W5 Reflection Post

When reading the top ten discoveries it was difficult to pick the best discovery because they were all so diverse and contributed to anthropology and archaeology in different ways. What I have decided is most significant is the discovery made in Copenhagen, Denmark. The reason I choose this discovery is because it has the potential to answer the most questions. While other discoveries may have been more surprising or disproved a formally thought fact, this discovery comes with the ability to do many tests on many different aspects of the burial. Due to the unique nature of her well-preserved remains, scientists have access to materials that would usually be completely destroyed. Clothing, hair, tooth enamel, fingernails, brain and skin. In addition there are the remains of a young child. With the materials found not only can scientists look at the biomedical aspect of these two individual’s lives, but also they can make observations about their cultural and social facets. What is interesting from this discovery is that with the use of the tooth enamel, and biomedical analysis, they were able to answer the question of where this woman was from. With the surprising results of these tests, that she was in fact from 500 miles away in Germany, new questions came to light about why she was found so far from her home. Using her hair and finger nails they were able to conclude that she was likely sent away for marriage but made several trips back and forth at the end of her life. An explanation of this behavior was ascertained by the presence of the remains of the boy. From knowledge of traditional customs, it is probable that in order to secure the alliance created by the marriage, the woman was sent back to Germany with a boy from Denmark to be raised by her culture and from Denmark a relative of hers would be raised in Germany.

This discovery was extremely important in both the physical and social sciences. Organic materials, which under normal circumstances would have been completely disintegrated, have the potential to answer questions relating to genetics, evolution, biology, and other physical science fields. Using the data gathered by the physical scientists, questions relating to culture, relationships, hierarchy, and other social sciences can be answered. What I found surprising between all of the top ten discoveries was how even though they were all vastly different; they all had significant contributions to the fields in which they were concerned. Many of the discoveries changed the way people viewed a society, or a time period, or even the human race.

2 thoughts on “W5 Reflection Post

  1. Sophia, I agree that trying to decide which discovery was the best was difficult, because they were all very unique in their contribution. The woman found in Denmark was indeed an interesting article, and shows how many different tests and pieces of evidence can be pieced together to make a single conclusion. I also commented in my own post about the use of the woman’s tooth enamel to make a discovery about where she is from, which ended up being a very important part of the archaeological study, and part of what makes this discovery unique. This, along with knowledge about marriages between groups at that time, concluded the reconstruction of her past.

  2. The Bronze Age bride discovery was really interesting. I thought it was cool that researchers were able to determine the fact that she wasn’t originally from Jutland and that she traveled back and forth from there to her home in the Black Forest. I thought it was interesting that some of her brain was still preserved, like you mentioned. I thought it was interesting, and unique, the way you related the discovery’s physical and social science aspects. It is really cool to think that all the information archaeologists have gathered came from things like hair and fingernails and some clothing.

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