From February 29 to March 2, 2024 an online, free workshop on “Bioarchaeology in Mesopotamia” will showcase state-of-the-art bioarchaeological research in Mesopotamia.
“Bioarchaeology” is a broad umbrella term for research on biological remains recovered from archaeological contexts. Bioarchaeologists provide information on human health, diet, workload, mobility, and more. They reconstruct past ecologies and reveal ancient changes in climate. They illuminate economies and social structures, revealing how foods were produced, homes were furnished, and cities were cleaned (or not). They contribute information vital to understanding why people in the past settled where they did, and why they abandoned settlements.
The Faculty of Archaeology at the University of Warsaw will organize the lecture by Professor Ian Kuijt (Dept of Anthropology, University of Notre Dame) titled “Social abstraction, egalitarianism, and Pre-Pottery Neolithic communities: Reconsidering the evolution of the world’s first villages“. It is scheduled for 13th October, 11:30-13:00, room 212 in the building of the Faculty, ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 26/28, 00-927 Warszawa. The lecture will be available also online; to receive the link please contact Aldona Mueller Bieniek (email@example.com).
The earliest large cities emerged in northern Mesopotamia during the Late Chalcolithic (c. 4200 – 2900 BCE). It was a time of transformation from local village-based social structures to big cities with hierarchical societies, more sophisticated division of labour and development of central authorities towards early states. The process of urbanization is well indicated by the rapid increase in settlement size, which at Tell Brak reached more than 120 hectares in mid-4th millennium BCE. It was however not clear whether this process was due to local population growth or migration and absorption of people from different areas. A recent bioarchaeological study published in the Journal of Anthropological Archaeology offered a new line of evidence, suggesting that the Late Chalcolithic urban growth was supported by migration. Much like today, people migrated into the city and settled in neighborhoods based around their shared migratory origins. These neighborhoods remained distinct communities that did not begin to integrate for multiple generations.
The most recent volume of Bioarchaeology of the Near East contains three regular papers. Grigoria Ioannou and Kirsi O. Lorenz present a systematic review of the history and current state of research on bioarchaeology in Cyprus. Yossi Nagar and colleagues discuss the discovery of a disarticulated male skeleton found in a cave in the Judean desert and dated to the Early Chalcolithic. Finally, Stephen Haines and colleagues present two cases of concha bullosa, a relatively rare non-metric trait occurring in the nasal conchae and identified in two females from 20th-century Cyprus.
From April 2nd to April 6th, 2023, the 50th International Conference on Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology was held in Amsterdam. Polish archaeology was represented by a strong interdisciplinary group, which prepared two sessions and presented 10 presentations and 2 posters.
The joint Polish-American archaeological mission working in the city of Berenike on the Red Sea (Egypt) has succeeded in uncovering a statue of the worshiped Buddha from the Roman era, during excavations in the city’s archaeological temple.
Culture and Information Counsellor’s Office the Embassy of the Republic of Türkiye, The University of Warsaw and Türkiye Tourism Promotion and Development Agency (TGA) will host an archaeology seminar and photo exhibition on April 19, 2023, at the University of Warsaw. The aim of this event is to give more attention to the recent archaeological excavations at Proto-Neolithic archaeological sites in the region of Şanlıurfa, producing evidence that the famous constructions at Göbeklitepe were not exceptional, but typical for the formative period of farming societies.
When bioarchaeologists excavate human remains, they are sometimes faced with burials that can be somewhat complicated. A ‘perfect’ burial for bioarchaeological analyses would contain a complete set of bones that are well preserved. Some archaeological sites, however, are of such great significance that we even work with poorly preserved and incomplete burials, using unconventional methods that allow us to overcome these preservation limitations. This was proven by our research team whilst studying the Bronze Age cemetery of Deh Dumen, located in the Zagros Mountains in Iran.
The recent volume of Bioarchaeology of the Near East contains three regular papers and eight short fieldwork reports, with a broad range of topics. Nina Maaranen and colleagues from the ERC Hyksos Enigma project present research on dental non-metric traits at Avaris, the Hyksos capital city, compared to other samples from Egypt. Their results indicate that the people of Avaris were of different ancestry than Egyptians, supporting the hypothesis that a large-scale migration from the Levant to the eastern Nile delta occurred during the Second Intermediate Period.
Berdysyčran-depe, a hitherto wholly unknown and inconspicuous site located in Turkmenistan in the ancient Tedjen River (Hari Rud) alluvial fan, turned out to have hidden remains of the Oxus civilisation.
Just two days after the publication of the results, the news about the discovery by Polish archaeologists was described by the N+1 portal. Soon it was quoted across various services popularising science and internet forums. That prompted us to write about this discovery on the Archeowieści portal.