The poster of Rachel and Menno was awarded the second-best poster at the 15th Meeting of the British Association for Biological Anthropology and Osteoarchaeology! The jury found the way the complex matter was approached very innovative. Take a look at the poster here.
Simone Lemmers was elected Student Representative in the committee of the Britisch Association for Biological Anthropology and Osteoarchaeology. Three other students applied for the post, but Simone convinced the voters with an excellent piece of text about her aims and goals. Go Simone!
Congratulations to Esther 't Gilde, Joanne Veldman, Rachel Olsthoorn, Leonie Ouwerkerk, Kirsten Ziesemer, Irene Vikatou, Emma de Boo van Uijen for completing the Master program Human osteology and funerary archaeology and obtaining their MSc degree! Their research is a valuable contribution to the field of osteoarchaeology! Titles and links of their theses will be available her shortly.
We are very happy to announce that Dr. Sarah Inskip from Bournemouth University is coming to Leiden! She has taught several osteology courses in the UK and supervised many students. Here, she will be teaching the BA and Master lectures as well as lead all the practical sessions. More on Sarah can be found in the Researchers section shortly.
Simone Lemmers has been awarded a Leverhume trust funded PhD Position at the University of Durham, UK in the field of Biological Anthropology supervised by Dr. Jo Setchell (Antropology, Durham University) and Dr Wendy Dirks (Newcastle University) starting October 2013.
The research project is called Stress, life history and dental development in primates, where she will be analysing indicators of stress corresponding with the life history of primates and modern humans.
The project combines Human physiology, primatology and histology to compare the timing of accentuated increments in teeth with important life history events to test whether these events are recorded in tooth sections. The ultimate aim is to apply this methodology to the fossil record to understand the evolution of our own unique life history pattern.
Dr. Andrea Waters-Rist and Rachel Schats both received grants to do more interesting osteological research!
Dr. Waters-Rist received not one but two grants for projects in the Lake Baikal Project. The first is funded by a small project grant from the Gerda Henkel Stiftung foundation, on a project entitled "The Osteoarchaeology of Pastoralism in Cis-Baikal, Russia (Southern Siberia)". Project leader Prof. Dr. Rob Losey of the University of Alberta, and co-applicants Dr. Tania Nomokonova and Dr. Kharinskii, will conduct osteological analysis, radiocarbon dating, and stable isotope analysis of human skeletal remains from early to late period pastoralists in the Cis-Baikal region of Southern Siberia. Dr. Waters-Rist will be heading-up the human osteological and stable isotope analyses of pastoralist skeletons.
The second grant she recieved is form the SSHRC (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada) Insight Development Grant for three years of research on a project entitled “Small Places of Large Importance: A Bioarchaeological Exploration of Small Prehistoric Mortuary Sites in the Lake Baikal Region of Siberia, Russia”. Project applicant Dr. Hugh McKenzie and co-applicants Drs. Angela Lieverse and Alexi Novikov, as well as several other collaborators, will investigate the nature of the small mortuary sites in the Baikal region to complement and extend their previous work on large sites, in order to improve our understanding of prehistoric Siberian lifeways. Dr. Waters-Rist will be conducting the stable isotope analyses and participating in dental anthropology research.
Rachel Schats received a grant from the Stichting Nederlands Museum voor Anthropologie en Praehistorie (SNMAP) to perform stable isotope research to study the differences between rural and urban diets in the Medieval period. Samples from the Alkmaar and Blokhuizen collections have been taken and will be analysed soon!
Prof. Dr. Corinne Hofman was awarded the ERC Synergy Grant for the NEXUS 1492 project. Dr. Jason Laffoon and Dr. Menno Hoogland have acquired a position within this project. We would like to congratulate both with their new position! Dr. Laffoon will not be able to continue the osteoarchaeology teaching, so we would like to thank him for his excellent instruction and contribution to our program last year.
Research/teaching assistant Simone Lemmers was invited by the alumni society of Gent University to present her current research at their annual lecture on November 24th. After the bar was set high the last year by professor Richard Bradley, Simone stepped up to the task and provided an interesting lecture about the possibilities for different reseach methods in the investigation of cremated human remains from prehistoric contexts. With a high attendance and a lot of possitive feedback the lecture was a big succes.
Barbara Veselka graduated this summer for her MSc-degree Human Osteology and Funerary Archaeology, focusing in particular on the prevelance of rickets in childhood in the rural community of Beemster. Rickets is mainly caused by a prolonged deficiency of vitamin D, in adults this is termed osteomalacia. Therefore it is no surprise, that the PhD research will be a sequel of her master research and will focus on osteomalacia. Five sites from the Medieval and post-Medieval period in the Netherlands will be examined using macroscopic, radiographic and histological methods. The aim of her research is to improve identification of osteomalacia by assessing and combining several methods providing a more acurate estimation of the prevelance of this disease in past societies. This will provide a better understanding of the different variables causing vitamin D deficiency and consequently rickets and osteomalacia.
Although Barbara's research is external, it has been approved by the Leiden University Science Commitee and will be supervised by several members of the laboratory staff and Leiden University (prof. dr. T. van Kolfschoten, dr. A.L. Waters-Rist and dr. M.L.P. Hoogland).
On July 14th 2012 Dr. Waters-Rist presented an invited lecture entitled "Ancient Peoples from Lake Baikal: Reconstructing Past Health" at the 16th Annual Barge Forum. Barge's Anthropologica, named in honor of the late anatomy professor Prof. Dr. JAJ Barge (1884-1952), is a cooperation between the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC), the Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, and the Faculty of Archaeology of Leiden University. It is unique in the Netherlands with respect to research and teaching in the field of physical anthropology. A review of Dr.Waters-Rist talk called "Prehistorische botten bij het Baikalmeer" was published in the LUMC monthly magazine, called Cicero (issue #6, August 28th, p.14, download under 'publications' ).