I found the “Tracing Slave Origins” discovery to the best discovery, because I am really interested in the genetic differences between ethnicities. I also love learning about how humans have changed over time and with migration! Back in 2010, researchers used a new genetic technique that retrieves ancient genetic information on the remains of three slaves (The Zoutsteeg Three) on a Caribbean island. Archaeologists noticed that the teeth of the three slaves were filed down – which was a common occurrence among African individuals. Experts from the University of Copenhagen and Stanford University performed new and highly technical DNA sequencing to discover that two of the slaves probably originated from Bantu-speaking regions of Nigeria and Ghana, while the other one probably originated from the Bantu-speaking region of Cameroon. This discovery is important to our study of Caribbean slavery and of African genealogy. I wish I knew a rough estimate of the time era which the Zoutsteeg Three lived!
I also found the article about the new human relative to be interesting! The way that the researchers named the species Homo naledi and described the species to have a small head (with a brain probably the size of an orange), feet meant for walking upright, and shoulders and fingers meant for climbing placed a visual picture in my head and made me want to learn more about the species of our ancestors, and of the first species of the genus Homo. This article came in a close second to the “Tracing Slave Origins”! As you can tell, I am most interested in learning about the discoveries of human remains!
What stirred up my interest in these top ten finds, was the variety in the artifacts found. I assumed that each of the findings would be of tools, or manmade artifacts, but was surprised to see and learn about discoveries of humans! I also enjoyed reading about the findings of the aristocrats in Jamestown, and find it amazing how new discoveries are constantly being made there, though it has been a ubiquitous site for archaeological excavations over the years. I never knew that the high lead content in some of the human remains of the people in Jamestown indicated that they frequently used drinking vessels. When the archaeological findings are tied to historical knowledge of humans, so much information is discovered about people of different places and their lifestyles! Reading these articles gave me a new insight on the huge variety of archaeological findings that occur all over the world.