W7 Archaeology in the News Reflection Post

I really enjoy reading all of the discoveries found and posted in the archaeology in the news post. However, my favorite article is, “New Technique could Identify Markers of Starvation in Teeth”. I am really impressed when I first noticed that radiocarbon dating analysis can go further beyond determining the age of artifacts. In this article, the technique is used to quantitate the composition of the denten collagen in the teeth ad bone collagen based on carbon and nitrogen isotopes. From here, they estimated nutrition level and their diet in the past. Smaller amounts of collagen correspond to poorer nutrition level and vice versa.

Overall, I think this is a really cool project because it can be combined with another archaeological documents or records, to complement the missing story pieces. For example, at the end of the article, it was being mentioned that corn might be part of their diet because the fact that corn was imported from America at that time. This argument can be supported further by spatial distribution of the sites and also human remains analysis to see how their diet affecting the structure of their teeth.

It is awesome to learn about all of different things that archaeologists have been doing until now. I think we should never stop learning and discovering about the past, so we can prepare for a better future.

4 thoughts on “W7 Archaeology in the News Reflection Post

  1. This sounds like an awesome article! I did not know that radiocarbon dating could do more than just help archeologists find out artifact’s ages. It was also really interesting how closely archeology can tie in with other topics, such as chemistry. I wonder if archeologists can now use this method and apply it to other situations with teeth, such as what people’s specific diets were and how this might have impacted their health. I agree with you that this is a really cool project because it also can tie in with, as you mentioned, topics like agriculture and depending on how agriculture changes, people’s diets change. Great post!

  2. I really enjoyed this article because it had radiocarbon dating in it, a process we learned about in this course. It is a rather important process as it allows us to look at the artifacts and how old they may be. It was really cool to also read this article since I am a science major. I had no idea archaeology often looks at other fields and uses science in some aspects of its studies. Obviously, radiocarbon dating is a very scientific process, yet it is also an archaeological process as this article so clearly illustrates. I really enjoyed your article as it provided several uses for this process

  3. Through the duration of this course, I have found myself more and more impressed with the amount of information we can derive from human remains. While finding other remains, such as burnt food, or artifacts, such as bottles and pots, have clear implications, human remains seem to have endless amounts of information stored within… as long as said information can be obtained ethically, of course.

    Using the composition of dental and bone collagen to determine diet/nutrition? I never would have imagined. And to be able to extrapolate from there that there were trade relations with the Americas? Incredible. Excellent choice of article.

  4. I remember this news and it sounds great. Actually, the most important thing I learnt from the news post this summer is about technology development. There are so many new technologies applied in archaeology and help researchers understand more with current discovers. This one is definitely one of the most exciting developments among them. It seems that this radiocarbon dating analysis on tooth could help archaeologists identify the diet and nutrition level in the past. This is really cool because researchers would able to predict much more thing with these information, such us culture, policy, and etc., and understand the past better.

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