Selected Events

Ecological opportunity, evolution, and the emergence of flea-borne plague

Distinguished Lecturer Seminar Series

Lecture by Irina Velsko

Metagenomics Workshop
"Ancient Microbiomes and the Accuracy of Taxonomic Classifiers." Organized by Christina Warinner [more]
Exploring the long durée of Central Asian prehistory through cross-disciplinary approaches and methodologies. [more]

Epizoötic Challenges to Pastoral Expansion in Africa: Minding the “Bovine Gap”

Distinguished Lecturer Seminar Series
In two spatiotemporally separate cases in sub-Saharan Africa, small domestic livestock appear around 1000 years before cattle. South of Lake Turkana (eastern Africa), sparse domestic caprines and Lake Turkana ceramics of the Nderit tradition appear c. 4000 BP, nearly 1000 years before the first evidence for cattle. In southern Africa, sheep date to nearly 2200 BP, centuries before evidence for cattle. In 2000, I proposed that African savannas presented novel disease challenges to cattle pastoralism. Sleeping sickness (trypanosomiasis) is a continental-scale risk in brushy areas, but wildebeest-borne malignant catarrhal fever (WD-MCF) and East Coast Fever (ECF) attack cattle in the grasslands that they favor. WD-MCF has a nearly 100% death rate in exposed cattle, and ECF, probably originating with an earlier transmission of Theileria parva from African buffalo to cattle, kills 20% of each cattle cohort. Infection risk is heightened by the three species’ overlapping forage and water requirements. Pastoralists may have exacerbated cattle herds’ vulnerability to infection through anthropogenic savanna expansion. This hypothesis could be falsified by finds of cattle dating to the “Bovine Gap” timespans in either region. As a test, I reviewed 2000-2015 East African archaeofaunal evidence, plus fauna from a stratified site south of Nairobi, GvJm44, yielding Nderit pottery in its lower level. I report these results and discuss how infectious disease genomics might offer finer resolution of routes and times of initial transmission of several wild ungulate diseases to livestock. [more]

Green Arabia Drilling

DA Workshop
Interdisciplinary research on Quaternary climate and environmental changes and their effects on human dispersals based on sediment cores from the Jubbah palaeolake basin (Saudi Arabia). Organized by Florian Ott and Michael Petraglia. [more]

Millet Agriculture, Material Culture and Organic Residue Analysis

Distinguished Lecturer Seminar Series

Talk by Hideaki Kanzawa-Kiriyama

Eurasia3angle talk
Genomic insights into the relationship between ancient Japanese and modern East Eurasians [more]

Talk by Beverly Strassmann

Distinguished Lecturer Seminar Series
Religious Control of Sexuality Increases Paternity Certainty: A longterm study of the Dogon of Mali [more]

Biological Markers of Change in Southeast and Island Southeast Asia

DA Workshop
Despite widespread acknowledgement that Island Southeast Asia (ISEA) has been an important link between Southeast Asia and the Southern Hemisphere for at least 50,000 years, little is known about interactions both within ISEA and with Mainland Southeast Asia to the north, and Sahul (Australia and New Guinea) to the south. Due to the tropical climate of the Southeast and Island Southeast Asia region, organic materials are rarely preserved and traditional archaeological techniques have not been particularly successful when it comes to understanding how people interacted with and within their environments. In this workshop we will be discussing novel and innovative methodologies and ideas that might be applied to the region, while highlighting recent findings that have already employed some of these techniques such as genomic, isotopic, lipid, microparticle and proteomic analyses. [more]

Early Hominin Diet: Where are we and where do we go from here?

Distinguished Lecturer Seminar Series

Thomas Higham: Recent Advances in Dating the Paleolithic and Their Implications

Distinguished Lecturer Seminar Series
With the 'Forsche Schüler' project, 'School Scientists' from the 8th year onwards can look behind the scenes of research and ‘try out’ science. Students (8th grade onwards) can get insights in the science of human history by listening to talks and doing small experiments and tests. [more]

Using isotopes to track past human migrations

Distinguished Lecturer Seminar Series
Isotope analysis of human and animal bone and teeth can be used to determine their geographic origin, and how they moved over their lifetimes. In contrast to DNA and linguistic analysis, which can determine origins and migrations over generations, isotope analysis has the promise of being able to identify movements of individuals at different points of their lives. The method has it’s limitations, but can be used to address both larger archaeological questions of past population movements and also provide a glimpse into the life histories of individual skeletons. In this talk I will introduce the methods we use for this analysis (strontium and sulphur isotope analysis) and then provide examples of how we have applied this method to look for human migration and movements in a variety of current and unpublished case studies. These will include studies of Neanderthal mobility, identifying possible pilgrims at the Roman and Byzantine world heritage sites of Hierapolis and Ephesus in Turkey, and the results of a large-scale isotopic study of Minoans and Mycenaeans in Bronze age Greece. [more]

Nick Patterson - The Ancient Populations forming the Genetics of Modern India

Distinguished Lecturer Seminar Series

Mark Aldenderfer - The Prehistory of the Tibetan Plateau and the High Himalayas

Distinguished Lecturer Seminar Series

Survival and utility of ancient proteins in archaeology

Distinguished Lecturer Seminar Series
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