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Thread: Could you suggest some biology related topic for archaeology students

  1. #1
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    Question Could you suggest some biology related topic for archaeology students

    Hello

    I studied anatomy and Genetics and recently I joined Culural Heritage Research Center in Iran to do some research.
    The research center organized a bio-archaeology workshop for archaeology students and they asked me to pick some topics and teach in the workshop.

    I picked some yopic but I'm not sure what archaeology students study in the university and how strong is their background in biology.

    Some of topics I have picked:

    - The process of human body decomposition
    - Archeaeology of human remain {age/sex/race/stature/death-cause estimation}
    - Human evolution
    - Principle and method in human osteology
    - Extracting DNA from human skeleton
    - Analysing the ancient DNA


    Could you please suggest me some interesting and useful biology related subject in archaeology and anthropology that could be useful and at the same time interesting and understandable for archaeology students...

    Thanks in advance



    P.s. I also have a biodeterioration lab that we mostly work on fungi and insects found in heritage sites...any topic relating to these also could be helpful...
    Last edited by mtajvidi; 09-16-2017 at 07:33 AM.

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  3. #2
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    I think that all of these topics are good choices. You might consider the things that ancient DNA can tell archaeologists, which they find it useful to know. It has been used to:

    • Determine the gender of remains where the skeleton is indeterminate. (For example in infants, or in the case where the skeleton appears of one gender, but the grave gods of another, making for doubt. For example this Viking woman warrior: http://edition.cnn.com/2017/09/14/he...ave/index.html)
    • Determine whether two or more deceased individuals were close relations. (This has been done for Egyptian mummies, for example.)
    • Determine the identity of a deceased individual by comparison with known descendants. (Mainly used for royal or other high status individuals with a written pedigree, but where doubt exists as to the burial place, for example Richard III of the British royal family : http://www.le.ac.uk/richardiii/scien...ultsofdna.html )
    • Determine whether the peoples of different archaeological cultures are related or not. This has been used to dramatic effect in detecting migrations.


    I would not expect archaeology students to have a detailed background in genetics. But they can become enthusiastic when shown the relevance of ancient DNA to their own discipline.

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  5. #3
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    Hello and welcome to Anthrogenica.

    Jean's advice is good.

    Just a note that here in Canada we have several bioanthropology faculties and lecturers, e.g.:

    https://www.uwinnipeg.ca/anthropolog...roksandic.html

    https://www.lakeheadu.ca/research-an...na-laboratory-

    If you look at the sort of work they do, you might get some further ideas as to which courses are potentially most interesting or useful to you.
     

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  7. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jean M View Post
    [*]Determine the gender of remains where the skeleton is indeterminate. (For example in infants, or in the case where the skeleton appears of one gender, but the grave gods of another, making for doubt. For example this Viking woman warrior: http://edition.cnn.com/2017/09/14/he...ave/index.html)
    Sorry - should have been 'grave goods'.

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