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https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27922064/ancient-tortoise-hunting-in-the-southwest-pacific
#1
Stuart Hawkins, Trevor H Worthy, Stuart Bedford, Matthew Spriggs, Geoffrey Clark, Geoff Irwin, Simon Best, Patrick Kirch
We report the unprecedented Lapita exploitation and subsequent extinction of large megafauna tortoises (?Meiolania damelipi) on tropical islands during the late Holocene over a 281,000 km(2) region of the southwest Pacific spanning from the Vanuatu archipelago to Viti Levu in Fiji. Zooarchaeological analyses have identified seven early archaeological sites with the remains of this distinctive hornless tortoise, unlike the Gondwanan horned meiolaniid radiation to the southwest. These large tortoise radiations in the Pacific may have contributed to the rapid dispersal of early mobile Neolithic hunters throughout southwest Melanesia and on to western Polynesia...
December 6, 2016: Scientific Reports
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27919516/a-newly-assembled-human-skeletal-reference-collection-of-modern-and-identified-filipinos
#2
Matthew C Go, Amanda B Lee, Jana Andrea D Santos, Nicole Marie C Vesagas, Rebecca Crozier
A collection of 75 modern skeletons from the Philippines has recently been created, and is being housed at the Archaeological Studies Program of the University of the Philippines, Diliman, Philippines. All individuals lived during the 20th century, and almost all died within the 21st century. These individuals were accessioned from exhumed and abandoned tombs at the Manila North Cemetery, and most have documented age and sex from tombstone inscriptions. This paper describes the first season of recovery and the collection's current demographic composition, with the future addition of more individuals to the collection expected to follow...
November 25, 2016: Forensic Science International
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27914552/preserved-brains-from-the-spanish-civil-war-mass-grave-1936-at-la-pedraja1-burgos-spain
#3
Fernando Serrulla, Lourdes Herrasti, Carmen Navarro, Jose Luis Cascallana, Ana Maria Bermejo, Nicholas Marquez-Grant, Francisco Etxeberria
During the excavation of the Spanish Civil War mass grave at La Pedraja (Burgos, Spain), 104 individuals were found interred within it, 45 of which displayed brains that were preserved but dehydrated and reduced in size. This exceptional finding has resulted in the formation of a multidisciplinary team, with the aim of obtaining as much information as possible and to primarily understand the taphonomic phenomena that has led to the preservation of these brains. The following types of analyses were undertaken on three of these brains: macroscopy, histology, radiology, chemical-toxicology, genetics, chemical analysis of the soil and 3D modelling for stereolithography...
December 2016: Science & Justice: Journal of the Forensic Science Society
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27908595/polymerase-chain-reaction-with-nearby-primers
#4
Ravil R Garafutdinov, Aizilya A Galimova, Assol R Sakhabutdinova
DNA analysis of biological specimens containing degraded nucleic acids such as mortal remains, archaeological artefacts, forensic samples etc. has gained more attention in recent years. DNA extracted from these samples is often inapplicable for conventional polymerase chain reaction (PCR), so for its amplification the nearby primers are commonly used. Here we report the data that clarify the features of PCR with nearby and abutting primers. We have shown that the proximity of primers leads to significant reduction of the reaction time and ensures the successful performance of DNA amplification even in the presence of PCR inhibitors...
November 28, 2016: Analytical Biochemistry
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27907810/prediction-of-autosomal-str-typing-success-in-ancient-and-second-world-war-bone-samples
#5
Irena Zupanič Pajnič, Tomaž Zupanc, Jože Balažic, Živa Miriam Geršak, Oliver Stojković, Ivan Skadrić, Matija Črešnar
Human-specific quantitative PCR (qPCR) has been developed for forensic use in the last 10 years and is the preferred DNA quantification technique since it is very accurate, sensitive, objective, time-effective and automatable. The amount of information that can be gleaned from a single quantification reaction using commercially available quantification kits has increased from the quantity of nuclear DNA to the amount of male DNA, presence of inhibitors and, most recently, to the degree of DNA degradation. In skeletal remains samples from disaster victims, missing persons and war conflict victims, the DNA is usually degraded...
November 19, 2016: Forensic Science International. Genetics
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27907232/analyzing-and-interpreting-lime-burials-from-the-spanish-civil-war-1936-1939-a-case-study-from-la-carcavilla-cemetery
#6
Eline M J Schotsmans, Almudena García-Rubio, Howell G M Edwards, Tasnim Munshi, Andrew S Wilson, Luis Ríos
Over 500 victims of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) were buried in the cemetery of La Carcavilla (Palencia, Spain). White material, observed in several burials, was analyzed with Raman spectroscopy and powder XRD, and confirmed to be lime. Archaeological findings at La Carcavilla's cemetery show that the application of lime was used in an organized way, mostly associated with coffinless interments of victims of Francoist repression. In burials with a lime cast, observations made it possible to draw conclusions regarding the presence of soft tissue at the moment of deposition, the sequence of events, and the presence of clothing and other evidence...
December 1, 2016: Journal of Forensic Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27906999/identification-geochemical-characterisation-and-significance-of-bitumen-among-the-grave-goods-of-the-7th-century-mound-1-ship-burial-at-sutton-hoo-suffolk-uk
#7
Pauline Burger, Rebecca J Stacey, Stephen A Bowden, Marei Hacke, John Parnell
The 7th century ship-burial at Sutton Hoo is famous for the spectacular treasure discovered when it was first excavated in 1939. The finds include gold and garnet jewellery, silverware, coins and ceremonial armour of broad geographical provenance which make a vital contribution to understanding the political landscape of early medieval Northern Europe. Fragments of black organic material found scattered within the burial were originally identified as 'Stockholm Tar' and linked to waterproofing and maintenance of the ship...
2016: PloS One
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27896808/the-effects-of-cracks-on-the-quantification-of-the-cancellous-bone-fabric-tensor-in-fossil-and-archaeological-specimens-a-simulation-study
#8
Peter J Bishop, Christofer J Clemente, Scott A Hocknull, Rod S Barrett, David G Lloyd
Cancellous bone is very sensitive to its prevailing mechanical environment, and study of its architecture has previously aided interpretations of locomotor biomechanics in extinct animals or archaeological populations. However, quantification of architectural features may be compromised by poor preservation in fossil and archaeological specimens, such as post mortem cracking or fracturing. In this study, the effects of post mortem cracks on the quantification of cancellous bone fabric were investigated through the simulation of cracks in otherwise undamaged modern bone samples...
November 29, 2016: Journal of Anatomy
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27896686/blastococcus-colisei-sp-nov-isolated-from-an-archaeological-amphitheatre
#9
Karima Hezbri, Imen Nouioui, Manfred Rohde, Peter Schumann, Maher Gtari, Hans-Peter Klenk, Maria Del Carmen Montero-Calasanz, Faten Ghodhbane-Gtari
The taxonomic position of an actinobacterial isolate, designated strain BMG 822(T), isolated from limestone from the Amphitheater of El Jem (Coliseum Thysdrus), Tunisia, was established using a polyphasic approach. Strain BMG 822(T) was found to grow well at 30 °C and pH 6.5-8.0, and to be coral-coloured, Gram-positive, catalase and oxidase negative. Whole cell hydrolysates contained meso-diaminopimelic acid as the diagnostic diamino acid, glucose, galactose and ribose. The phospholipids detected were diphosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylinositol, phosphatidylethanolamine, hydroxy-phosphatidylethanolamine, an unidentified glycophospholipid and six unidentified phospholipids...
November 28, 2016: Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27890320/trepanation-in-the-late-bronze-age-and-early-iron-age-in-armenia
#10
A Yu Khudaverdyan
In this study, trepanations in ancient Armenia are discussed. In total, 10 cases were studied. Seven were male, 1 female and 2 were children. Age of the individuals ranged from 6 to 65 years. Among nine cases of surgical trepanations four had possible healing signs. In these cases the individuals showed evidence of previous trauma to the skull or infection (mastoiditis, tuberculosis), suggesting that the operation had been carried out for therapeutic purposes. This provides further support for the suggestion that trepanation (or trephination) was performed primarily for therapeutic purposes, and because of cranial infection or injury...
October 4, 2016: Homo: Internationale Zeitschrift Für die Vergleichende Forschung Am Menschen
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27886812/foraging-potential-of-underground-storage-organ-plants-in-the-southern-cape-south-africa
#11
Elzanne Singels, Alastair J Potts, Richard M Cowling, Curtis W Marean, Jan De Vynck, Karen J Esler
Underground storage organs (USOs) serve as a staple source of carbohydrates for many hunter-gatherer societies and they feature prominently in discussions of diets of early modern humans. While the way of life of hunter-gatherers in South Africa's Cape no longer exists, there is extensive ethnographic, historical, and archaeological evidence of hunter-gatherers' use of USOs. This is to be expected, given that the Cape supports the largest concentration of plant species with USOs globally. The southern Cape is the location of several Middle Stone Age sites that are highly significant to research on the origins of behaviourally modern humans, and this provided the context for our research...
December 2016: Journal of Human Evolution
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27883056/authenticity-screening-of-stained-glass-windows-using-optical-spectroscopy
#12
Wendy Meulebroeck, Hilde Wouters, Karin Nys, Hugo Thienpont
Civilized societies should safeguard their heritage as it plays an important role in community building. Moreover, past technologies often inspire new technology. Authenticity is besides conservation and restoration a key aspect in preserving our past, for example in museums when exposing showpieces. The classification of being authentic relies on an interdisciplinary approach integrating art historical and archaeological research complemented with applied research. In recent decades analytical dating tools are based on determining the raw materials used...
November 24, 2016: Scientific Reports
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27881876/the-efficacy-of-high-throughput-sequencing-and-target-enrichment-on-charred-archaeobotanical-remains
#13
H M Nistelberger, O Smith, N Wales, B Star, S Boessenkool
The majority of archaeological plant material is preserved in a charred state. Obtaining reliable ancient DNA data from these remains has presented challenges due to high rates of nucleotide damage, short DNA fragment lengths, low endogenous DNA content and the potential for modern contamination. It has been suggested that high-throughput sequencing (HTS) technologies coupled with DNA enrichment techniques may overcome some of these limitations. Here we report the findings of HTS and target enrichment on four important archaeological crops (barley, grape, maize and rice) performed in three different laboratories, presenting the largest HTS assessment of charred archaeobotanical specimens to date...
November 24, 2016: Scientific Reports
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27872313/the-earliest-maize-from-san-marcos-tehuac%C3%A3-n-is-a-partial-domesticate-with-genomic-evidence-of-inbreeding
#14
Miguel Vallebueno-Estrada, Isaac Rodríguez-Arévalo, Alejandra Rougon-Cardoso, Javier Martínez González, Angel García Cook, Rafael Montiel, Jean-Philippe Vielle-Calzada
Pioneering archaeological expeditions lead by Richard MacNeish in the 1960s identified the valley of Tehuacán as an important center of early Mesoamerican agriculture, providing by far the widest collection of ancient crop remains, including maize. In 2012, a new exploration of San Marcos cave (Tehuacán, Mexico) yielded nonmanipulated maize specimens dating at a similar age of 5,300-4,970 calibrated y B.P. On the basis of shotgun sequencing and genomic comparisons to Balsas teosinte and modern maize, we show herein that the earliest maize from San Marcos cave was a partial domesticate diverging from the landraces and containing ancestral allelic variants that are absent from extant maize populations...
November 21, 2016: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27871014/tooth-wear-pattern-analysis-in-a-sample-of-italian-early-bronze-age-population-proposal-of-a-3-d-sampling-sequence
#15
Sabrina Masotti, Nika Bogdanic, Julie Arnaud, Franco Cervellati, Emanuela Gualdi-Russo
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to assess the prevalence, distribution and intensity of tooth wear in a sample of an ancient Italian population in order to explain the pattern in terms of dietary habits and/or non-dietary tooth-use behaviors during the Early Bronze Age, with a focus on possible age-group and sex differences. DESIGN: Well-preserved permanent teeth of individuals from the Bronze Age site of Ballabio (Lecco) in northern Italy were examined for tooth wear by different methods...
November 11, 2016: Archives of Oral Biology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27870877/nut-cracking-tools-used-by-captive-chimpanzees-pan-troglodytes-and-their-comparison-with-early-stone-age-percussive-artefacts-from-olduvai-gorge
#16
Adrián Arroyo, Satoshi Hirata, Tetsuro Matsuzawa, Ignacio de la Torre
We present the results of a series of experiments at the Kumamoto Sanctuary in Japan, in which captive chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) performed several nut cracking sessions using raw materials from Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania. We examined captive chimpanzee pounding tools using a combination of technological analysis, use-wear distribution, and micro-wear analysis. Our results show specific patterns of use-wear distribution across the active surfaces of pounding tools, which reveal some similarities with traces on archaeological percussive objects from the Early Stone Age, and are consistent with traces on other experimental pounding tools used by modern humans...
2016: PloS One
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27867830/niche-construction-social-cognition-and-language-hypothesizing-the-human-as-the-production-of-place
#17
Oliver Davies
New data is emerging from evolutionary anthropology and the neuroscience of social cognition on our species-specific hyper-cooperation (HC). This paper attempts an integration of third-person archaeological and second-person, neuroscientific perspectives on the structure of HC, through a post-Ricoeurian development in hermeneutical phenomenology. We argue for the relatively late evolution of advanced linguistic consciousness (ALC) (Hiscock in Biological Theory 9:27-41, 2014), as a reflexive system based on the 'in-between' or 'cognitive system' as reported by Vogeley et al...
2016: Culture and Brain
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27866890/genome-sequence-of-a-5-310-year-old-maize-cob-provides-insights-into-the-early-stages-of-maize-domestication
#18
Jazmín Ramos-Madrigal, Bruce D Smith, J Víctor Moreno-Mayar, Shyam Gopalakrishnan, Jeffrey Ross-Ibarra, M Thomas P Gilbert, Nathan Wales
The complex evolutionary history of maize (Zea mays L. ssp. mays) has been clarified with genomic-level data from modern landraces and wild teosinte grasses [1, 2], augmenting archaeological findings that suggest domestication occurred between 10,000 and 6,250 years ago in southern Mexico [3, 4]. Maize rapidly evolved under human selection, leading to conspicuous phenotypic transformations, as well as adaptations to varied environments [5]. Still, many questions about the domestication process remain unanswered because modern specimens do not represent the full range of past diversity due to abandonment of unproductive lineages, genetic drift, on-going natural selection, and recent breeding activity...
December 5, 2016: Current Biology: CB
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27865101/diagnostic-guide-enabling-distinction-between-taphonomic-stains-and-enamel-hypomineralisation-in-an-archaeological-context
#19
Elsa Garot, Christine Couture-Veschambre, David Manton, Vincent Rodriguez, Yannick Lefrais, Patrick Rouas
OBJECTIVE: Molar Incisor Hypomineralisation (MIH) is a structural anomaly that affects the quality of tooth enamel and has important consequences for oral health. The developmentally hypomineralised enamel has normal thickness and can range in colour from white to yellow or brown with or without surface breakdown. The possibility of finding MIH in 'ancient populations' could downplay several current aetiological hypotheses (e.g., dioxin derivatives, bisphenols, antibiotics) without excluding the possible multifactorial aspect of the anomaly...
November 10, 2016: Archives of Oral Biology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27862638/thorns-and-dermal-denticles-of-skates-atlantoraja-cyclophora-and-a-castelnaui-microscopic-features-and-functional-implications
#20
Bianca de Sousa Rangel, Natascha Wosnick, Rafael Magdanelo Leandro, Alberto Ferreira de Amorim, José Roberto Kfoury Junior, Rose Eli Grassi Rici
Some batoid species are covered with dermal denticles (or placoid scales) that occasionally develop into thorns. In sexually mature males, sharp teeth and alar thorns found on the apex of the lateral disc are used to hold the female during copulation. This study set out to analyze microscopic features of modified dermal denticles and thorns and to investigate sexual dimorphism in Atlantoraja cyclophora and A. castelnaui species. Skin samples collected from areas covered with thorns were fixed in 10% formaldehyde, processed and analyzed using scanning electron microscopy...
December 2016: Microscopy Research and Technique
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