Archaeology

Spectrochemical Characterization of Red Pigments Used in Classic Period Maya Funerary Practices
We studied the composition, colour chromaticity and form of application of red pigments in human bone samples from seven Classic period Lowland Maya sites. The samples were analysed by X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ray energy-dispersive spectroscopy (EDS). Colour was measured using conventional colour identification standards (Munsell) and reflectance spectroscopy....


A New Method For Combining Lead Isotope and Lead Abundance Data to Characterize Archaeological Copper Alloys
We present a new methodology for interpreting lead isotope data from archaeological copper alloy objects. It is not based on the conventional isotope ratio biplots, which were originally devised to allow the calculation of the geological age of the lead mineralization, but is derived from isotope mixing models, more often used for presenting strontium isotope data. We illustrate the method by r...
Early Renaissance Production Recipes for Naples Yellow Pigment: A Mineralogical and Lead Isotope Study of Italian Majolica from Montelupo (Florence)
The Naples Yellow pigment was apparently used for the first time by the Egyptians, as a glass-colouring agent. Also known in the Mesopotamian and Roman cultures, the recipe was lost in Western Europe between the fourth and the 16th centuries ad. The recipe for the production of lead antimonate recently discovered in the ‘Codice Calabranci’ (second half of the 15th century) at Montelupo, a s...


For Whom the Bells Fall: Metals from the Cenote Sagrado, Chichén Itzá
Bells of copper and copper alloys and gold–copper alloys were deposited in events at the Cenote Sagrado at Chichén Itzá, Mexico during the site's primary occupation (ad 750–1050) and in later centuries. Housed in three museums in the United States and Mexico, bells (n = 38) were evaluated for traces of fabrication and alteration using Vis–UV–IR optical microscopy. Bulk composition...
Elemental Characterization by EDXRF of Imperial Longquan Celadon Porcelain Excavated from Fengdongyan Kiln, Dayao County
A mass of Longquan porcelain shards carved with ‘Guan’ or the dragon patterns were unearthed in the early Ming Dynasty layer of the Fengdongyan kiln site at Dayao County. These celadon shards were fired in the Hongwu and Yongle eras of the Ming Dynasty. In order to research the raw materials and firing technology of the imperial porcelain, 85 typical shards were analysed by energy-dispersiv...


Practical Knowledge in the Viking Age: the use of mental templates in clinker shipbuilding
It has long been recognized that ships built according to the Nordic clinker tradition during the Viking Age were conceived and constructed simultaneously by eye, in a shell-first manner, and using rules-of-thumb to control both the longitudinal and transversal shape of the hull. While a lot of attention has been paid to the conceptual definition of the keel and stems, far less research has exp...
Early Neolithic funerary diversity and mitochondrial variability of two Iberian sites
An analysis of the burial characteristics of the individuals recovered from two Early Neolithic sites in Navarre (Los Cascajos and Paternanbidea), in the Spanish Basque Country, revealed a complex funerary ritual. The individuals recovered from the Paternanbidea site were distributed in three double graves and a multiple one, while the individuals from Los Cascajos were buried in individual pit...

The West Coast of India and the Maritime World of the Western Indian Ocean
This paper highlights the role of the fishing and sailing communities in the maritime world of the Western Indian Ocean. The focus is on the Western Coastal Plain extending from the present state of Gujarat in the north through Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka and Kerala. Drawing on information provided by the Periplus Maris Erythraei on local boats plying the region, the paper discusses cross-cultu...
Early evolution of the Eukaryota
The evolution of eukaryotes represents one of the most fundamental transitions in the history of life on Earth; however, there is little consensus as to when or over what timescale it occurred. Review of recent hypotheses and data in a phylogenetic context yields a broadly coherent account. Critical re-assessment of the palaeontological record provides convincing evidence for the presence of cr...

The origins of molluscs
The interrelationships and evolutionary history of molluscs have seen great advances in the last decade. Recent phylogenetic studies have allowed alternative morphology-based evolutionary scenarios to be tested and, most significantly, shown that the aplacophorans are sister group to polyplacophorans (chitons), corroborating palaeontological and embryological evolutionary scenarios in which apl...
Antisocial media in archaeology?
An increasing number of individual archaeologists, archaeological organizations and institutions are using social media platforms for professional discussion and networking, research, public outreach and community archaeology. Proponents of social media have particularly pointed towards their potential for transforming the means of networking and communication in archaeology, and challenging tr...

Assembling archaeological pedagogy. A theoretical framework for valuing pedagogy in archaeological interpretation and practice
Drawing on relational theoretical perspectives in archaeological discourse, this paper considers how we can address the undervaluation of pedagogy and pedagogic research in archaeology. Through examining the relationships between fieldwork, teaching, and research, in light of Ingold's concept of the meshwork and DeLanda's assemblage theory, the division between teaching and research is undermin...
Middens, memory and the effect of waste. Beyond symbolic meaning in archaeological deposits. An early medieval case study
Building upon the debate published in volume 19 of Archaeological dialogues, this contribution explores how, rather than seeing deposits as meaningful, we can move to explore the processes through which things and spaces become waste as well as the broader social effects of these processes in relation to elements of identity and sense of place. An extended case study of depositional practice in...
Fluid consistencies. Material relationality in human engagements with water
Material things are not just passive recipients of human categories, meanings and values, nor mere subjects of human agency. Their particular characteristics and behaviours are formative of human–non-human relations. The common material properties of things, and the shared cognitive and phenomenological processes through which people interact with them, generate recurrent ideas and patter...
Deciphering the early evolution of echinoderms with Cambrian fossils
Echinoderms are a major group of invertebrate deuterostomes that have been an important component of marine ecosystems throughout the Phanerozoic. Their fossil record extends back to the Cambrian, when several disparate groups appear in different palaeocontinents at about the same time. Many of these early forms exhibit character combinations that differ radically from extant taxa, and thus the...