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PhD SUBMISSION!

Posted on February 10, 2014

Tina Lynn Greenfield, PhD student at the Grahame Clark Lab, submitted her thesis at the Student Registry last Friday. Her thesis looked at 'Feeding Empires: The Political Economy of a Neo-Assyrian Provincial Capital through the Analysis of Zooarchaeological Remains'. 

Congratulations, Tina!




Borneo rainforest
Borneo rainforest. Image: Shankar Raman (Wikimedia, used under a CC-BY-3.0)

RAINFORESTS IN FAR EAST SHAPED BY HUMANS FOR THE LAST 11,000 YEARS

 Posted on January 30, 2014

The rainforests of Borneo, Sumatra, Java, Thailand and Vietnam were previously thought to have been largely unaffected by humans, but the latest research from Queen’s University Palaeoecologist Dr Chris Hunt, in partnership with Grahame Clark's member Dr Ryan Rabett, suggests otherwise. This has led to a dramatic rethink regarding the Neolithisation of this region (Source: Past Horizons - read more about it here).

You can read Hunt and Rabett's article here (£)

 

 

From These Bare BonesREUTILIZATION OR SPECIALIZATION IN ROMAN SPAIN?

Posted on January 28, 2014

New publication by Dr Lídia Colominas, Grahame Clark member, in Choyke and O'Connor's latest edited book 'From These Bare Bones: Raw Materials and the Study of Worked Osseous Objects

Colominas, L. 2013. Specialization or reutilization? Study of the selection documented in a raw material assemblage recovered in the roman city of Baetulo (Badalona, Spain). In Choyke, A. and S. O'Connor (eds), From These Bare Bones: Raw Materials and the Study of Worked Osseous Objects. Oxford: Oxbow Books, 87-95. If you wish to purchase a copy of the book you can do so here.

 

 

RITUAL PRACTICES AND COLLECTIVE CONSUMPTION OF ANIMAL PRODUCTS

 Posted on July 8, 2013

Environmental Archaeology JournalDr Lídia Colominas, Grahame Clark member, has recently co-authored a paper published in the Journal of Environmental Archaeology entitled:'Ritual practices and collective consumption of animal products at the Iron Age rural settlement of Mas Castellar de Pontós(Girona, Spain) (5th‐4th centuries BC)'.

Abstract: Animals have played an important role in certain ceremonies or rites in the past. During such activities, animals may have been alive, dead or been used as raw material. The disposal of detritus from these practices can lead to the formation of faunal assemblages with a particular taxonomic and anatomic composition. At the Iron Age ‘Mas Castellar de Pontós’ site (Girona, Spain), associations of archaeological materials excavated from Pit feature FS362 were suggestive of deposits arising from collective ceremonial consumption. Analysis of the 1309 mammal remains recovered from this feature is used to determine the nature and dynamics of the ceremony. At the same time, the relationship of these faunal remains with the other archaeological materials recovered in the pit will allow light to be shed on the significance and importance ofthese ceremonies in the framework of the social and political relations that governed the life of the inhabitants of this settlement.

To download a copy of the paper (£) click here.

 

 

TROWELBLAZERS ON CNN!

 Posted on June 20, 2013

CNN

 

Trowelblazers was recently featured in CNN.com 's 'Leading Women' section. To read the article ('Trowelblazers: In Search of the Female Indiana Jones') click here.

 

TROWELBLAZERS BLOG

 Posted on June 13, 2013

TrowelblazersDr Suzanne Pilaar Birch, Grahame Clark Alumna and currently a postdoc at Brown University (USA), recently co-founded Trowelblazers. This blog is a celebration of women archaeologists, palaeontologists and geologists who have been doing awesome work for far longer, and in far greater numbers, than most people realise. Submissions welcome!

For more information visit the blog at http://trowelblazers.tumblr.com/

 

 

RICHARD III PAPER PUBLISHED IN ANTIQUITY

 Posted on May 24, 2013

Antiquity recently published a paper on the excavation of Richard III's remains by the University of Leicester, where Dr Jo Appleby, Grahame Clark alumna, is Lecturer in Human Bioarchaeology.

'The king in the car park’: New light on the death and burial of Richard III in the Grey Friars church, Leicester, in 1485 by Richard Buckley (1), Mathew Morris (1), Jo Appleby (2), Turi King (2,3), Deirdre O'Sullivan (2) and Lin Foxhall (2). To download the paper (£), click here.

1 University of Leicester Archaeological Services, University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester LE1 7RH, UK, 2 School of Archaeology and Ancient History, University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester LE1 7RH, UK, and 3 Department of Genetics, University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester LE1 7RH, UK.

 

 

PROFESSOR TONY LEGGE: AUTHORITY ON THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF ANIMAL BONES

Posted on April 4, 2013

Independent

 

"He lived to the full, as committed to the village he lived in (writing its history, repairing its church roof) as to his archaeology" Professor Graeme Barker

To read Tony's obituary in The Independent please click here.

 

 

DR STIMPSON HEADING OFF TO THE SAA IN HONOLULU!

Posted on March 28, 2013

 

Dr Chris Stimpson, Grahame Clark Member, will be presenting at the SAA's 78th Annual Meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii.

His talk will be on: Birds and People in a 'Biodiversity Hotspot': A 50,000-year Zooarchaeological Perspective from the Great Cave of Niah, Sarawak.

 

Abstract: Analyses of Quaternary-age bone assemblages can provide long timescale insights into the ecology of extant vertebrate taxa and provide historical benchmark data for biological conservation. This presentation reports results from an analysis of bird bones that were recovered during archaeological excavations of a cave site in a biologically diverse lowland rainforest setting in North-Western Borneo.

 

Since the late 19th century, the Great Cave of Niah in Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo has been one of the most intensively studied archaeological sites in Southeast Asia. The archaeological sequences date from ~ 50 ky BP to 0.35 ky BP and have yielded the earliest direct evidence of the presence of anatomically modern humans in Borneo in the late Pleistocene, dated to 40-44 ky BP. Until recently, however, the bird bone assemblages that were recovered from the site have received little attention.

 

The taphonomic challenges faced by a dedicated study are discussed and the insights that the bird bone assemblages provide into the landscapes, people and avian biodiversity of the Niah area in the past are described. The intrinsic value of zooarchaeological data as long-term records of biodiversity and as a means to contextualise human impact in the present is highlighted.

 

When? Thursday 4th of April at 10:30 am Where? Session 35, Symposium, Birds and People of the Pacific: An Archaeornithological Perspective on Circum-Pacific Archaeology (Room 301B, Hawaii Convention Center)

 

SAA

 

PROFESSOR LEGGE'S LAST PUBLICATION

Posted on March 22, 2013

 

Message from Dr Naomi Sykes, University of Nottingham, to the Zooarch List.

"Dear all,


Before our colleague Tony Legge passed away, he had submitted an article to the International Journal of Osteoarchaeology: ‘Practice with Science’: Molar Tooth Eruption Ages in Domestic, Feral and Wild Pigs (Sus scrofa)'.

Although Tony's manuscript was in the process of being revised, we have taken the decision to make his original submission available for free download. You will find a link to his article here: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1002/(ISSN)1099-1212

IJOPeter Rowley-Conwy has written an introduction to the paper which will be published in Volume 23, issue 3 of the journal.

All the best, Naomi

Dr Naomi Sykes, Lecturer in Archaeology
Department of Archaeology
University of Nottingham
NG7 2RD"

 

TWO NEW PUBLICATIONS BY DR LÍDIA COLOMINAS

Posted on March 5, 2013

Colominas BARNew publications by Dr Lídia Colominas, Grahame Clark Lab Member: Colominas, L. 2013. Arqueozoología y Romanización. Producción, Distribución y Consumo de Animales en el Nordeste de la Península Ibérica entre los Siglos V ane-V dne. Oxford: BAR International Series 2480.

The book presents the study on the changes in animal production, distribution and consumption that took place in the north-east of the Iberian Peninsula as a consequence of their incorporation into the Roman Empire. Although this topic has been widely studied internationally on a regional scale, few studies have focussed on north-eastern Iberia. The present study thus aims to fill this gap by providing new data and perspectives on the Romanization process in Iberia by means of zooarchaeological evidences. Faunal remains from six sites occupied between the 5th century BC and 5th century AD are analysed, and later compared to all available zooarchaeological data from Iberia for the same time period.

The text is in Spanish with summaries of each chapter and the conclusions in English.

AND

Colominas et al. 2013. The impact of the Roman Empire on animal husbandry practices: Study of the changes in cattle morphology in the north-east of the Iberian Peninsula through osteometric and ancient DNA analyses. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences. 10.1007/s12520-013-0116-9. The article has just been published and is available to download as 'Online First' from SpringerLink.

HAPPY READING!

 

WHAT DO BONES SAY ABOUT BELIEFS?

Posted on February 15, 2013

 

This video was produced as part of the Digital Research Video Project, led by Suzanne Pilaar Birch (Grahame Clark Alumna) as part of the Social Medial Knowledge Exchange (SMKE) at the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities (CRASSH) at the University of Cambridge. It is based on the PhD research of Rosalind Wallduck, which was carried out at the Grahame Clark Laboratory, and produced by Sarah Castor-Perry. Funding for the project is provided by the Arts & Humanities Research Council (UK) and the video is protected under a creative commons copyright. Feel free to use it for teaching, outreach, share with others etc.

There will be two more animated videos in the coming months, highlighting PhD/postdoc research at Cambridge in archaeology and heritage management-if you are interested in the project as a whole you can check it out at http://www.smke.org/ 

PROFESSOR ANTHONY LEGGE

Posted on February 5, 2013

With great sadness and regret we note the death of Professor Anthony "Tony" Legge, Senior Research Fellow in the McDonald Institute, on February 4, 2013.

Tony made huge and lasting contributions to the development of archaeology during the last half century; his impact on the shaping and professionalisation of zooarchaeology was particularly significant. In other venues and fora there will be a chance to celebrate his many and varied contributions to scholarship. Archaeology is not about things, but about people, and Tony's legacy lives on through the generations of students he taught and inspired at Birkbeck College London and throughout the world. The McDonald Institute, and the Grahame Clark Laboratory for Zooarchaeology (in particular), had the particular privilege and pleasure of enjoying on a daily basis Tony's company, knowledge, wit, humour, and humanity from the time of his retirement from Birkbeck College until his untimely death. We miss him dearly.

LIFE IN AND OUT OF THE GRAHAME CLARK LAB

Posted on January 31, 2013

We're always busy at the Grahame Clark so we thought we'd share some of our members' latest activities and trips with you!

Between the 6th and the 15th of January, Yiru Wang, PhD student at Grahame Clark, visited the mammal collection at SAPM in Munich. The aim of her trip was to study Caprinae skeletons for her doctoral research, which is looking at how closely related species of Caprinae from western China are and how they can be distinguished osteologically (left).

Ningning Dong, MPhil at Newnham, hard at work drawing crab claws from Neolithic deposits in cave sites in North Vietnam (bottom right).

Stuart King, second-year Arch&Anth undergraduate at Emmanuel, has very kindly been volunteering his time since last term to work on the lab reference collections (cataloguing and curation). Many thanks Stuart, much appreciated! Keep up the good work! (top right).

Photo credits: Yiru Wang and Chris Stimpson.

 

WHERE DID HUMANS GO DURING THE LAST ICE AGE?

Posted on January 14, 2013

This video was produced as part of the Digital Research Video Project, led by Suzanne Pilaar Birch (Grahame Clark Alumna) as part of the Social Medial Knowledge Exchange (SMKE) at the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities (CRASSH) at the University of Cambridge. It is based on the PhD research of Pia Spry-Marques, which was carried out at the Grahame Clark Laboratory, and produced by Sarah Castor-Perry. Funding for the project is provided by the Arts & Humanities Research Council (UK) and the video is protected under a creative commons copyright. Feel free to use it for teaching, outreach, share with others etc.

There will be three more animated videos in the coming months, highlighting PhD/postdoc research at Cambridge in archaeology and heritage management-if you are interested in the project as a whole you can check it out at http://www.smke.org/.

 

24th MCDONALD ANNUAL LECTURE

Posted on November 19, 2012

The 24th McDonald Annual Lecture will be delivered by Professor Mary Beaudry on:

'Gastronomical Archaeology: Food, Materiality, and the Aesthetics of Dining'.

Professor Beaudry is Professor of Archaeology, Anthropology, and Gastronomy at Boston University, where since 1980 she has taught historical and industrial archaeology, archaeological method and theory, and archaeology of colonialism and has directed undergraduate and graduate study in historical archaeology; she helped found the Gastronomy master's degree at Boston University in 1991 and has taught anthropology of food and the material culture of cookery and dining in that program. She has conducted fieldwork in Massachusetts, Maine, Virginia, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, the Caribbean, and the Western Isles of Scotland.

Her current research and the topic of her McDonald lecture melds her interests in food, material culture, and theories of practice, identity, and gender in bringing together multiple lines of evidence—archaeological, documentary, visual arts—to interpret the practices, experiences, and aesthetics of cookery and dining in the early modern world.

When? 21st November 2012 at 5.00pm

Where? Plant Sciences Large Lecture Theatre, adjacent to the McDonald Institute, Downing Site , followed by wine reception at the McDonald Institute.

ALL WELCOME! 

 

STABLE ISOTOPES IN ZOOARCHAEOLOGY WORKING GROUP (ICAZ) APPROVED!

Posted on November 14, 2012

The Stable Isotopes in Zooarchaeology working group was proposed by Suzanne Pilaar Birch (Grahame Clark Member) and formally approved at the ICAZ International Committee meeting in Istanbul in October 2012. The working group aims to bridge the gap between "traditional" osteoarchaeology and stable isotope analysis in archaeology, which can and should be used to investigate similar questions about the past, as well as improve their integration within research planning and design, methodology, and application. It will provide a valuable platform for communication amongst those who consider themselves zooarchaeologists, stable isotope analysts, or both. The group already has over 35 members and those who are interested can sign up for the mailing list by emailing zooarchisotopes@jiscmail.ac.uk.

More information on the Working Group can be found by clicking on the banner below.

 

THE BONE ROOM'S PAST: A PERSONAL HISTORIES PROJECT (VIDEO)

Posted on November 9, 2012

The University of Cambridge and the Personal Histories Project present another short film.

Charles Higham speaking at the November 2011 'Bone Room's Past, 'Revolution' in Palaeoeconomic Studies'.

http://sms.cam.ac.uk/media/1335645 (video)

Among the participants were Geoff Bailey, Annie Grant, Tony Legge, Derek Sturdy, Ruth Whitehouse, Graeme Barker, Iain Davidson, Robin Dennell, Andy Garrard, Judith Rodden, David Harris David Kay, Ian Glover, Tina Greenfield, Tamsin O'Connell, Jacqui Mulville, Dale Serjeantson, James Barrett, Barbara Isaac, Charles Turner, Geoffrey King, Nick Winder, Claudio Vita-Finzi, John Bintliff, Helen Higgs, Jamie Cameron, Kevin Edwards, Chris Hunt, John Nandris, Caroline Grigson, Juliet Clutton-Brock and Jan Bay-Peterson.

You can follow the Personal Histories Project on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Personal-Histories-Project/

 

PhD IN ZOOARCHAEOLOGY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CANTABRIA (SPAIN)

Posted on November 8, 2012

PhD in Zooarchaeology at the University of Cantabria (Spain) under the supervision of Dr Ana Belén Marín Arroyo (Grahame Clark alumna), Professor Manuel R. González-Morales and Professor Lawrence G. Straus (University of New Mexico, USA).

Deadline: 14 November. More info here.

PhD GRADUATIONS AND VIVA

Posted on October 31, 2012

Congratulations to Dr Jane Sanford (left) and Dr Pía Spry-Marqués (right) on their doctoral graduations! Congratulations are also in order for Suzanee Pilaar Birch who passed her viva on Thursday the 25th of October!

Photo credits: Alex Gaastra and Edward Spry.

 

HUMAN ADAPTATION IN THE ASIAN PALAEOLITHIC - NEW PUBLICATION

Posted on October 22, 2012

Dr Ryan Rabett, Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the McDonald Insitute for Archaeological Research and member of the Grahame Clark Laboratory, has just published a book with Cambridge University Press on Human Adaptation in the Asian Palaeolithic. As described on the publisher's website:

This book examines the first human colonization of Asia and particularly the tropical environments of Southeast Asia during the Upper Pleistocene. In studying the unique character of the Asian archaeological record, it reassesses long-accepted propositions about the development of human 'modernity.' Ryan J. Rabett reveals an evolutionary relationship between colonization, the challenges encountered during this process – especially in relation to climatic and environmental change – and the forms of behaviour that emerged. This book argues that human modernity is not something achieved in the remote past in one part of the world, but rather is a diverse, flexible, responsive and ongoing process of adaptation.

To purchase a copy click here.

Photo credit: Nguyêń Cao Tâń/Cambridge University Press.

TALKS: LATE IRON AGE AND EARLY ROMAN ANIMAL HUSBANDRY/DENTAL CALCULUS/ANIMAL REMAINS AND CONSERVATION

Posted on October 17, 2012

More zooarchaeology/ostearchaeology talks taking place in Cambridge in the coming days!

- 23rd October 2012 D Caucus Seminar Series (4.30pm, Room 1.04, Faculty of Classics).

"Animal Husbandry Practices between the late Iron Age and the Early Roman Period in the North-East of the Iberian Peninsula" Dr Lídia Colominas-Barberá, Grahame Clark Laboratory, McDonald Insitute for Archaeological Research.

 

- 26th October 2012 George Pitt-Rivers Laboratory Seminar (1.15-2.00pm, McDonald Institute Seminar Room)

"By the skin of its teeth: could dental calculus 'save' archaeological science?" Dr Matthew Collins, University of York.

Abstract: Following the successful completion fo the first human genome, sequencing effort has been expended to characterise the human microbiome, the organisms that live in and on us. The talk will consider the rise of the microbiome as a focus for medical research and how this is shifting views of disease and disease resistance. The evolution and transmission of the microbiome seems to be a difficult challenge for archaeological science, however there has been an explosion of interest in recent years in the potential of dental calculus as a source of information. Could dental calculus be a source of ancient microbiomes, and could it offer a route to convincing funding agencies (who are increasingly targeting their research effort) to reconsider the potential of archaeological science.

 

- 31st October 2012 McDonald Lunchtime Seminar (1.15pm, McDonald Institute Seminar Room)

"Making it count: From ancient animal remains to contemporary conservation"

Dr David Orton, McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research.

Photo credits: Lídia Colominas-Barberá and open source.

 

MORE ZOOARCH TALKS AT CAMBRIDGE

Posted on October 8, 2012

- 11th October 2012 McDonald Special Seminar (1.00-2.00 McDonald Insitute Seminar Room).

"Neanderthal and Modern Human Subsistence in Serbia"Dr Ana Belen Marin (Universidad de Cantabria, Spain).

- 16th October 2012 D Caucus Seminar Series (4.30pm, Room 1.04, Faculty of Classics).

"Colonists, Settlement and Livestock: Zooarchaeological Evidence for Greek Settlement of Magna Graecia" Jane Sanford (Grahame Clark Lab).

- 19th October 2012 George Pitt-Rivers Laboratory Seminar (1.15-2.00pm, McDonald Institute Seminar Room).

"Sheep Breeds in Bronze Age Kazakhstan: A Geometric Morphometric Approach" Ashleigh Haruda (University of Exeter).

DALE SERJEANTSON IN CAMBRIDGE

Posted on October 5, 2012

At 4:30pm on Wednesday 10th October, Dale Serjeantson of the University of Southampton and author of the Birds Cambridge Manual in Archaeology will be giving a talk to the Archaeological Field Club entitled 'The Socioarchaeology of Birds' in the South Lecture Room of the Division of Archaeology. Mrs Serjeantson has published extensively on faunal remains from many sites, including Stonehenge, Silchester, Winchester and the castles of Carisbrooke and Pevensey, as well as the Iron Age settlement at Haddenham, Cambridgeshire.

Image credit: Cambridge University Press.

EXCAVATIONS AT VELA SPILA, SEPTEMBER 2012

Posted on September 14, 2012

Greetings from Vela Luka, Croatia! Fieldwork at the prehistoric cave site of Vela Spila in progress under the direction of Dr Preston Miracle, Grahame Clark Director, and Dinko Radic from the Cultural Centre of Vela Luka.

Dr Rebecca Farbstein's (Visiting Scholar, McDonald Institute for Archaeological Reserach) work on the ceramic figurines from the site have recently been featured in the New York Times. Read the news piece here.

Photo credit: Rebecca Farbstein.

ANOTHER PhD SUBMISSION!

Posted on September 3, 2012

Suzanne Pilaar Birch, PhD student at the Grahame Clark Lab, has submitted her thesis to the Board of Graduate Studies today. Congratulations and good luck with your viva!!! Her thesis looked at "Human Adaptations to Climate Change and Sea Level Rise at the Pleistocene-Holocene Transition in the Northeastern Adriatic".

We are also delighted to announce that Suzanne will be a Postdoctoral Fellow in Archaeology at the Joukowksy Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World at Brown University beginning in January 2013.

Photo credit: Suzanne Pilaar Birch.

INTEGRATING ZOOARCHAEOLOGY AND STABLE ISOTOPE ANALYSES' conference PODCAST

Posted on August 21, 2012

Suzanne Pilaar Birch, the event organiser and Lab member, is pleased to announce that through a collaboration with professional science communicator Sarah Castor-Perry of www.sciencesponge.com a series of podcasts from the conference has been produced. This includes a short introduction to the concepts of zooarchaeology and stable isotope analyses for general audiences, followed by the talks presented on the day. Each episode is available for individual download and is protected under a Creative Commons international copyright licence. More information can be found on the podcast webpage.

ARCHAEOLOGICAL REVIEW FROM CAMBRIDGE - ZOOARCHAEOLOGY ISSUES

Posted on July 3, 2012

Call for papers from our colleagues at the Archaeological Review from Cambridge: 'Humans and Animals' to be edited by Kathryn Boulden and Sarah Musselwhite.

For more info, please check out their website, Facebook Page or contact Kathryn (kjb66@cam.ac.uk) or Sarah (sjm233@cam.ac.uk).

http://www.societies.cam.ac.uk/arc/news.html
http://www.facebook.com/archreviewcam

 

INTEGRATING ZOOARCHAEOLOGY AND STABLE ISOTOPE ANALYSES: MESSAGE

Posted on June 29, 2012

Message from Suzanne Pilaar Birch, the organiser of the 'Integrating Zooarchaeology and Stable Isotope Analyses' Conference:

Thank you to everyone who presented, attended, and helped out on the day! Emma Lightfoot, Pía Spry-Marqués, Alex Pryor, Ronika Power, and Xinyi Liu are owed particular thanks for making sure things went smoothly. We had over 50 people from Europe and North America in attendance and there were some great conversations during those all-important coffee and tea breaks. The scope of the talks was impressive both geographically and topically. The emergence of new research attempting to fully integrate zooarchaeology with the analysis of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and strontium isotopes to answer important archaeological questions is encouraging.

A recurring theme-as might be hoped-was what integration really means and how to best go about doing it. One of the primary goals driving the organization of this conference was to discuss the extent to which, just because bones are sampled for isotopic research, the existing knowledge of the fauna informs the research question. Likewise, how often do zooarchaeologists build isotopic analyses into their research design? Some papers used the zooarchaeology as a starting point, others the stable isotopes. It will be interesting to see how future work will continue to integrate the two.

In addition to universities and museums, a number of commercial archaeological unites were represented on the day, including the Cambridge Archaeological Unit, Oxford Archaeology, Archaeological Solutions, and Pre-Construct Archaeology. This is exciting and promising for the inclusion of isotopic analyses in developer- or government-funded archaeology in the future.

Once again, a huge thank you to all those who were involved. For those who couldn't make it, stay tuned: a podcast is currently under production and should be available via this website and on YouTube in July. As previously announced, proceedings will be published in March 2013 as a special issue of the Journal Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences.

This conference was completely funded by the University of Cambridge School of Humanities and Social Sciences Student-Run Conference Grant.

Web: http://www.arch.cam.ac.uk/IZSI/index.html

Image credit: Suzanne Pilaar Birch

 

THE BIRDS AND THE FISHES: WILDLIFE CONSERVATION AND ARCHAEOLOGICAL EVIDENCE CONFERENCE

Posted on June 18, 2012

The Birds and the Fishes: wildlife conservation and archaeological evidence

McDonald Institute, University of Cambridge, July 7th 2012
9.00am to 6.00pm

Efforts to conserve biodiversity in the present – and to predict and mitigate impacts of environmental change in the future – often draw on assumptions about the status of ecosystems in the pre-industrial past. While systematic records may be available for recent decades, understanding of longer-term trajectories is hampered by Pauly’s ‘shifting baseline syndrome’: early observations and anecdotes may be taken to represent pristine conditions when in fact they describe ecosystems already subject to decades or centuries of human impact.
Meanwhile, rich material evidence for past animal populations and their exploitation emerges every day from archaeological excavations. This material is studied by archaeological specialists, published in archaeological journals, and typically stays firmly in the domain of the historical humanities. With some notable exceptions, limited communication between disciplines restricts the degree to which this potentially valuable source of data is used to inform pressing issues of conservation in the modern world.

This event tackles the communication gap by bringing together archaeologists and conservation scientists to discuss the role of time depth in conservation of marine, freshwater, and avian fauna, and the potential and problems of using archaeological datasets. It is open to all interested students and researchers - regardless of disciplinary background - and especially to those working in conservation outside academia. The aim is to seed debate, and plenty of time will be set aside for open discussion of questions such as:

What roles do historical baselines play in contemporary conservation? Can time depth help to understand impacts of human activity vs. climatic change? Which forms of archaeological evidence might be useful in this context? How can archaeo-historical data best feed into conservation policy and practice?

Speakers include:

Morning session - marine and freshwater ecosystems
David Orton & James Barrett (University of Cambridge, marine zooarchaeology)
Debbi Pedreschi & Stefano Mariani (UC Dublin, fish and conservation genetics)
John Pinnegar (Cefas: Marine Climate Change Centre)
Callum Roberts (University of York, marine conservation biology)
Donna Surge (University of North Carolina, palaeoclimatology; shells and otoliths)
Discussant: Georg Engelhard (Cefas; ICES Study Group on History of Fish and Fisheries)

Afternoon session - birds
Umberto Albarella (University of Sheffield, avian zooarchaeology)
Chris Evans (Cambridge Archaeological Unit, commercial archaeology and conservation)
Chris Stimpson (University of Cambridge, avian zooarchaeology)
Derek Yalden (University of Manchester, zoology and biogeography)
An RSPB researcher TBC
Discussant: Mark Cocker (writer and naturalist; author of Crow Country)

The event will take place in the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, Downing Street, Cambridge, on July 7th between 9.00am and 6.00pm, followed by a wine reception. There is no registration fee, and lunch will be provided.

Please contact David Orton (dco21@cam.ac.uk) for further details.

Photo credit: Pía Spry-Marqués.

PROGRAMME AND ABSTRACTS

Posted on May 21, 2012

The preliminary programme and abstracts have now been posted on the 'About' section of the 'Integrating Zooarchaeology and Stable Isotope Analyses' conference's website.

http://www.arch.cam.ac.uk/IZSI/about.html

Information on accommodation and travel have also been posted to help you plan your journey to Cambridge.

Looking forward to seeing you at the McDonald Institute in June!

 

RIDLEY HALL EXCAVATIONS ON THE BBC (VIDEO)

Posted on April 18, 2012

Watch the video from BBC News on the excavation taking place at Ridley Hall here! Check out Jessica Rippengal, our lab technician, excavating (00:14).

 

PhD SUBMISSIONS

Posted on April 16, 2012

 









Jane Sanford and Pía Spry-Marqués, two students at the Grahame Clark, have recently submitted their PhDs for examination.

Jane's work examines the process of Greek colonisation in two areas of the central Mediterranean (Magna Graecia and central Dalmatia) through the identification of Greek varieties of sheep and cattle and their movements with colonisation. Her investigation into livestock translocation takes the form of two themes: a) the hypothesized identification of regional or cultural varieties of domesticated animals through their remains from archaeological sites; and b) what the movement and changes of domesticate varieties can tell us about the process of Greek colonisation in the study areas.

Pía's thesis looks at Epigravettian subsistence strategies at the site of Vela Spila on the island of Korcula (Dalmatia, Croatia). The purpose of her thesis is to determine how climatic and environmental shifts, mostly in the form of sea level changes, affected the human populations inhabiting this southern European region during the LGM, with the ultimate aim of establishing if the Adriatic Plain may have acted as a human refugium during this period, as did other areas such as Franco-Cantabria and the Eastern European Plain.

Congratulations and good luck with your vivas!

Photo credit: Jane Sanford.

 

RIDLEY HALL EXCAVATIONS

Posted on April 16, 2012Jessica Rippengal, the Grahame Clark's Lab technician, who is also a member of Access Cambridge Archaeology, has been taking part in the excavation of Ridley Hall, where several Roman remains have been recently unearthed. The dig will be featured in this afternoon's (18:30) and evening's (22:25) news bulletin on BBC Look East (BBC One). Tune in and watch Jess excavating!

http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/Home/Slideshow-Roman-and-Iron-Age-finds-at-college-13042012.htm

You can also find more information on Access Cambridge Archaeology here: http://accesscambridgearchaeology.wordpress.com/

JOURNAL ANNOUNCED!

Posted on April 10, 2012

'Integrating Zooarchaeology and Stable Isotope Analyses' Conference update!

Papers given at the conference will be published as a peer-reviewed special issue of Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences (Springer). The volume is due for publication in March 2013.

The volume editors will be Suzanne Pilaar Birch (University of Cambridge, UK) and Karola Kirsanow (Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany).

http://www.springer.com/earth+sciences+and+geography/journal/12520

ZOOARCHAEOLOGY & ISOTOPES CONFERENCE WEB UP AND RUNNING!

Posted on March 29, 2012

The website for the upcoming 'Integrating Zooarchaeology and Stable Isotope Analyses' 1-day conference is up and running! Add it to your 'Favourites' and watch out for more news on the conference, registration details, info on Cambridge accommodation and much more!

 

 

 

http://www.arch.cam.ac.uk/IZSI/

 

NEW PUBLICATION

Posted on March 23, 2012

Dr Chris Stimpson's new paper in Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology,Palaeoecology:

'Local scale, proxy evidence for the presence of closed canopy forest in North-western Borneo in the late Pleistocene: Bones of Strategy I bats from the archaeological record of the Great Cave of Niah, Sarawakin'

is now available online. Check it out here: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2012.03.007

ONE OF PROFESSOR TONY LEGGE'S MOST RECENT RESEARCH PROJECTS

Posted on March 15, 2012

This putative wolf skull found at Barrington in Cambridgeshire, and donated to the University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in 1929, probably by the Revd. Conybeare, Vicar of Barrington from 1871 to 1898. He was a keen antiquarian, writing on the history of the district and collecting antiquities from quarrymen and miners. During his time at Barrington, excavations for phosphate nodules ('coprolites') were widespread in the district. The workmen regarded the antiquities that they found as a valuable source of extra income. It is likely that the skull was found during mining operations, and sold to the Revd. Conybeare as wounded by the accompanying barbed and tanged arrowhead of early Bronze Age type, and have been exhibited as such.

The skull may well be that of a wolf, and typical skinning cuts on the muzzle show human interference. However, a recent examination of the skull shows that the 'wound' was certainly not caused by the arrowhead. The 'wound' is too broad, its ends are clearly rounded, and it lacks the inward depression of bone splinters that would be seen in a wound to a living skull. The 'wound' may be a deliberate act, made by the use of a metal tool. The association is best regarded as accidental or the creation of coprolite diggers to enhance the specimen's value.

Photo credits: Professor Tony Legge. Reproduced with kind permission from the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge.

 

UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE SCIENCE FESTIVAL

Posted on March 12, 2012

Was the skeleton in your cupboard a man or a woman? What did Neanderthals have for dinner? Science can help archaeologists answer these questions and many others. Learn how by enjoying displays and hands-on activities to discover the secrets revealed by pots, plants, soil, bones and even fossilized poo!Come and learn about the 'Science of Archaeology' at the University of Cambridge's Science Festival this weekend!

Where: McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, Downing Street

When: Saturday 17th of March 10:30-3:30.

http://www.cam.ac.uk/sciencefestival

 

INTEGRATING ZOOARCHAEOLOGY AND STABLE ISOTOPE ANALYSES 1-DAY CONFERENCE

Posted on February 25, 2012

When: Thursday, 21 June 2012

Where: McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge

As the cost of stable isotope analysis has decreased there is greater potential for combining this technique with zooarchaeological analysis, but the two are often carried out by separate researchers with different research priorities. The synergy of these two approaches has the potential to lead to meaningful new ways of interrogating archaeological data. This one-day conference aims to bridge this gap and address how stable isotope analysis can be used to answer zooarchaeological questions. Papers will focus on current research projects where these two methodological approaches are being innovatively combined, as well as targetingways of better integrating existing zooarchaeological and isotope data within projects and improving methodology. Proceedings will be published in an edited volume.

 

Abstract submissions should be sent no later than Wednesday, 14 March 2012 for full consideration. Please send abstracts to Suzanne Pilaar Birch, sp518@cam.ac.uk.

Photo credit: Suzanne Pilaar Birch.

CHRIS STIMPSON'S RESEARCH FEATURED IN THE FINANCIAL TIMES

Posted on February 25, 2012

Dr Stimpson's research on the use of animal bones to study the history of biological diversity was featured in the Financial Times' Friday Life&Arts Magazine (24.2.12). Check out the article here.

 

A LOST WORLD? HOW ZOOARCHAEOLOGY CAN INFORM BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION

Posted on February 10, 2012

Dr Chris Stimpson, who carried out his doctoral research at the Grahame Clark lab, is part of a fascinating new study on tropical forests that will provide a 50,000-year perspective on how animal biodiversity has changed through time by using zooarchaeological means. As Dr Stimpson points out in the article published in the University of Cambridge's website: "the study of ancient animal bones can provide a remarkably long-range perspective. It can tell us about the nature of animal communities before humans intensively modified their habitats". Read all about it here.

Photo credit: Professor Graeme Barker.

 

 

ADAPTING TO EXTREME CLIMATE CHANGE

Posted on January 11, 2012

Lab member Suzanne Pilaar Birch's PhD research has recently been featured on the Gates Cambridge Scholarship website.

Photo credit: Suzanne Pilaar Birch.