Archaeogeochemistry

Archaeometry

All Raw Materials Varieties - small

A multidisciplinary approach to the study of stone tool economics and trade routes in the Brunswick River Valley, NSW
Research examines both coastal and upland archaeological sites, stone raw material procurement and artefact typology in the Tweed and Byron Shires of northern New South Wales (NSW).
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Obsidian, a volcanic glass

Reconstruction of exchange and trade routes of the peri-Mediterranean obsidian archaeological assemblages
Obsidian, a volcanic glass, is a particularly well-suited tool for understanding past trade and travel networks. Each obsidian flow has a unique geochemical 'fingerprint', which allows each artefact to be traced back to its geological source and initial archaeological collection region. While most analysis techniques allow the characterisation of the main obsidian sources, some artefacts provenance remain problematic, requiring more enhanced methods.
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sampling sediment around fossil jaw kenya

Pleistocene archaeology and paleoenvironments of the Lake Victoria basin in Kenya
Lake Victoria is the largest body of water in Africa and is surrounded by a diverse mosaic of forest and grassland habitats. This dynamic environment provides the context for highly variable but still poorly documented archaeological and paleontological records of the Lake Victoria basin.
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tomb of the healers San Jose de Moro

South American Pre-Hispanic culture (Peru): Detailed archaeogeochemical analyses of the Mochica pottery
The study focuses on improving our understanding of the fabrication technic, the material provenance and the use of raw material of the Mochica ceramic. The four sites San José de Moro, Dos Cabezas, Pacatnamu and Charcape are located in the lower part of the Jequetepeque Valley (Peru).
More about detailed archaeogeochemical analyses of the Mochica pottery


Barium distribution in fossil teeth

Trace element and isotope analyses in fossil teeth: reconstructing the past with biomarkers
In the paper published by Nature in 2013, we show that these early life dietary transitions are recorded in teeth and remain stable in fossil remains from thousands of years ago. Using special analytical chemistry and microscopy techniques we are able to trace changes in the element content of teeth with precision timing.
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Geochronology

Homo heidelbergensis skull

A new timeline for Human evolution and migration
To understand human evolution, archaeologists require precise chronologies so as to compare and contrast fossil collections. To minimise the impact of direct dating on valuable and oftentimes fragile archaeological samples, new methods and protocols for non-destructive U-Th and ESR analyses are being developed and investigated.
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diprotodon skeleton near Leichhardt River

Developing reliable chronologies for extinct Australian Pleistocene megafauna from museum fossil collections
Recently developed direct dating methods, particularly high-throughput MC-ICP-MS U-series dating, are used to produce reliable chronological datasets for extinct megafauna, based on fossils held in museum collections.
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