• Anne-Marie Faucher added an answer:
    Is Canada balsam appropriate to mount permanent microscope slides for ancient starch analysis?
    Does Canada balsam presents any biological contamination? Which resin or other means would be appropriate to mount permanent slides in Archaeobotany?

    Thank you very much.
    Anne-Marie Faucher · Laval University

    For ancient starch slides you can look at Perry's publications for her methodology. Glycerine is much better than Canada balsam which is good for phytolith slides.

  • What is the evidence for early (initial colonization) access to subterranean freshwater in the Pacific and Southeast Asia?
    I'm looking for early constructions of wells, sumps, etc. or pit features used for agriculture in coastal environments.
    Antonio Montelongo Franquiz · Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

    I'm working on the subject area of ​​the Atlantic Ocean. I think they are first natural deposits offered by nature in a process of initial colonization, then after the settlement and the need for a greater amount of water resources involve building nearshore deposits, mainly wells, especially on islands besides those spaces inside water capacity enough.

  • Stefan Wenzel added an answer:
    Is there a database of the locations of prehistoric dogs in Britain or even Europe?

    A list of where I can find info on prehistoric dog records would greatly speed up my dissertation, if such a document exists

    Stefan Wenzel · Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum - Archaeological research institute

    I just found this article:

    Maud Pionnier-Capitan, Céline Bemilli, Pierre Bodu, Guy Célérier, Jean-Georges Ferrié, Philippe Fosse, Michel Garcià, Jean-Denis Vigne, New evidence for Upper Palaeolithic small domestic dogs in South-Western Europe. Journal of Archaeological Science 38 (9), 2011, 2123-2140.

    Best regards,


  • Chun Liu added an answer:
    Do you think there are some fossilized tools that were judged mistakenly as lithic tools in historic archeology?

    My personal view, hominids could use bones, horns, sticks and so on as tools. Just as this one attached in the image.

    Chun Liu · Prehistoric Archaeology

    the evidences are also overloked.

  • Laura Dietrich added an answer:
    Can anyone help with bone projectile points of the near eastern PPN and PN?
    I'm looking for evidence for bone projectile points in Neolithic pre-pottery and pottery of the Near East. Can anybody point out relevant literature?
    Laura Dietrich · Deutsches Archäologisches Institut

    Hi Avi,

    thank you very much for this information!

    Best regards, Laura

  • Michael Buchwitz added an answer:
    Is there a database/source for dinosaur DNA and/or protein sequences?

    I want to study specific protein sequences to better understand their functional properties. I think that such information from this group of animals may help in this understanding.

    Michael Buchwitz · Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg

    See also this recent paper about the persistence of ancient protein molecules (uploaded to RG this week), including examples from dinosaur fossils:

  • Chun Liu added an answer:
    Are there any fossilized tools in any museums in the world?
    I'm looking for information on prehistoric hominid tools. If you happen to have any photographs to compare with my collections, I would really appreciate it!
    Chun Liu · Prehistoric Archaeology

    At the same site, another one is the chopped bean cake.

  • Jan Gunneweg added an answer:
    Evidence for functional usage of Manganese dioxyde (MnO2)?
    Within the Mousterian record of western Europe, we have evidence for usage of black pigment made from MnO2 by Neandertals (50 000 years old at Pech-de-l'Azé I for instance). I've been using the analogy with the ethnographic record as well as some preliminary experiments to argue that they might have been used as dye stuff/stain (see Soressi et D'Errico, 2007 as well as Soressi et al 2008). Would anybody know of usage of MnO2 pigment for other purposes than body decoration/symbolic purposes?
    Jan Gunneweg · Hebrew University of Jerusalem
    Hi Marie, I also think that Manganese was used in the cave-rock drawings. Much later it could have been used in producing the black color in Athienian Black- and Red-Figured pottery of the 4-3rd c. BC. A female Greek ceramist , I think, published this in the magazine archaeometry, if my memory is still OK.
  • Jean-Loïc Le Quellec added an answer:
    Is there any data on how humans used cosmetics and body painting during the pre historic time?
    I'm doing research on cosmetics and body painting during the pre historic time (like 100,000 years ago up to 5,000 years ago). I've found some information about using red ochre and decorative shells and related speculation; but apparently I need more data; especially based on cave art or something like that.
    Jean-Loïc Le Quellec · French National Centre for Scientific Research
    A good reference for Niola Doha : Simonis, Roberta, Guido Faleschini, & Giancarlo Negro 1994. «Niola Doa, "il luogo delle fanciulle" (Ennedi, Ciad).» Sahara 6: 51-62.
  • Jiri Unger added an answer:
    Does someone know Central European Late Bronze Age burials in pits laying in order position N-S or E-W and equipped with artifacts?
    In the region of Czech Republic, it is not so unusual find skeleton burials in the storage or trash pits in Late Bronze Age open settlements, especially it is characteristic for urnfield Knoviz culture, which has its ordinary burial rite as the cremation in urns. Usually it seems like the body was just thrown to the pit without any rigorous care and it is not any exception to find more bodies or only their parts laying on each other in "breakneck" position (see examples in fig. 1 + 2).
    HOWEVER there is one burial group which seems to be unique one, because the bodies are strictly oriented N-S or E-W, laying on the backs with hands next the body or put in the lap. These burials are always equipped with ceramic pots and more rarely with bronze artifacts such as earrings or knives. Attribute sui generis is the location of some of these artifacts directly under the head, especially in the case of miniature vessels (see examples in fig. 3 + 4).
    I have found some similar skeleton burials in Czech republic, containing 5 graves + 4 new ones from my 2013 excavation, but then I hit the similar indications in the area of Austria and Germany - for example sites Biblis (Starkenburg) or Köchen, where some of the bodies are buried in stone cists graves, richly equipped and again with typical miniature vessel under the head.
    From my point of view it seems that this is a specific burial practices among the urnfield cultures in Central Europe and I would like to ask for help to finding more of these burials. Thank you in advance!
    Jiri Unger · Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic
    Dear collegues,

    thank You all for so helpfull and fruitfull answers!

    I am happy to say, that the analysis of mentioned skeletons are in progress and we do analyse of teeth isotops for residential mobility and as well DNA analysis of selected individuals are on the way.

    For sure I will keep You updated via this conversation.

  • Muriel Louâpre added an answer:
    Hello, did you hear about this french theory on prehistoric art called "theorie des ombres" (the shadow theory)
    It was published recently by two non-specialists and suggest cave painting art could have included the use of cast-shadows. French specialists are not amused by the idea, and I wondered if abroad the idea was greeted in the same way. The XVIIIth century is far away, when amateurs could give a hand to scientists!
    Muriel Louâpre · Université René Descartes - Paris 5
    Very interesting, thanks for this reference.
  • Rengert Elburg added an answer:
    Does anybody know beads made of Lithoglyphus sp from Neolithic or other prehistoric periods?
    In 2003, we discovered a necklace made of Lithoglyphus sp, in the tell settlement of Sultana-Malu Roşu, Romania. In 2013 we discovered another necklace made of Lithoglyphus sp in grave 74 from cemetery that belonging to the settlement.
    From a chrono-cultural point of view the cemetery and the tell settlement belongs to the Gumelnița culture (ca. 4600–3950 BC) part of the large Eneolithic cultural complex Kodjadermen-Gumelniţa-Karanovo VI from Balkans.
    Does anybody know other beads made of Lithoglyphus sp from prehistory or other time periods?
    Thanks in advance.
    Rengert Elburg · Landesamt für Archäologie Sachsen
    Dear Solange,
    that's what I call a very useful list. Really helpful for a bit of research I'm doing at the moment.
  • Sorin-Cristian Ailincai added an answer:
    Can anyone recommend some literature on the residential burials?
    I am working on Early Iron Age at Lower Danube, where in almost completely excavated settlements we have discovered a lot of infra mural burials. For understanding and finding a good explanation of this phenomenon I need to compare it with similar discoveries from different ages and areas.
    Sorin-Cristian Ailincai · Institutul de Cercetari Eco-Muzeale
    Thank you very much Kristine!
    Your recommendations sounds, and I am sure there are, very interesting!

    Best regards,
  • Elena A. Kadyshevich added an answer:
    What evidence can be found to explain the homochirality of the early building blocks of life that lead to its origin?
    Seeking answers to better explain what appears to be a random process and its ability to produce results that are decidedly nonrandom.
    Elena A. Kadyshevich · Russian Academy of Sciences
    Dear Andrew Ellzey Kirk, Dear All,

    As you, possibly, know, we earlier repeatedly wrote in our (with Victor Ostrovskii) papers dedicated to our Life Origination Hydrate Hypothesis (LOH-Hypothesis) that the phenomenon of the DNA monochirality cannot be random and that it can, apparently, be explained in the context of the fact that DNAs originated within the methane-hydrate honeycomb structure and that the intracellular protoplasm, i.e. the medium of DNA replication, has also the analogous structure. We wrote earlier that, apparently, the D-ribose radical only is capable of connecting an N-base and two phosphate groups in one complex within gas-hydrate structure and that this is a peculiarity of the system DNA–gas-hydrate structure.

    Recently, we, together with A. Dzyabchenko, developed 3D simulation of different DNA fragments within CH4-hydrate structure and saw that our assumption is correct; indeed, the D-ribose radical only can construct nucleic acids within the gas-hydrate structure. This work is not published yet, but it is in the report for our project sponsored by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research.
  • Olivier Lemercier asked a question:
    “IIe Rencontres Nord-Sud de Préhistoire Récente” (French Neolithic and Bronze Age Conference) 19-21 November 2015, Dijon, France.
    This Conference will focus on “Habitations and settlement from the Neolithic to the Bronze Age in France and margins”.

    It is a joint conference organized by the APRAB (Association for the Advancement of Research on the Bronze Age), InterNéo (Interregional Association for Studies on Neolithic) and RMPR (Meridional Meetings of Recent Prehistory).

    The Conference is conducted with the patronage of the Société Préhistorique Française in partnership with the Université de Bourgogne, the UMR 6298 ArTeHiS, the Service Régional de l’Archéologie de Bourgogne (regional Archaeology Service of Burgundy), the Ministère de la Culture (French Ministry of Culture) and the INRAP.

    The call for papers (posters or oral communications) is now open until the June 30, 2014

    Registrations are now open

    The first circular is attached (PDF)

    Information, registrations and call for paper:


    For the Conference committees

    Olivier Lemercier
  • Rudenc Ruka added an answer:
    Are there any Paleolithic finds or sites from Kosovo?
    The body of Paleolithic finds and information from southeast Europe has been growing to a great extend in the recent years. Nevertheless from certain areas such as Kosovo there are no finds reported whatsoever. Is this due to lack of accessible publications or lack of research in this particular field of archaeology?
    Rudenc Ruka · Institut of Archaeology, Tirana, Albania
    Unfortunately so far I have found nothing regarding Kosovo.
  • Peter J Richerson added an answer:
    What are your thoughts on the origin of science?
    I recently published my book "The Origin of Science" which can be downloaded at I am interested in alternative theories on the origin of science and how this debate can lead to a better understanding of how our ability for scientific reasoning evolved.
    Peter J Richerson · University of California, Davis
    I have long been a fan of Louis' idea that tracking requires most of the skills that later led to science. I think one reason why it is such a good example is that it is social and cumulative. Cognitive advances at the individual brain level were probably required for tracking and similar tasks, though proving that may be hard. Chimpanzees and some birds, such as corvids and parrots, seem awfully smart as individuals. What humans have in addition to cognitive "right stuff" is social learning. Neophyte trackers acquire a huge amount of natural history knowledge that has accumulated in expert hunting groups for many generations. Plus, any given tracking exercise is an exercise in social back and forth so that expert trackers collaborate on tough problems. If there is a neophyte with them, he learns from the expert interchanges. Occasionally, some given hunt may lead to a novel observation that is incorporated into the large body of extant natural history.

    I wonder if other tasks in hunter-gatherers make similar demands. What about tool-making, gathering and cooking? Perhaps tracking is just a particularly dramatic example because important decisions have to be made rapidly on the basis of enigmatic evidence and success or failure is evident pretty immediately. I imagine that other tasks use the same skills but in a temporally more drawn-out way.

    My coauthors and I recently wrote a couple of papers arguing for the importance of social learning and cumulative culture in humans:

    Boyd, R., Richerson, P. J., & Henrich, J. (2011). The cultural niche: Why social learning is essential for human adaptation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108(Supplement 2), 10918-10925. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1100290108

    Smaldino, P. E., & Richerson, P. J. (in press). Human cumulative cultural evolution as a form of distributed computation. In P. Michelucci (Ed.), Handbook of Human Computation.
  • Lucky Beckett added an answer:
    University College London is publishing Archaeology International as an open access journal.
    University College London is publishing Archaeology International as an open access journal.
    Lucky Beckett · Beckett Enterprises
    Thanks for the heads up!
  • Lance Wollwage added an answer:
    Has anyone reported artifacts within woodrat middens?
    I found a hand stone (mano) in a woodrat midden from SE Oregon dated 4400 BP , and am looking for other examples/citations.
    Lance Wollwage · Washington Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation
    Thanks Mark, that's my experience too. Many archaeologists and biologists have anecdotes, but nothing ever makes it into the literature.
  • Richard W. Yerkes added an answer:
    Potassium in ancient soils and residues in Europe?
    I frequently detect (using Direct Temperature-Resolved Mass Spectrometry) relatively large amounts of potassium in solid organic residues preserved on ceramics from various archaeological contexts in the Netherlands. The residues are often food remains or other residues of pre-, and protohistoric vessel use. However, I am wondering about the potassium and trying to clarify whether I am looking at a contamination from the original prehistoric context (for instance from wood ash) or a more contemporary contamination (for instance from artificial fertilizer).

    Does anyone have experience with the occurrence of Potassium in soils in relatively humid climates in Europe, and/or any references for me to read up on?
    Richard W. Yerkes · The Ohio State University
    Dear Tania,

    Since Potassium is relatively stable, we have found that if samples are taken from contexts below the plowzone, contamination from modern fertilizer is not likely.

    You should contact Rod Salisbury Roderick Salisbury (, our project soil chemist if you have additional questions. I have attached a few articles summarizing our soil chemistry results at Copper Age sites in Hungary.
  • Lance Wollwage added an answer:
    Where and when does the use red ochre first appear in the archaeological record?
    Preferably reports demonstrating ochre use, not just association.
    Lance Wollwage · Washington Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation
    Thank you Nikolaus!
  • Chris Luinge added an answer:
    What is a good publication on iron age settlement patterns in Pleistocene coversand area's in Lower Saxony?
    I'm writing my thesis on iron age settlement patterns on the Drenthe Plateau in the north of the Netherland. Besides comparisons with other pleistocene covers and area's in the Netherlands I would like to compare it with those in the north of Germany. Since I'm not that well read in German research I would like some help with titles that give an overview of the patterns (preferable in relation to the landscape). I would prefer publications in English, but titles in German are welcome too.
    Chris Luinge · University of Groningen
    Thank you for your help:) However the book seems to be about ironworking and doesn't target Northwestern Germany as a specific research area, so I don't think it will help me comparing my Dutch sites with the German ones. Unless I am mistaken ofcourse:)
  • Ignacio Martín Lerma added an answer:
    Could anyone give advice about bibliographic references concerning usewear analysis of stone tools made of radiolarite?
    I am currently doing the usewear analysis of artifacts from Hungary made of radiolarite. I would be very interested if some of you know references of already published referential or application with this raw material.
    Ignacio Martín Lerma · University of Murcia
    I will search in my library and I write to you if I find something!!
  • Rengert Elburg added an answer:
    Rengert Elburg · Landesamt für Archäologie Sachsen
    I second that opinion. Looks like a geofact to me.
  • Roderick B. Salisbury asked a question:
    Quest for fire began earlier than thought - ScienceNOW
    Quest for fire began earlier than thought - ScienceNOW
  • Roderick B. Salisbury asked a question:
    Stakes with skulls attached uncovered at a Mesolithic site in Sweden
    Stakes with skulls attached uncovered at a Mesolithic site in Sweden

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