Thursday, May 1, 2014

Reading the Stories of Ancient Lives Written in Teeth

Map showing the distribution of First Nations populations of the Great Lakes, prior to disruptions associated with European contact. Labels in CAPS indicate broader language groups of the region. Image courtesy of Figure 1 in the paper by Pfeiffer et al. (2014) and by the Ohio Historical Society Archaeology Blog.
Map showing the distribution of First Nations populations of the Great Lakes, prior to disruptions associated with European contact. Labels in CAPS indicate broader language groups of the region. Image courtesy of Figure 1 in the paper by Pfeiffer et al. (2014) and by the Ohio Historical Society Archaeology Blog.







April 6, 2014.
Brad Lepper, of the Ohio Historical Society, has written both an article within the Columbus Dispatch and a blog post on the Ohio Historical Society Archaeology Blog about the important information which can be found in American Indian teeth, in this particular case from "northern Iroquoian communities of southern Ontario between the 13th and 16th centuries".

"In southern Ontario, there was a complex mix of Iroquoian and Algonquian-speaking groups beginning in the Late Woodland and continuing into the historic era.

Pfeiffer and her team are working with modern Canadian First Nations communities to learn how these ancient groups interacted with one another as well as how their diets changed over time. The results were published in the Journal of Archaeological Science. "
"Pfeiffer and her team note that “among First Nations descendant communities, interest in ancestral populations is growing” and “permission to study the remains of archaeologically discovered ancestors is often granted.” They argue that preserving something even as small as a single tooth would allow scientists the opportunity to continue to learn the stories hidden within the ancient bones"
To read the full post, click here.

Journal of Archaeological Science., Vol. 42, February 2014, 334-345.
Authored by: Susan Pfeiffer, Ronald Williamson, Judith C. Sealy, David G. Smith, Meradeth H. Snow.
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