After reading the Top Ten Discoveries of 2015, I personally think that the best one was the one titled, “Tracing Slave Origins.” The title immediately caught my eye and I thought that it was by far the most interesting find out of the ten. I find the whole topic of slavery and the history behind it to be very intriguing. So the fact that they were able to find the remains from three slaves and were able to trace their origins is absolutely amazing to me.
Originally, the remains had been discovered by construction workers in 2010. One thing that I thought was really interesting was that the archaeologists found that their teeth were all intentionally grinded down, which was a key characteristic for people in certain regions in Africa. However, more context of this discovery was found using “whole-genome capture and next-generation sequencing.” These methods were necessary due to the lack and fragmentation of the remaining DNA found in the bones. Based off this DNA analysis they were able to determine all three of the bodies’ origins. This is very important because it could potentially lead to new information on slave traffic patterns and the origin of where it all began.
One interpretation that was made was when the archaeologists noticed the grinded down teeth. Just based off that, they assumed that these people were of some sort of African descent. This gave them a great base to start with when trying to narrow down where exactly each body was from. With the help of their whole genome sequencing they were able to determine where each person was born and what types of families/tribes they belonged to.
Overall the Top Ten Discoveries of 2015 were all great reads! I found all of them pretty interesting, especially the ones that related to finding human remains and luxurious artifacts. I was really shocked to read how old some of these findings were! Especially the stone tools that aged to be 3.3 million years old and the cave paintings that dated back to almost 40,000 years ago! It’s really cool to me how things that old could still be discovered and even dated. Another shocker that stood out to me was the Bronze Age Bride because she was dated to live around 1370 B.C. and her hair, clothes, and fingernails were still all intact. All of these discoveries just prove how fascinating it can be to discover remains from the past and use them to interpret what life could have been like so many years ago.