2009 R.E. Taylor Award Recipient: Spring 2009

Lesley D. Frame (University of Arizona, Heritage Conservation Science Program): "Technological Change in Southwestern Asia: Comparing Metallurgical Production Styles and Social Values during the Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age"

Early evidence for metal processing is found on the Iranian Plateau at a number of sites, some of which (e.g., Tal-i Iblis) represent large-scale smelting industries, whereas other sites, including Seh Gabi and Godin Tepe, contain similar crucible technology but with much smaller concentrations of production debris. Through compositional and microstructural analyses, and the use of a theoretical framework of technological change, this project considers the differences among these contrasting scales of production on the Iranian Plateau, in terms of technology and the possible social values placed on that technology. By linking technological changes to social values of the craftspeople, we can understand the role of technology in the cultural context of past communities.

2008 R.E. Taylor Award Recipient at the 37th International Symposium on Archaeometry, Siena , Italy

Lisa Molofsky ( University of Arizona ) with David Killick, John Chesley, and Joaquin Ruiz : “Prehistoric Trade of Tin in South Africa Revealed by Lead Isotopes”

Evidence of tin, gold, or bronze smelting in Southern Africa has not been found prior to the mid-twelfth century CE. This period marks the beginning of a substantial gold trade out of Africa to the Islamic world, but little is known about the establishment of tin mining and bronze smelting in the area. Bronze production has been recognized elsewhere in Africa in the well-known metallurgical industry of the Igbo-Uku and Ife in Nigeria dating back to 800 cal CE. However, the chemical composition of these bronzes contain over 20% tin, and many have more than 3% lead, a significantly different composition than bronzes discovered in Southern Africa which contain ~16% tin and under 0.5% lead. This indicates that Southern African bronzes were made of tin originating from different sources, and thus, that a separate tin industry had begun in earnest in Southern Africa by the 14th-15th centuries CE. The Rooiberg tin deposit is the only tin source known to have been mined prehistorically in Southern Africa , and consequently, is a likely candidate for the tin utilized in these early bronzes.

The aim of the research presented in this poster is to use lead isotopes to determine if tin ingots found across Southern and Eastern Africa were indeed smelted from the Rooiberg tin deposit. We discovered that the lead isotope ratios of the ingots produced a line, geologically termed an ‘isochron,’ which indicated the ingots were smelted from tin-ore that formed 2050 ± 38 million years ago. The Rooiberg tin deposits are approximately 2061 ± 27 million years old, confirming that it was the tin source utilized. Isochron dating is a commonly used geological technique, but has seldom been employed by archaeologists to source materials. This research used isochron dating to establish the common tin-source of ingots found hundreds of miles apart as well as the source of tin in bronzes found at the archaeological sites of Bosutswe, Great Zimbabwe , Mapungubwe, and Thulamela.

2008 R.E. Taylor Award Recipient at the 73rd Annual Society for American Archaeology Meeting, Vancouver , British Columbia

Miriam Hinman ( Harvard University ) with Cheryl Makarewicz, George Cody, and Noreen Tuross : “Isotopes, collagen, and degradation: New evidence from pyrolysis GC-MS and solid state 13C NMR”

Archaeological collagen is used for radiocarbon dating and stable isotope reconstruction of diet and environment, but collagen degrades. This study uses stable isotope mass spectrometry, amino acid analysis, protein sequencing, infrared spectroscopy, pyrolysis GC-MS, and solid state 13C NMR to analyze the structure and alteration of the collagen molecule in different states of preservation. Major chemical transformations occur at C/N(m) greater than 3.1 (atomic 3.6). These data suggest that collagen degradation involves bacterially driven denaturation and deamination of R group nitrogen, followed by hydrolysis, deamination of peptide nitrogen, formation of Maillard-type condensation products, and association with bacterial biomarkers. See a PDF of poster

2007 R.E. Taylor Award Recipient at the Society for American Archaeology Annual Meeting

Sandra Wheeler, Department of Anthropology, University of Western Ontario (with Patrick Beauchesne, Lana Williams, and JE Molto) : Fractured Childhood: A Case of Probable Child Abuse from the Kellis 2 cemetery, Dakhleh Oasis, Egypt

Much can be learned about cultural attitudes of violence towards children from the analysis of their skeletal remains. A bioarchaeological approach integrating cultural, social, and physical environments is used in analyzing a young child from the Roman period cemetery, Kellis 2. This child exhibits skeletal fracture patterns consistent with chronic physical abuse, which may or may not have led to the child’s untimely death. Results from our investigation support this diagnosis. This case presents an opportunity to address questions concerning attitudes towards children, their social experiences and quality of life during the period of Roman rule. Click Here for PDF of Poster

2006 R.E. Taylor Award Recipient at the Society for American Archaeology Annual Meeting

Bryan Tucker, The University of Florida, Gainesville, Anthropology, with John Krigbaum: Identifying variation in oxygen isotopes from human dentition with implications for seasonal resource use.

Seasonal signatures preserved by oxygen isotopes are often recovered from faunal dentition by serially sampling dental enamel. Human teeth are smaller than the hypsodont teeth commonly sampled. However, we demonstrate that despite their small size and compact growth bands it is possible to recover seasonal signatures from human dentition. These seasonal signatures are recoverable despite buffering caused by surface water, body water, and secondary enamel maturation. Serial sampling provides a view of dietary and environmental change through time with each sample representing 1-2 months rather than the year or more provided by traditional techniques .

Susana Gonzalez, California State University Long Beach, Anthropology and Archaeological Sciences with Gregory Hodgins, George Burr, Jeffery Dean, and Hector Neff Differences in Measureable Radicarbon Due to Latitude and Elevation

Small differences in radiocarbon results from coeval samples taken from various latitudes and elevations may increase the error in the ages assigned to archaeological samples. In this study we compare ? 14C in tree rings from seven latitudes within the North American continent, with the most northern site located in Canada (64 ºN, 104ºW) and the furthest south site located in Mexico (23ºN, 105ºW). In order to monitor the differences that may have been produced across latitude and elevation, we used accelerator mass spectrometry to measure five-year blocks of tree rings at ca. ± 2.5? precision to test whether measurable differences exist in radiocarbon in trees. This test was carried out for 10 time periods between AD 1635 to 1980.

2006 R.E. Taylor Award Recipient at ISA

Alyson M. Thibodeau (University of Arizona, Geosciences and NSF IGERT Program in Archaeological Sciences) with David J. Killick, Joaquin Ruiz, John T. Chesley, and Mark Baker Searching for the Silver Lining: Using Pb Isotopes to Constrain the Source of Argentiferous Galena at La Isabela

This study investigates the smelting and refining of argentiferous galena at La Isabela, Dominican Republic (1493-1498), the town founded by Columbis on his second voyage to the Americas. Archaeologists recovered approximately 100 kilograms of galena and 200 kilograms of metallurgical slag near the remains of a crude furnace unearthed at the site (Degan and Cruxent 2002). The purpose of this study was to determine if these remains are evidence that members of Columbus' fleet prospected for silver during his second expedition. Samples of ore and slag were examined by metallographic polished thin sections by optical and scanning electron microscopes. The composition of ore and slag allows us to infer these ores were processed in a two-stgae procedure to produce silver metal and a lead silicate slag. Electron microprobe analysis of galena indicated highly variable but low AG content (50 ppm) which may account for the fact some of the ore was left unprocessed. Lead isotope analysis by multi-collector ICP-MS indicates that the galena liekly came from a single source and was not mined within the Caribbean. Instead, the isotopic signature of these ores is consistent with an Old World source, possibly in the Linares_La Carolina Pb-Zn vein filed of southwestern Spain.

Hannah Koon (University of York, Biology) with M. Collins, T. Covington, and T. O'Connor Sorting the Butchered from the Boiled.

Mild Heating (100C, 1hr) does not lead to detectable changes in any biochemical parameter yet measured. However, during cooking this is precisely the sort of temperature regime that a bone would be subjected to. This means that there is a wealth of evidence from bones in the archaeological record that have been cooked, but which have not reached a temperature that will induce charring and therefore go undetected. We have a combined analytical approach (TEM, DSC, and XRD) to investigate changes in the organization of the collagin fibril as it is heated, using bones from heating experiments, short term burials and archaeological assemblages. The results of this work have shown the surprising finding that collagen is actually extremely prone to damage; damage which is observable by TEM as an unpacking of the fibril structure. In bone the presence of mineral matrix protects the collagen and helps maintain a record of the acculturation of damage within the fibril. This unpacking is very sensitive to temperature and therefore, with appropriate visualization methods, the degree of alteration can be used to infer cooking. Our novel visualization technique was tested in a blind study of bovine bone from the Anglo-Saxon site of Coppergate, York. The purpose of the study was to determine if the method could discriminate between bones from a supposed "butchery deposit" and bones on the same site which formed part of a refuse assemblage and are therefore likely to have been through a cooking process.

2006 R.E. Taylor Award Recipient at Archaeological Science of the Americas

Kathryn Duffy, Department of Chemistry, University of Arizona (with Ann Hedlund, Arizona State Museum), "Understanding Chronology in Historic Period Navajo Textiles: Red Dye Analysis."

Chemical identification of the red dyes used in textiles in the southwestern United States can aid in determining the production age of textiles. In the mid-nineteenth century the Navajo raveled yarn from cloth (bayeta) that was brought via trading and government annuities into the Southwest. These raveled yarns are from a variety of sources and may contain the red insect dyes kermes, cochineal, and lac. Along with fabric texture, yarn spin direction and ply, and stylistic features, the dye testing can add to the information used to determine the chronology of a textile. The presently accepted chronology shows that prior to 1860, commercial red yarn that was imported into the Soutwest was primarily dyed with lac (an insect dye native to Southeast Asia and India). Between 1860 and 1865, a mixture of lac and cochineal was common, and by 1865 pure cochineal dominated until the synthetic dyes were introduced in the late 1870s and 1880s.

Most previous dye analyses of Southwest textiles utilized strong acidic conditions to extract the dyes from the wool fibers, followed by analysis and identification using UV-Visible Spectroscopy. This study, however, uses, a metal chelating compound to extract the mordant dyes, followed by High Performance Liquid Chormatography analysis. The purpose of modifying the extraction technique and identification method was to probe for kermes (an insect dye native to the Mediterranean region). Samples were taken from the collection of the Arizona State Museum, Tucson, AZ. The results of the dye analysis confirm lac and cochineal were used in the Southwest, yet fail to show evidence of kermes .

2005 R.E. Taylor Award Recipient at the Society for American Archaeology Annual Meeting(SAS Bulletin Volume 28, Number 1/2)

Rachel Popelka, Department of Chemistry, University of Missouri Columbia (with J. David Robertson, Michael D. Glascock, and Christophe Descantes), "Sourcing Red Ochres by Instrumental Trace Analysis."

Red ochres are ubiquitous on many North American archaeological sites, and are found in cave artwork, mortuary contexts, and other ceremonial milieu. Because of their importance, certain ochre pigments may have been traded from site to site for their unique qualities. To date, ochre pigments have not been well characterized by elemental methods. This project analyzes red ochres from several sources using instrumental trace anlaysis trachniques, including neutron activation analysis (NAA), particle induced x-ray emission (PIXE), and x-ray fluorescence spectrometry (XRF). Multivariate statistical analyses of the data indicate geochemical trends in the ochre sources that satisfy the provenance postulate.

2004 R.E. Taylor Award Recipients at Archaeological Science of the Americas (SAS Bulletin Volume 27, Number 3):

Samuel Duwe and Amanda Reynolds, Department of Anthropology and Department Geosciences, University of Arizona "Considerations for Provenancing Ceramics in the American Southwest: Chemistry, Temper, and Contamination"

Heather Adkins Downey, Northern Arizona University "Prehistoric Agricultural Viability of the Sacred Mountain Agricultural Complex, Verde Valley, Arizona"

2004 R.E. Taylor Award Recipients at ISA

Myrto Georgakopoulou, from the Archaeological Science Laboratories, Institute of Archaeology, University College London, "Early Cycladic Metallurgy in a Settlement Context: Examination of Metallurgical Remains from the site of Kavos (Cyclades, Greece)"

Alessandra Pecci, Department of Archaeology and the History of Art, University of Siena "Chemical Residues of Cooking Activities in San Vincenzo al Volturno (Italy)"

2004 R.E. Taylor Award Recipients at SAA Meeting (SAS Bulletin Volume 27, Number 1/2):

Hanneke Hoekman, College of Wooster, "Residue Analysis of Ceramics from Roman and Early Byzantine Contexts at Pella, Jordan"

Cynthia Fadem (with Gary Huckleberry), Washington State University, "Archived Sediments & Isotopic Geochemistry: Results from Marmes Site (45FR50), Washington"

2003 R.E. Taylor Award Recipients

Jennifer A. Kelly, University of South Florida, "Ecological and Dietary Diversity in Prehistoric Gulf Coast, Florida"

2002 R.E. Taylor Award Recipients (SAS Bulletin Volume 25, Number 2):

Agustin Ortiz (with Alessandra Pecci, and Sandra Lopez Varela), Laboratorio de Prospeccion Arqueologica, IIA, UNAM, Mexico, "Ethnoarchaeology Study of the Residues of a 'Living' Household in Mexico"

Anna Mukherjee (with R.P. Evershed and A.M. Gibson), Organic Geochemistry Unit, Biogeochemistry Research Center, School of Chemistry, University of Bristol, "The Significance of the Grooved Ware Pottery Tradition in Neolithic Britain in Relation to Human Diet, Animal Husbandry and Ritual Practices"

2001 SAS Award Recipient (SAS Bulletin Volume 24, Number 1/2)

Amy Margaris, University of Arizona, "A Minerological Analysis of Sediments from Israel's Tabun Cave using Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometry"

2000 SAS Award Recipients (SAS Bulletin Volume 23, Number 2)

Oliver Craig (with Mattew Collins and Carl Heron), University of Newcastle, "The Origins of Dairying in Europe: New Light on an Old Debate"

E. Christian Wells, Arizona State University, "Determining Intraregional Variation in Chemical Composition of Pottery with Scanning Electron Microscopy"

1999 SAS Award Recipient (SAS Bulletin Volume 22, Number 1/2)

Anastasia Steffen, University of New Mexico, "When Obsidian Goes Bad: Forest Fire Effects on Jemez Obsidian"

1998 SAS Award Recipient (SAS Bulletin Volume 21, Number 1/2)

Peter Tomkins (with Peter M. Day and Vassilis Kilikoglou), University of Sheffield, "The First Pottery in Europe: Technology, Production and Consumption in Early Neolithic Knossos, Crete"