1. For me the most interesting discovery among the top 10 discoveries found in 2015 is the skull that was found in St. Martin. I think it is really amazing that archaeologists could actually combined the technique used in molecular biology by tracing the genetic materials. I am also curious and amazed that long time buried DNA can still be retrieved and analyzed with next generation sequencing technology. As far as I know, genetic material would be degraded easily after certain period of time. However, this is a really great discovery and analysis overall, where they could date back and compare with modern African populations.
2. The cultural material found is a skull displaying a filed teeth of a person of African origin, but it was discovered in the Caribbean island of St. Martin. It had been found by construction workers in 2010. From this discovery of skeletal remain, they successfully analyzed it with a new technology which then figured a way to trace back to their ethnic origin.
3. In my perspective as a student majoring in biochemistry and molecular biology, I am really impressed on how sequencing technology, which recently used by scientists and researchers, is actually useful in archaeology as well. I never thought that fragmented DNA which might have been buried more thousands years ago can still be retrieved and analyzed. Because in the laboratory settings, pure isolated DNA would be really vulnerable to degradation and would not be accurate anymore if they are degraded. So, I believe that retrieval of genetic material from the skull is not a usual things that have been used by archaeologists, and must have been followed a strict rule to be able to recover them.
I choose this discovery as my #1 because it is discussing about how archaeologists used the analytical method in the field of molecular biology (DNA sequencing technology). I am quite familiar with how this technology worked, and so I am amazed that this technology is actually helpful not only for researchers in the field but also archaeologists. The other discovery that also attracted me is the world’s oldest pretzel which was recovered in Germany. I still feel that it does not make sense at all that baked goods have been staying there since 18th century. I imagine that baked goods when left in one place even only for a year will be totally covered with mold, or it might have been eaten by animals or microorganisms.