• Temple in the mountains, Japan / Luke Zeme / CC BY-NC-SA; https://flic.kr/p/dy7snP




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Theme list | Session organizers index | Accepted sessions list |

T10. Science and Archaeology
Robin Torrence
Scientific concepts and methods are essential to modern archaeology, but the rapidly increasing number and sophistication of techniques challenge scholars to make the best use of potential opportunities. To address this problem, contributions will showcase the broadest possible range of recent innovations in archaeological science through the presentation of cutting edge case studies sourced from across the world. Subject areas could include, but are not restricted to, general topics such as dating, diet reconstruction, innovation, craft specialization, trade and exchange, domestication, mobility, demography, etc. or approaches like DNA, provenance identification, isotopes, tool residues, geoarchaeology, zooarchaeology, palaeobotany, materials science, etc. Sessions will also critically examine the utility and relevance of scientific approaches and techniques for answering questions posed by contemporary archaeological theory. What are the current limitations of scientific archaeology? How can current challenges be overcome through new methods, collaborations or synergies? Can research efforts and funding be better directed to tackle significant questions about the past? In addition, what are the exciting developments on the horizon? The aim of the sessions and discussion forums is to showcase top quality research in all areas of archaeological science as well as to consider current and potential problems and challenges for the field, particularly in terms of research agendas, sustainability of data, democratizing access to data and facilities, and the maintenance of standards and rigour.


Bones and Society: Integrating Zooarchaeology and Social Archaeology

Organiser(s): Christian Gates St-Pierre (Université de Montréal / Canada), Alice Choyke (Central European University / Hungary) and Salima Ikram (American University in Cairo / Egypt)
Type: Symposium
Contact: christian.gates-st-pierre(at)umontreal.ca
The field of zooarchaeology has experienced important developments over the past decades. No longer an underrated sub-discipline in the service of archaeologists, it has become a mature domain of research with its own identity, methods, concepts and approaches. However, many fundamental research questions have yet to be fully explored by zooarchaeologists. The development of a social zooarchaeology is a recent and promising example; it fits within the larger field of social archaeology, and it can contribute to moving zooarchaeology beyond subsistence studies or studies of osseous industries. In this context, the goal of the present session is to examine how zooarchaeological studies and social archaeology can be mutually integrated to further document and understand the social dimensions of past societies. The presentations could address topics such as the specialization of bone tool production, the social transmission of hunting techniques and knowledge, household archaeology, social inequalities and complex societies, socioeconomic adaptations to changing environments, social interactions and mobility, identity and power relations, or the symbolic and religious roles of animals. Contributions can involve any time period, geographical area, or theoretical approach. However, contributions that include methods and techniques drawn from the archaeological sciences are most welcome. Calls for papers have already been sent. A list of participants with tentative titles will be provided by the end of November.
Keywords: Zooarchaeology, Social archaeology, Archaeological science


Ceramics and Archaeometry

Organiser(s): Sarah Kelloway (University of New South Wales / Australia), Javier Iñañez (Universidad del País Vasco / Spain) and Hector Neff (California State University / USA)
Contact: Sarah.kelloway(at)unsw.edu.au
Type: Symposium
The application of archaeometry to ceramics has led to a vast array of analytical techniques being used to study pottery, with a multitude of papers published every year based on ceramic characterisation. The number of these techniques is continuously growing with new and/or improved analytical methods continually developing and leading to innovative approaches to probe archaeological issues. The analysis of ceramics is used to answer a multitude of questions regarding ceramic production, distribution, and use, often intersecting with other areas of archaeology, such as geoarchaeology, material culture studies, and trade and exchange. To explore the range of techniques utilised and the issues to which ceramic archaeometry has contributed significant insights, this session invites oral and poster presentations from any region and period, with papers that present the use of recent advancements in techniques to approach archaeological questions encouraged, as well as those using more traditional analytical methods.
Keywords: ceramics, archaeometry, archaeology


Births, mothers and babies: a bioarchaeological perspective

Organiser(s): Sofija Stefanovic (University of Belgrade / Serbia) and Gwenaëlle Goude (Aix-Marseille University / France)
Contact: smstefan(at)f.bg.ac.rs
Type: Symposium
Although births, mothers and babies present key pillars for human survival, their role has not been adequately studied, either by physical anthropology or archaeology. The attitudes of past communities towards pregnancy, birth and neonatal care must have played a key role in the success of the birthing process, but these have also not been satisfactorily addressed in archaeological writing. The aim of this session is to provide an overview of bioarchaeological research into the place of births, mothers and babies in ancient populations across time and space. Contributions will use multidisciplinary approaches and improved methodologies to address the roles and circumstances of birthing in human evolution. New methods for studying pregnancy, breastfeeding-weaning and social status of women and children, eg., through studies of nutrition, health, and growth, will be showcased.
Keywords: bioarchaeology of birthing and childcare


New contributions to geoarchaeology

Organiser(s): Tara Beuzen-Waller (Paris-Sorbonne University / France), Yasuhisa Kondo (Research Institute for Humanity and Nature / Japan) and Friederike Stock (University of Cologne / Germany)
Contact: tara.beuzen(at)gmail.com
Type: Symposium
Geoarchaeology, defined as the application of geosciences and geographical methods to prehistory, archaeology, and history, is now widely applied to study key subjects such as occupation patterns, territory and site exploitation, palaeoclimatic, palaeoenvironemental, and palaeogeographical change, as well as anthropogenic impacts and system responses. The multidisciplinary and multiscalar dimensions of geoarchaeological approaches have encouraged continuous development and innovation of methods and approaches that have opened new possibilities for explorations in geographical sectors previously inaccessible (aerial, submarine, and underground), the development of large-scale data acquisitions and treatment (through spatial analysis and the use of GIS), and also the development of microscopic scale analysis precision (micro fauna or vegetal remains, micromorphology). This session will highlight global research in geoarchaeology with particular emphasis on innovative methods or cutting edge research using established approaches.
Keywords: Geoarchaeology, Landscape, Environmental Context


Doing Digital Archaeology on A Budget: Application and Development of Low-cost Digital Solutions for Archaeology

Organiser(s): Philip Verhagen (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam / Netherland) and Yasuhisa Kondo (Research Institute for Humanity and Nature / Japan)
Type: Symposium
Contact: j.w.h.p.verhagen(at)vu.nl
In this session, we invite papers demonstrating and reflecting on the use of low-cost digital tools for archaeology. Over the past 25 years, archaeology has become more and more ‘digitized’ – but it comes at the price of investing considerable amounts of money in the necessary hardware, software, training and hiring of personnel. The availability of adequate digital tools for archaeologists can therefore be uneven, depending on the allocated financial means in different parts of the world, and in different environments (universities, government services and enterprises). While in some cases we can profit from a general trend of technology becoming ever more cheaper (drones, GPS, Structure From Motion, and open source software), in other cases, access to digital technology is much more problematic (proprietary software platforms, advanced geophysical and laser-scanning equipment, supercomputing access). On top of that, the price of digital data varies enormously as well. How do these barriers influence the way that archaeologists are using digital technology in their work all over the world? What are the best ways to profit optimally from digital tools, even when money is hard to find? And can archaeologists develop their own low-cost solutions, and to share these with colleagues?
Keywords: digital archaeology, access to technology, low-cost tools


Cyberarchaeology: Simulations, Massive Data and Beyond

Organiser(s): Maurizio Forte (Duke University / USA), Thomas Levy (University of California, San Diego / USA), Sarah Kenderdine (University of New South Wales / Australia) and Miaole Hou (Beijing University of Civil Engineering and Architecture / China)
Type: Symposium
Contact: maurizio.forte(at)duke.edu
Cyberarchaeology has revolutionized modern archaeology through the use of massive digital recording, virtual simulation, data curation and digital transmission. The first effect of this revolution was an increased number of strongly technologically oriented projects and applications. Along with the functionality of Virtual Reality (VR) to enable unique ways to integrate spatial maps and VR renderings, a second functionality deals with the ability to find relations among multiple digital media objects in the same environment. The interpretation process in cyberarchaeology is characterized by multivocality, collaborative work, networking, new digital media and open digital narratives; it is a fluid and open process. The passage from digital-to-digital pushes the interpretation to another territory: i.e. simulation. It is an endless process to generate multiple models at different resolutions and with different content. What can archaeologists do with this kind and vast amount of data? How can we deal with hyper-accuracy of such models? What lies beyond a 3D model? How can we codify and transmit this knowledge for the future?
This session invites papers that tackle these and additional questions at the intersection of data recording (the input) and virtual reality (the output). Theoretical and applied research and discussions of the educational impact of cyberarchaeology in different countries, cultural contexts and chronological periods are welcome.
Keywords: cyberarchaeology, virtual past, digital media


Tools and traces: microwear and residues in hunter-gatherer societies

Organiser(s): Shoh Yamada (Institute of Accelerator Analysis Ltd. / Japan), Atsushi Sawada (Niigata Prefecture Archaeological Research Corporation / Japan), Richard Fullagar (University of Wollongong / Australia) and Alfred Pawlik (University of the Philippines / Philippines)
Type: Symposium
Contact: shohyamada(at)hotmail.com
Recent microwear and residue studies have immensely expanded our knowledge about prehistoric technology, tool use, behaviour since the earliest Palaeolithic. These analytical tools help to identify actual functions of prehistoric tools; provide an alternative approach to techno-typological classifications of tool assemblages with little or no formal character; and, overall, provide numerous insights into the technological advancement, activities and subsistence of hunter-gatherers over more than 2 million years.
The session aims are to (1) document what residues and microwear can tell us about hunter-gatherer behaviour, and (2) understand tool-use, resource exploitation and behavior among early human/hominin groups.
The session organizers welcome papers on the study of wear and residues on Palaeolithic and later artefacts and coming from all origins, including traces caused by use, artefact production, hafting, prehension, incidental contact, maintenance and curation, and on all artefact materials used during this period (e.g. stone, bone, antler, tooth, shell). We especially encourage presentations related to the theme of hunter-gatherers and early humans, but we will consider usewear/residue studies related to other contexts.
Keywords: usewear, hunter-gatherer behaviour, prehistoric technology


Empirical challenges in model-based Archaeology

Organiser(s): Enrico Crema (University of Cambridge / UK), Fabio Silva (UCL Institute of Archaeology / UK) and Xavier Rubio-Campillo (Barcelona Supercomputing Center / Spain)
Type: Symposium
Contact: erc62(at)cam.ac.u
Advances in quantitative and computational methods are increasingly promoting the use of formal models in archaeology. These approaches offer advantages over explanations based on natural language; their assumptions are not implicit and both their internal consistency and logical consequences can be thoroughly evaluated. More importantly formal models can be used to quantify the distance between an explanation and an empirical observation. However, their use in archaeology is hindered by a lack of epistemological discussions. Problems such as the choice of an appropriate statistic describing the observed data, the balance between parsimony, complexity, and goodness-of-fit, or the inferential framework for selecting or rejecting alternative hypotheses are rarely discussed. We believe that this is a critical issue that transcends the specific methods used in each subfield and cannot be simply dismissed as a challenge for other disciplines outside of archaeology.
We welcome different expertise (e.g. agent-based simulation, phylogenetics, network analysis, Bayesian inference, etc.) facing the shared challenge of relating models to the archaeological record. Participants will present examples showcasing problems and solutions on a variety of topics, including: uncertainty in the observed data, parameter search and estimation, model reusability and reproducibility, and application of hypothesis testing vs. model-comparison frameworks.
Keywords: Quantitative and Computational Methods; Model-based Archaeology; Archaeological Method and Theory


Social Archaeometallurgy: The Role of Metal Within and Between Societies

Organiser(s): Mark Pollard (University of Oxford/ UK), Shadreck Chirikure (University of Cape Town / South Africa), Junko Uchida (Academia Sinica / Taiwan) and Yoshiyuki Iizuka (Academia Sinica / Taiwan)
Type: Symposium
Contact: mark.pollard(at)rlaha.ox.ac.uk
Emerging in the 1950s, archaeometallurgy initially focussed on studying remains from high temperature processes such as metal production and fabrication. Up to until the 1980s, most archaeometallurgical work was highly technical in nature, and was often carried out by researchers with a background in physical and engineering sciences. This dictated that the sub-discipline was first and foremost laboratory based. With time, it became clear that archaeometallurgy needed to engage with social issues in order to provide realistic explanations of technological issues, and also to engage meaningfully with archaeological questions. This was aided by an increased application of theories from anthropological and sociological sciences that view technology as first and foremost social. Given the different trajectories taken by archaeometallurgy in the world, different regions now have different traditions. In Africa and Latin America, because of the dominance of ethnography and anthropology, archaeometallurgy has tended to be more social than technical, while in Europe the influences of the physical sciences made archaeometallurgy more technical than social. This session aims to bring together researchers from different parts of the world, and from different archaeometallurgical traditions, to discuss multiple issues embedded in social archaeometallurgy.
Keywords: archaeometallurgy, social, context


Workshop on Oxygen Isotopic Dendroarchaeology

Organiser(s): Takeshi Nakatsuka (Research Institute for Humanity and Natur / Japan),  Chenxi Xu (Chinese Academy of Sciences / China) and Katsuhiko Kimura (Fukushima University / Japan)
Type: workshop
Contact: nakatsuka(at)chikyu.ac.jp
Dendrochronological dating of excavated woods is one of the most accurate dating methods in archaeology. However, it is not very useful in temperate and humid regions, because the chronological patterns of tree-ring width are not very consistent among different tree individuals due to ecological disturbances, so that a particular master chronology is required for each tree specimen. Because oxygen isotope ratios of cellulose extracted from tree rings in temperate and humid regions reflect summer precipitation and show consistent variation among different trees and tree species, it can be a reliable dendrochronological tool to support traditional tree-ring width measurement.
Although the costs, measured in time and money, of analyzing tree-ring oxygen isotope ratios are greater than measuring tree-ring width, recent innovations in analytical techniques have made this tool applicable not only for precise reconstruction of past summer precipitation, but also for dendroarchaeological dating of many excavated woods. So far, numerous long chronologies of tree-ring oxygen isotope ratios, sometimes more than 4000 years, have been established in Asia and they have been applied successfully to date archaeological woods in East Asia. The aim of this workshop is to provide background information on the principle of this new technique, which has potential significance for many other parts of the world, and to illustrate its significances with key case studies.
Keywords: dendrochronology, oxygen isotope ratio, cellulose


Skeleton keys: How human remains research contributes to our understanding of the past

Organiser(s): Hiroko Hashimoto (The Kyoto University Museum / Japan) and Carolyn Rando (UCL Institute of Archaeology / UK)
Type: Symposium
Contact:  hashimoto.hiroko.7n(at)kyoto-u.ac.jp
Over the last few decades, studies on human remains have become an increasingly pivotal component in aiding our understanding of the past. However, recently, these studies have focused, perhaps a bit too strongly, on either specialised methodology or on detailed descriptions of the skeletal material, without considering the wider context into which they fit. While these analyses are crucial, we, as osteoarchaeologists, must consider how our interpretations can be utilised not only to answer biological questions about the people, but to also address questions regarding the archaeological context (i.e. burial customs, food processing/consumption, human interaction with the environment, migration patterns, and to contribute to the general reconstruction of the site/wider context). We invite submissions from all aspects of human remains research (including dental anthropologists & dentists, human biologists, palaeopathologists, palaeoanthropologists, and those working on DNA, isotopes or other advanced techniques) regardless of temporal/geographical focus. We would also like to encourage archaeologists from all sub-disciplines to come and listen, to start a dialogue to build an even more robust reconstruction of the past. Accordingly, we can discuss how we can make our data more accessible to the wider archaeological discourse, in order to improve our understanding of past human culture.
Keywords: human remains; behaviour; bioarchaeology


Multiproxy Wetland and Lakeside Archaeology: From Constructed Niches to the Anthropocene

Organiser(s): Tony Brown (University of Southampton / UK), Naoto Yamamoto (Nagoya University / Japan) and Hidetaka Bessho (Higashiosaka City Cultural Foundation / Japan)
Type: Symposium
Contact: Tony.Brown(at)soton.ac.uk
Archaeological sites in wetlands and lake environments  have revealed remarkable aspects of the human past that are out of reach of typical dry-land archaeology. The increasing sophistication of palaeoecological methods from biomarkers to aDNA is also producing remarkable data on human activities from lakes and wetland sites. These environmental archives can also record in unparalleled detail the slow and non-linear transition from human co-habited niches to the ecological dominance that characterises the Anthropocene. Whilst the excavation of wetland sites started in NW Europe, especially on the famous lake villages of Switzerland, it has now expanded worldwide to southern Europe, North America, and even Africa. One of the geographical areas of greatest potential is SE Asia including Japan, where excavations of Jomon sites have revealed both remarkable, but also important, details of past human lives and their relationship to changing environmental conditions. Because of the exceptional importance of environmental data to wetland archaeology its study has always been closely related to palaeoecology and this session will exploit this Ecology-Archaeology synergy. In this session, jointly convened by European and Japanese environmental archaeologists we will address how studies of wetland sites (wetlands and lakes) can contribute to studies of Holocene hunter gatherer lifestyles including plant and animal husbandry, to the history of agriculture worldwide and the relative importance of environmental change at a variety of scales from the short-lived and local ‘events’ to global trends.
Keywords: wetlands, lakes, Jomon, palaeodiet, nutrition


Anthropic Markers of Plant-related Activities: Archaeobotany 2.0

Organiser(s): Debora Zurro (Spanish Council for Scientific Research / Spain),  Luis Barba (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México / Mexico), Alessandra Pecci (University of Barcelona / Spain) and Carla Lancelotti (Universitat Pompeu Fabra / Spain)
Type: Symposium
Contact: debora(at)imf.csic.es
Human activities produce different evidences that can be identified by the naked eye or through the application of techniques. The concept of anthropic marker (AM) -models of accumulation and distribution of proxies and materials from a particular activity- can be used as an interpretative tool. Ethnoarchaeology and experimental archaeology, drive the creation of these models.
In this session, we focus on AMs of plant-related activities. Ethnographic knowledge and archaeological preservation constraints induce us to think that past societies used plants more than we acknowledge. The application of quantitative, transdisciplinary and multi-scalar techniques might be pivotal to their holistic understanding. We invite presentations mostly centred on:
· the study of artefacts or structures related to plant-related activities (e.g. grinding tools or storage structures)
· the extensive array of techniques directed to the study of plant remains (from charcoal or seeds to phytoliths or starches) · plant by-products (i.e. organic residues),
· the development of sampling strategies and data elaboration
We aim at having presentations from different academic and archaeological contexts that combine several lines of evidence and methodologies and that aim at using ethnoarchaeology and experimental archaeology as the ground for archaeological theory building and hypotheses testing.
Keywords: Anthropic activity markers, archaeological interpretation, plant exploitation


Holocene Land Use: A Critical Evaluation for Understanding the History of Human Land Use Dynamics

Organiser(s): Marco Madella (Universitat Pompeu Fabra / Spain),  Thomas Foster (The University of Tulsa / USA) and Stefano Biagetti (The University of the Witwatersrand / South Africa)
Type: Symposium
Contact: marco.madella(at)icrea.cat
The aim of this session is to address changes in land cover across the globe and to disentangle changes induced by climate (or other &natural* forces) and by human land use practices. Archaeologists have argued that land cover changes due to anthropogenic land use are very old, dating to periods well before the beginnings of agriculture. While these are dated to ca. 6000 calendar years BP in Europe farming is significantly older in many other parts of the world.
In this session we intend to bring together archaeologists with an interest on land use and land cover over the Holocene from any area or region of the world. As we will take a global perspective, we expect diverse regional land use and subsistence practices to be explored: from hunter-gatherer manipulation of vegetation to farming and other historical transitions, such as industrialization.
Papers that synthesize understanding of subsidence practices and their implications for land usage are welcomed. We are particularly interested in receiving papers addressing these issues through an interdisciplinary approach and broad chronological perspective.
Keywords: Landuse, Farming, Forest Management


Paleopathology in Asia

Organiser(s): Hisashi Fujita (Niigata College of Nursing / Japan) and Dong Hoon Shin (Seoul National University / South Korea)
Type: Symposium
Contact: rxh05535(at)nifty.com
Paleopathology is the study of health and disease of pre-modern peoples around the world. Although in Europe and the Americas there is a long history of research in this field and this has produced a large quantity of excellent data, there are many fewer studies of ancient human remains from Asian archaeological sites. Given that Asia was the cradle of great ancient civilizations, the deficiency of paleopathological data means that our understanding of pre-modern peoples* lives in this region is inadequate. The aims of this session are to provide a comprehensive review and discussion of current trends in paleopathological research in Asia and to examine prospects for future research.
Keywords: paleopathology, physical anthropology, human diseases


Multi-proxy evidence for reconstructing ancient diets and foodways

Organiser(s): Ayako Shibutani (National Museum of Japanese History / Japan), Oliver Craig (University of York / UK) and Shinya Shoda (University of York / UK)
Type: Forums
Contact: shibutani(at)rekihaku.ac.jp
In the past few decades, research into ancient diets has been transformed by the application of new scientific techniques. Stable isotope analysis of human remains and organic residue analysis of pottery are now being routinely applied and have had a major impact on many spheres of archaeological research, from understanding early hominid diets to investigating medieval cooking practices. Now that these methods are sufficiently developed, arguably the next challenge is better integration with complementary lines of investigation, such as archaeozoology, archaeobotany, physical anthropology and artefact analysis. Such multi-proxy studies offer greater promise for using dietary data to study health, economy and cultural practices in the past. The aim of this session is to promote such interdisciplinary approaches to the study of ancient diets. We welcome contributions that report case studies combining dietary information obtained from diverse sources, new techniques for dietary reconstruction or more theoretical discussion of the development of this field.
Keywords: Ancient diets, foodways, scientific techniques


Multidisciplinary approach in the definition of high-resolution events to interpret past human behaviour

Organiser(s): Francesca Romagnoli (Institut Català de Paleoecologia Humana i Evolució Social / Spain), Yoshihiro Nishiaki (University of Tokyo / Japan), Florent Rivals (Institut Català de Paleoecologia Humana i Evolució Social / Spain) and Manuel Vaquero (Universitat Rovira i Virgili / Spain)
Type: Symposium
Contact:  f.romagnoli2(at)gmail.com
The identification of high-resolution events in archaeological context is a research strength to interpret past human behaviour. It is a current topic which is opening new perspectives and offering methodological challenges in the development of multidisciplinary synergies to detect the temporal resolution of data analised. Having a closer look to the archaeological record is possible to reduce the scale of analysis of archaeological context and get close to the comprehension of mechanisms that influence cultural changes and long-term social and economic processes.
The identification of high-resolution events can be reached through several different perspectives and disciplines such as taphonomy, archaeozoology, lithic analysis, pottery study, refitting, and spatial pattern analysis among others.
The high-resolution analysis is a branch of research that could be applied to any cultural context, and chronological range, and for any type of archaeological site.
The aim of the session is to discuss theoretical and methodological aspects through the presentation of relevant case studies. Original research data on cultural material in all archaeological, geographical and chronological areas are welcome. The wide applicability of high-resolution analysis is promising to make the session a great opportunity for scientific, global interaction.
Keywords: cultural material; ethnoarchaeology; past human behaviour


The Art of Archaeogenetics

Organiser(s): Jan Storå (Stockholm University / Sweden), Mehmet Somel (Middle East Technical University, Ankara / Turkey) and Anna Kjellström (Stockholm University / Sweden)
Type: Symposium
Contact: jan.stora(at)ofl.su.se
Archaeogenetics has gained a significant momentum in recent years.  The last decade has seen profound advancements state-of-the-art technologies, the introduction of next generation sequencing, the understanding of contamination problems and the bio-statistical handling of “Big Data”, which all have contributed to new levels of knowledge of ancient genetics. New knowledge about human populations, migration patterns and demographic processes have emerged that poses new prospects but also challenges for archaeology. The fast-moving development has been a challenge for archaeology. Now is the time to put more focus on contextualization, evaluation and interpretations of results in Archaeology. Which are the emerging potentials and possible challenges for the interpretative process? The session aims at demonstrating the necessity for broader approaches and more co-operation in order to reveal the full potential and diversity of the field. In what ways can we reach new knowledge of prehistoric life processes when genetic data are combined and integrated with socio-cultural phenomena such as mobility, assimilation, gender, sexuality, kinship and social status, as attested through material culture remains? The session calls for presentations with different perspectives, including studies of regional and chronological variation but also theoretical archaeological stands.
Keywords: Archaeogenetics, Integration of aDNA in Archaeology, Social Archaeology and genetics


Food, cuisine and diet: integrating method and theory

Organiser(s): Ayako Shibutani (National Museum of Japanese History / Japan), Oliver Craig (University of York / UK) and Shinya Shoda (University of York / UK)
Type: Forums
Contact: shibutani(at)rekihaku.ac.jp
Diet is a key aspects of human culture and traditions but is also shaped by the natural world. By determining changes in diet through time, we can understand both how humans have interacted with their changing environment but also key cultural transitions that have taken place. Recent archaeological scientific investigations in various parts of the world have been used to reconstruct ancient diets, cuisines, agricultural strategies, resource acquisitions, foodways, and human health with great success. The many advances in dietary studies using comparative approaches is beginning to challenge our understanding of dietary evolution. This session will highlight how current multi-disciplinary dietary studies, particularly in science, have advanced our knowledge of the origin, development and diversification of the human diets. Discussions will also focus on current limitations in dietary studies, particularly, how well method and theory have been integrated and applied to understand dietary transitions. The session will take a discussion forum style to bring together participants from all the WAC8 sessions that have considered food, diet and cuisine.
Keywords: Cuisine, diet, food


Between Foraging and Farming in East Asia: Archaeobotanical Contributions to the Muddle in the Middle

Organiser(s): Gary Crawford (University of Toronto / Canada), Hiroo Nasu (The Graduate University for Advanced Studies / Japan), Shinya Shoda (University of York / UK) and Gyoung-Ah Lee (University of Oregon / USA)
Type: Symposium
Contact: g.crawford(at)utoronto.ca
A wide range of human-plant interactions characterized the Late Pleistocene, and Early through Middle Holocene in East Asia. Some lead to what is traditionally considered to be agriculture while others stabilize in some degree of managed, broadly based systems with considerable longevity. The former is best exemplified by the North Chinese and Yangtze valley sequences while the Japanese Jomon characterizes the latter. The Korean Peninsula Chulmun has aspects of both. How different are these systems? Palaeoethnobotanists from these regions will consider the current archaeobotanical data in terms of the human niche in their respective area with the objective of developing a comparative perspective on human-plant interaction in East Asia. The debate needs to include the nature of human-plant interactions in specific regions. By exploring the diversity of these interactions (including domestication, anthropogenesis, niche construction, etc.) we may be better equipped to examine the circumstances underlying issues such as the early rise and intensification of agriculture in some regions of China and the development of apparently more balanced regimes consisting of mixed economies with plant management, resource production, domestication of a few plants, and a continued emphasis on resource collection/gathering, hunting and fishing in other areas such as Japan.
Keywords: East Asia, Archaeobotany, Human niche


Social transformation and climate change

Organiser(s): Takehiko Matsugi (National Museum of Japanese History / Japan), Takeshi Nakatsuka (Research Institute for Humanity and Nature / Japan) and Hyeong Won Lee (Hanshin University / South Korea)
Type: Symposium
Contact: matsugi(at)rekihaku.ac.jp
This session aims to investigate the relationship between climate change and social transformation in ancient societies.  Archaeologists from across the globe and representing a broad range of time periods will consider whether social, cultural and demographic changes can be explained in terms of shifts in paleoclimate.  Case studies will showcase how the recent expansion in climatic data sets and independent proxies for climate can be combined with better chronologies to support more rigorous testing of hypotheses about the effects of climate change on subsistence demography and social processes.
Keywords: Social transformation,paleoclimate,environmental archaeology


Underwater archaeology using robots

Organiser(s): Ken’ichi Yano (Ritsumeikan University / Japan), Sadao Kawamura (Ritsumeikan University / Japan) and Michel L’Hour (Le Département des recherches Archéologiques Subaquatiques et Sous-Marines / France)
Type: Symposium
Contact: kyt21175(at)lt.ritsumei.ac.jp
Underwater archaeology using robots [ Abstract ]  Underwater archaeology is a unique area for archaeologists, because it needs some specific methods and technologies to underwater sites. Use of small underwater robots is useful for one of research methods of underwater archaeological sites. Ready-made robots have been used for many researches of underwater archaeology in the world. We would like to survey some case studies about underwater sites which were found or investigated with underwater robots, and discuss about its convenience and problems in using robots for underwater sites.
In addition, underwater archaeologists can coordinate with robotics technologists to develop more suitable robots for researching underwater sites than ready-made robots. We know some weak points of ready-made robots for  (1) operation of the robot itself, (2) GPS information acquisition technology in deep water, (3) image processing technology for images captured by underwater cameras, etc. In the session, not only archaeologists but also technologists interested in archaeology can discuss about the more suitable robots for underwater archaeology. We would like to find and discuss about effective ways to research underwater archaeological sites using underwater robots.
Keywords: underwater robot technology


Beyond the African Burial Ground Symposium III: African American Origins: New genetic technologies, methods, and questions

Organiser(s): Michael L. Blakey (College of William and Mary / USA), Autumn R. Barrett (College of William and Mary / USA) and Grace Turner (Antiquities, Monuments & Museum Corporation / Bahamas)
Type: Symposium
Contact: mlblak(at)wm.edu
The New York African Burial Ground Project that studied an 18th century African cemetery in downtown Manhattan always recognized its positioning within complex currents of a critical social history of scholarship. Established in 1992, the Project synthesized mutual values of memorialization and research in a program empowered by New York’s “descendant community” seeking to disable white supremacy in anthropological constructions of African American memory. The result was an unparalleled ethnically integrated, interdisciplinary research team led by African Americans, ancestral reclamation and reburial, erection of a US National Monument and a Visitor Center, to tell the story of “enslaved Africans” in New York.

The topic of this symposium are new answers and questions derived from the Project’s descendant community, with particular reference to the use of genetics to explore these, Publicly engaged research designs and language, including “descendant communities,” continue to resonate in American archaeology, and beyond. We discuss scholarship and contiued engagement on the once unique question, “what are the African cultural origins of African Americans.” What processes are shared by archaeological projects in the African Diaspora and by anthropologists engaging descendant communities? Beyond a retrospective, we focus on processes and products reflecting the current moment in the politics of the past, and theoretical and methodological implications for the future.
Keywords: publicly engaged research design, descendant community, genetics