Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences

https://link.springer.com/journal/12520

List of Papers (Total 125)

Plant microfossils in human dental calculus from Nemrik 9, a Pre-Pottery Neolithic site in Northern Iraq

Samples of dental calculus were taken from 11 human individuals buried at Nemrik 9, a Pre-Pottery Neolithic site in Northern Iraq. All of them represented the time span of ca. 9100–8600 bp. In total, 95 microfossils were retrieved from these samples, including 70 phytoliths, 9 starch granules or clusters of starch, 3 pollens, and 1 xylem fragment. Most microfossils could be...

Shell we cook it? An experimental approach to the microarchaeological record of shellfish roasting

In this paper, we investigate the microarchaeological traces and archaeological visibility of shellfish cooking activities through a series of experimental procedures with direct roasting using wood-fueled fires and controlled heating in a muffle furnace. An interdisciplinary geoarchaeological approach, combining micromorphology, FTIR (in transmission and ATR collection modes...

Animal keeping in Chalcolithic north-central Anatolia: what can stable isotope analysis add?

Stable isotope analysis is an essential investigative technique, complementary to more traditional zooarchaeological approaches to elucidating animal keeping practices. Carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) stable isotope values of 132 domesticates (cattle, caprines and pigs) were evaluated to investigate one aspect of animal keeping, animal forage, at the Late Chalcolithic (mid...

The effect of population variation on the accuracy of sex estimates derived from basal occipital discriminant functions

Multiple discriminant functions that estimate sex from the dimensions of the basal occipital have been published. However, as there is limited exploration of basal dimension variation between groups, the accuracy of these functions when applied to archaeological material is unknown. This study compares basal dimensions between four known sex-at-death post-medieval European...

Impact of modern cattle feeding practices on milk fatty acid stable carbon isotope compositions emphasise the need for caution in selecting reference animal tissues and products for archaeological investigations

Degraded animal fats, characterised by the presence of palmitic (C16:0) and stearic (C18:0) fatty acids and related glycerolipids are the most common class of preserved lipids in organic residues trapped in the porous clay matrix of archaeological ceramic vessels. The ubiquitous presence of fatty acids in animal fats and plant oils precludes identification of fat types by the...

Sex estimation using cervical dental measurements in an archaeological population from Iran

Sex estimation of skeletal remains is one of the major components of forensic identification of unknown individuals. Teeth are a potential source of information on sex and are often recovered in archaeological or forensic contexts due to their post-mortem longevity. Currently, there is limited data on dental sexual dimorphism of archaeological populations from Iran. This paper...

An archaeometric study of Hellenistic glass vessels: evidence for multiple sources

In the present study, 53 glass fragments from core-formed vessels and 3 glass beads are investigated using SEM/EDX, EPMA and LA-ICP-MS. All samples were excavated in the Latin settlement of Satricum in central west Italy and apart from two, were found in the so-called fourth–third c. BC Hellenistic Votive deposit, also known as Votive Deposit III, discovered in front of the...

Compound-specific amino acid isotopic proxies for distinguishing between terrestrial and aquatic resource consumption

Compound-specific amino acid carbon-isotope compositions have shown particular promise for elucidating dietary behaviors in complex environmental contexts, and may also be able to mitigate the effect of many of the limitations inherent to palaeodietary reconstructions. Here, we investigate the efficacy of compound-specific amino acid isotopic proxies in characterizing the...

Agricultural change in Copper Age Croatia (ca. 4500–2500 cal B.C)?

The Copper Age in the Carpathian Basin is marked by a distinct change in settlement patterns, material culture, social traditions and subsistence practices; however, few studies address the nature of crop cultivation in the region. This paper examines new archaeobotanical data from 13 Copper Age (ca. 4500–2500 cal BC) sites located in continental Croatia, in order to assess the...

Using lithic assemblage formation to approach Middle Palaeolithic settlement dynamics: El Salt Stratigraphic Unit X (Alicante, Spain)

The superposition of anthropogenic remains usually results in archaeological palimpsests, hindering an accurate characterization of the behavior underlying such remains. Aimed at facing this methodological constraint in the study of Palaeolithic contexts, we present a contextual approach to Neanderthal settlement dynamics based on an understanding of lithic assemblage formation...

Continuity and change in cereal grinding technology at Kültepe, Turkey

Change in Mediterranean grinding technology during the Hellenistic/Roman period affected the pattern of dental microwear since external grit particles were finer when flour was prepared using large rotary querns. Therefore, it is possible to detect the technological change through the analysis of human dentition. Here, the sample of teeth from Kültepe (ancient Kanesh), Turkey, is...

Historical materials from the post-Cistercian abbey in Kamieniec Ząbkowicki (southwestern Poland)—application of mineralogical methods for identification of source of raw materials

In this paper, we use a set of methods applied for geosciences to reveal the provenance of raw materials and historical aspects of technology of lime production from the post-Cistercian church (southwestern Poland). Two types of building stones (mica schists and sandstones) and two groups of mortars, related with two different construction phases (Gothic and Baroque), were used...

The influence of manuring on stable isotopes (δ13C and δ15N) in Celtic bean (Vicia faba L.): archaeobotanical and palaeodietary implications

This paper examines the impact of animal manure on δ15N and δ13C values in a legume, Celtic Black broad bean (Vicia faba). In a field experiment, V. faba was cultivated in plots treated with farmyard manure and pure sheep manure. The results indicate that highly intensive manuring can increase δ15N values in beans, stems, leaves and pods. In comparison, manuring had a relatively...

Beeswax remnants, phase and major element chemical composition of the bronze age mould from Gaj Oławski (SW Poland)

The recently found metal casting mould from Gaj Oławski (SW Poland) was designed for the production of socketed axes typical for later stages of the Bronze Age in Poland (ca. 1100–900 bc). This unique artefact is a half of a durable, two-piece wedge-shaped mould and measures 17.5 × 7.2 × 4.0 cm. The surface of the mould is covered copper oxides and carbonates, and the remnant of...

Social stratigraphy in Late Iron Age Switzerland: stable carbon, nitrogen and sulphur isotope analysis of human remains from Münsingen

The Iron Age cemetery of Münsingen in Switzerland with 220 abundantly equipped burials marked a milestone for Iron Age research. The horizontal spread throughout the time of its occupancy laid the foundation for the chronology system of the Late Iron Age. Today, skulls of 77 individuals and some postcranial bones are still preserved. The aim of the study was to obtain information...

Burial condition is the most important factor for mtDNA PCR amplification success in Palaeolithic equid remains from the Alpine foreland

Faunal remains from Palaeolithic sites are important genetic sources to study preglacial and postglacial populations and to investigate the effect of climate change and human impact. Post mortem decay, resulting in fragmented and chemically modified DNA, is a key obstacle in ancient DNA analyses. In the absence of reliable methods to determine the presence of endogenous DNA in...

A (not so) dangerous method: pXRF vs. EPMA-WDS analyses of copper-based artefacts

Analysis of metal objects with portable and handheld X-ray fluorescence spectrometry has become increasingly popular in recent years. Here, methodological concerns that apply to non-destructive, surface examination with XRF instruments of ancient metal artefacts are discussed based on the comparative analyses of a set of copper-based objects by means of portable X-ray...

Elevated δ15N values in mammoths: a comparison with modern elephants

The extinct Pleistocene woolly mammoth bone collagen shows compared with collagen from other contemporaneous large herbivores remarkably high δ15N values. In order to investigate if the observed discrepancy in δ15N values between Pleistocene woolly mammoths and coeval large ungulates also exists in modern relatives, we investigated the δ15N (and δ13C) values in nails of modern...