf Hausleiter
      Very little is known about early metallurgical activity in the north-western part of the Arabian Peninsula, despite the region's cultural importance. To begin to address this research lacuna, metallurgical remains including crucible fragments, metal dross and a copper artefact were sampled from two oases in northwest Arabia, Qurayyah and Tayma. The metallurgical activity in Qurayyah is dated to the Late Bronze Age, and in Tayma to the Roman/Late Roman period. At both sites we identified evidence for copper alloying and refining. Small scale copper smelting might also have been practiced in Qurayyah. Arsenical copper was processed at both sites, but in Tayma tin bronze and leaded tin bronze dominated. The chemical analysis of metal prills in crucible linings showed that fresh copper and tin instead of scrap metal were employed in these processes. Lead isotope analysis indicates that at least some of the Tayma metal was imported. Access to raw materials from remote areas is consistent with the importance of Tayma in the trading network of northwest Arabia.


      PubDate: 2014-12-06T07:33:15Z
       
  • ‘Choicest unguents’: molecular evidence for the use of
           resinous plant exudates in late Roman mortuary rites in Britain
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 4 December 2014
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science
      Author(s): R.C. Brettell , E.M.J. Schotsmans , P. Walton Rogers , N. Reifarth , R.C. Redfern , B. Stern , C.P. Heron
      Resinous substances were highly prized in the ancient world for use in ritual contexts. Details gleaned from classical literature indicate that they played a significant role in Roman mortuary rites, in treatment of the body and as offerings at the tomb. Outside of Egypt, however, where research has shown that a range of plant exudates were applied as part of the mummification process, resins have rarely been identified in the burial record. This is despite considerable speculation regarding their use across the Roman Empire. Focusing on one region, we investigated organic residues from forty-nine late Roman inhumations from Britain. Using gas chromatography–mass spectrometry and the well-attested biomarker approach, terpenic compounds were characterized in fourteen of the burials analysed. These results provided direct chemical evidence for the presence of exudates from three different plant families: coniferous Pinaceae resins, Mediterranean Pistacia spp. resins (mastic/terebinth) and exotic Boswellia spp. gum-resins (frankincense/olibanum) from southern Arabia or beyond. The individuals accorded this rite had all been interred with a package of procedures more elaborate than the norm. These findings illuminate the multiplicity of roles played by resinous substances in Roman mortuary practices in acting to disguise the odour of decomposition, aiding temporary soft-tissue preservation and signifying the social status of the deceased. Nevertheless, it was their ritual function in facilitating the transition to the next world that necessitated transportation to the most remote outpost of the late Roman Empire, Britain.


      PubDate: 2014-12-06T07:33:15Z
       
  • Metallurgical traditions under Inka rule: A technological study of metals
           and technical ceramics from the Aconcagua Valley, Central Chile
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 4 December 2014
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science
      Author(s): María Teresa Plaza , Marcos Martinón-Torres
      The spread of the Inka state in the Aconcagua Valley (Central Chile) is thought to have been culturally mediated, avoiding military coercion, and thus leading to different forms of cultural acceptance, resistance or hybridisation. However, there has been no previous attempt to investigate the extent to which these interactions are reflected in the use of metals and metallurgical technologies. Here we present analytical work on metallic artefacts and technical ceramics from Cerro La Cruz and Los Nogales, two Valley sites with evidence dated to the Late Period (ca. AD 1400-1540). The analyses included SEM-EDS, optical microscopy, petrography, XRD and FTIR. The results suggest that the sites represent different technological traditions. At Cerro La Cruz, the style of the metal objects and the lack of tin bronzes reflect continuity with an ancient metallurgical tradition with bases in the Diaguita Culture, rather than a wholesale adoption of an Inka metallurgical tradition. In Los Nogales, the presence of tin bronze and the use of perforated crucibles and other technical ceramics lined with bone ash is consistent with a tradition closely related to the Inka expansion and north-western Argentina, perhaps reflecting a stronger receptivity towards the new technologies. This disparity supports the idea that the Inka domination in the Valley was not forceful, and suggests a closer relationship between the state and some local groups, not previously identified.


      PubDate: 2014-12-06T07:33:15Z
       
  • Refining human palaeodietary reconstruction using amino acid δ15N
           values of plants, animals and humans
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2015
      Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 53
      Author(s): Amy K. Styring , Rebecca A. Fraser , Rose-Marie Arbogast , Paul Halstead , Valasia Isaakidou , Jessica A. Pearson , Marguerita Schäfer , Sevasti Triantaphyllou , Soultana Maria Valamoti , Michael Wallace , Amy Bogaard , Richard P. Evershed
      An established method of estimating the trophic level of an organism is through stable isotope analysis of its tissues and those of its diet. This method has been used in archaeology to reconstruct past human diet from the stable nitrogen isotope (δ15N) values of human and herbivore bone collagen. However, this approach, using the 15N-enrichment of human bone collagen δ15N values over associated herbivore bone collagen δ15N values to predict the relative importance of animal protein, relies on the assumptions that: (i) the δ15N values of plants consumed by humans and herbivores are identical, and (ii) the 15N-enrichment between diet and consumer is consistent. Bone collagen amino acid δ15N values have the potential to tackle these uncertainties, as they constrain the factors influencing bone collagen δ15N values. In this study, the δ15N values of glutamic acid and phenylalanine in human and herbivore bone collagen isolates from Neolithic sites in Germany, Greece and Turkey were determined by gas chromatography-combustion-isotope ratio mass spectrometry. The fraction of animal protein in total dietary protein consumed by the humans was estimated by: (i) comparing bulk human and herbivore collagen δ15N values, (ii) comparing bulk human and herbivore collagen and ancient charred cereal grain δ15N values, (iii) comparing human bone collagen δ15NGlutamic acid and δ15NPhenylalanine values, and (iv) comparing δ15NGlutamic acid values of human and herbivore bone collagen and estimated δ15NGlutamic acid values of ancient charred cereal grains. Where determined cereal grain δ15N values are higher than estimated herbivore forage values, estimates of animal protein consumption are significantly lower, emphasising the importance of the plant nitrogen contribution to human bone collagen. This study also highlights the need for further investigation into: (i) the Δ15NConsumer-Diet values of glutamic acid and phenylalanine in terrestrial ecosystems, and (ii) Δ15NGlutamic acid-Phenylalanine values of common plant foods in order to improve the accuracy and more widespread applicability of amino acid-based methods for palaeodietary reconstruction.


      PubDate: 2014-12-06T07:33:15Z
       
 
 
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