December 11, New research from anthropologists at McMaster University and California State University, San Bernardino CSUSB , is shedding light on ancient dietary practices, the evolution of agricultural societies and ultimately, how plants have become an important element of the modern diet. Researchers examined plant remains found on ceramic artifacts such as bowls, bottles and jars, and stone tools such as blades and drills, dating to the Early Formative period BCE , which were excavated from the village site of La Consentida, located in the coastal region of Oaxaca in southwest Mexico. They focused on remnants of starch grains, which are where plants store energy, and phytoliths, also known as 'microfossils,' a rigid, microscopic structure made of silica which is produced by plants and can survive the decay process. Both types of microbotanical remains are routinely recovered from artifacts to analyze ancient foodways.
Jack Rink - School of Earth, Environment & Society | McMaster University
Researchers at McMaster University have found that a person's first permanent molars carry a life-long record of health information dating back to the womb, storing vital information that can connect maternal health to a child's health, even hundreds of years later. Dentin, the material under the enamel that makes up the bulk of a tooth, forms in microscopic layers that compare to the rings of a tree. Adequate formation of those layers is dependent on Vitamin D. Dark streaks develop in periods when the body is deprived of the critical nutrient, usually because of a lack of sunlight. The researchers, led by anthropologist Megan Brickley, had previously established that such microscopic defects remain in place and can be read later, in the same way a tree trunk can show years of good and poor growth.
Researchers analyze artifacts to better understand ancient dietary practices
Oct Posted by jmoser in Uncategorized 4 Comments. Jack Rink about a new technique that he using to determine the age of the Crystal River archaeological site.
Nuclear dating plays an important role for determining the age of geological samples. The initial step in the dating process is the irradiation of the geological sample in a neutron flux to convert a portion of the the naturally occurring stable isotope K to Ar, a radioisotope with a moderate half-life of years. Another isotope of argon, Ar, will also be present in the sample as the decay product of the naturally occurring long-lived radioisotope K with a half life of 1,,, years.