- by Brigid S. Grund, Stephen E. Williams and Todd A. Surovell
"Living soil microorganisms are ubiquitous and could provide unrealized contributions to paleoenvironmental, dating, and other archaeological research. We evaluated the effectiveness of a previously proposed microbiological technique for paleoclimatic reconstruction (which has been applied but not adequately verified), and also introduced and tested a preliminary method of using soil microbe density for relative dating. Soils from a sample column representing a complete chronosequence at Hell Gap, Locality I, Wyoming, were cultured on three different solid media. To test the paleoclimatic reconstruction method, trophic group data were tested for serial correlation and compared to soil and phytolith analyses formerly completed at the site. Microbial trophic group composition significantly correlated to soil pH, but not to prior precipitation reconstructions. Further refinement is required before the paleoclimatic reconstruction method can be implemented with confidence. Additionally, microbial density decreased with age, suggesting a temporal signature within the sample column and that density could potentially be used as a relative dating technique" (read more/open access).
Your free click generates donations from our sponsors. You may click once a day, every day. 100% of the donations raised go directly to the Jane Goodall Institute, which runs sanctuaries in Africa where orphaned chimpanzees can be cared for and given the chance to live reasonably full lives in spacious conditions. Your click helps JGI feed these rescued primates.
- by Richard Jennings, Ash Parton, Huw S. Groucutt, Laine Clark-Balzan, Paul Breeze, Nick A. Drake, Abdullah Alsharekh and Michael D. Petraglia
”Many parts of the Arabian Peninsula contain rock art that has received minimal archaeological attention or has not yet been thoroughly surveyed. In 2001 an extensive rock-art complex called Shuwaymis, Ha’il Province, Saudi Arabia was brought to the attention of the Saudi General Commission for Tourism and Antiquities. This paper sets out the results of the first high-resolution geospatial mapping and recording of rock art at this remote site. The research saw the innovative use of a differential GPS to record rock-art panels to within 5 mm of accuracy at the site of Shuwaymis-2, the first time that such technology has been used to record rock art in the Arabian Peninsula. With such technology it was possible to show which of eighty-three late prehistoric rock-art panels surveyed were in their original position and which had fallen, and to demonstrate that there was spatial homogeneity of rock-art styles and composition across the site. The mapping recorded multiple panels of cattle, ibex, equid, large cat and other animals. The depictions of lions and cattle in particular indicate that the rock art must have been engraved no later than the early Holocene humid phase (c.10–6 ka BP)” (read more/open access).
(Open access source: Arabian Archaeology and Epigraphy 25:1-21, 2014 via Academia.edu)
Minghao Dong was born in Inner Mongolia, China. Graduated from University of Dalian in 2008, Minghao works predominantly in the medium of painting but also engravings and installations. Gerard Richter has been the greatest influence. This new series of paintings is a reflection of the artist pondering on the properties of human, life and death in a time characterized by impatience, fragments, nihility, and a duality of highly developed civilization and disorder. Minghao Dong has had solo exhibitions in Dalian at Tianyi Gallery, and has participated several group exhibitions in China. He lives and works in Paris since 2009.
© All images courtesy of the artist
[more Minghao Dong]
An Example of Osteogenesis Imperfecta in the Archaeological Record
Skeleton B532 with possible OI. Image taken from Cope & Dupras article, fig. 4 p.196
Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI), more commonly known as ‘brittle bone’ disease is a condition which causes bones to be fragile and break easily. I have a personal interest in this condition and therefore wondered if there was any evidence of the condition in the archaeological record. A quick search produced this…
Oh, hello there!
Friendly skeleton from Natural History for the use of schools and families (1864)
- Hervé Bocherens, Anne Bridault, Dorothée G. Drucker, Michael Hofreiter, Susanne C. Münzel, Mathias Stiller and Johannes van der Plicht
“We report here a new discovery of a cave bear left metatarsal 3 from Rochedane, an archaeological site near Montbeliard (French Jura) that yielded only Lateglacial and Holocene material, with no evidence of pre-LGM deposits, a context that made this bone a possible candidate for being a post-LGM cave bear in western Europe. To test this hypothesis, this bone was analyzed for mitochondrial DNA, which confirmed its attribution to cave bear of the Ursus spelaeus lineage, and a direct radiocarbon AMS dating on well preserved collagen (%C, %N and C/N well in the range of fresh collagen) yielded an age of 23,900 +110 -100 BP (28,730-28,500 cal BP, one sigma range). Its carbon and nitrogen isotopic values were similar to those of slightly older cave bears from the Swabian Jura, around 300 km to the East, suggesting that the ecological preferences of cave bears remained unchanged until the extirpation of this species in western Europe. Interestingly, the genetic type U. spelaeus was replaced by Ursus ingressus around 28,000 14C BP in the Swabian Jura. In contrast, the older type U. spelaeus apparently persisted in France ca. 3000 years longer. Traces left on the cave bear metapodium have been left by human activity on this bone, as it was the case for older cave bear bones from the Swabian Jura. This case study shows that cave bear remains found in post-LGM sites or layers may be candidates to be late survivors of this extinct species, but without direct radiocarbon AMS dated on well-preserved collagen (demonstrated by actual chemical composition results) and ancient DNA confirmation of the species attribution, such evidence can only be considered dubious” (read more/open access).
(Open access source: Quaternary International 339/340: 179-188, 2014 via Academia.edu)
- by Geraldine E. Fahy, Christophe Boesche, Jean-Jacques Hublin and MIchael P. Richards
(Source: American Association of Physical Anthropologists, Calgary, Canada 2014 via Academia.edu)