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Department of Archaeology

 

Biography

I am interested in an integrative archaeology incorporating biomolecular approaches and study of historical art and texts. I graduated with a BA in Art History from Mount Holyoke College, USA (2018), and an MA in Archaeology from Simon Fraser University, Canada (2020). My MA thesis, supervised by Dr. Christina Giovas, centered on Indigenous translocations of agouti (Dasyprocta sp.) in the pre-Contact Lesser Antilles (Caribbean). I am currently undertaking my PhD thesis under the supervision of Dr. Piers Mitchell and Prof. Matthew Collins. My project focuses on multi-proxy analysis (aDNA, parasitology, ZooMS) of cesspit sediments from the Low Countries (current day Belgium and the Netherlands) as part of the Parasites in the Low Countries During the Medieval, Renaissance and Industrial Periods project. I have fieldwork experience in the USA in Colorado, North Dakota, Massachusetts, and Montana, as well as Yorkshire in the UK.

Research

In the first year of my PhD, I analyzed 47 Medieval and Early Modern sediment samples from 7 cities in the Low Countries (present-day Belgium and the Netherlands) using digital light microscopy. I identified the eggs of two parasite species which can infect freshwater fish. The residual sediment samples offer the opportunity to explore additional bimolecular analyses, notably aDNA sequencing, lipid analysis, and ZooMS. Through this work, I propose to address the following questions: 1) How did fish consumption and cookery evolve from the 11th to the 17th century in the Low Countries? 2) Can biomolecular analyses of cess sediment provide effective new sources of direct evidence for freshwater fish consumption? Analyses will be contextualized through a systematic regional review of parasite, isotope, and zooarchaeological data.

Publications

Key publications: 

S. Rabinow, T. Wang, R.J.A. Wilson, P.D. Mitchell. 2022. Using Parasite Analysis to Identify Ancient Chamber Pots: An Example of the Fifth Century CE from Gerace, Sicily, Italy. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports. DOI: 10.1016/j.jasrep.2022.103349

Rabinow, S. 2022. Ethnohistoric Accounts as Valuable Resources for Deciphering Commensal Relationships of pre-Contact Caribbean Agouti (Dasyprocta). Journal of Ethnobiology 41(4): 481–498. DOI: 10.2993/0278-0771-41.4.481

Rabinow, S., and C.M. Giovas. 2022. A Systematic Review of Agouti (Dasyproctidae: Dasyprocta) Records from the Pre-1492 Lesser Antilles: New Perspectives on an Introduced Commensal. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology 31(5): 758–769. DOI: 10.1002/oa.2987

Teaching and Supervisions

Teaching: 

TA: A12: Archaeological Theory and Practice

Research supervision: 

B1: Humans in Biological Perspective

Job Titles

PhD Student in Biological Anthropology

General Info

Not available for consultancy
Research Expertise / Fields of study: 
Biomolecular Archaeology
Environmental Archaeology, Geoarchaeology, and Landscape studies

Contact Details

sar95 [at] cam.ac.uk

Affiliations

Person keywords: 
cooking, diet, cesspits, feces, integrative archaeology, field archaeology, Europe, the Caribbean
Subjects: 
Archaeology
Biological Anthropology
Themes: 
Science, Technology and Innovation
Environment, Landscapes and Settlement
Geographical areas: 
Americas
Europe
Periods of interest: 
Medieval
Other Prehistory
Post-Medieval