FINDER volunteers (1)

FINDER has recently hosted 3 fanstatic volunteers who helped  us sample and prepare bone fragments for ZooMS analysis.

We were delighted to host for 2 weeks, in May, Saltanat Amirova, a student from the Institute of Archaeology of UCL who worked on material from Denisova Cave (Siberian Altai, Russia). Saltanat is from Kazakhstan so her knowledge of Russian was much appreciated in deciphering the individual bone labels written on tiny surfaces many years ago.

Saltanat Amirova, an Archaeology student at the Institute of Archaeology, UCL.

Laura Doody, an undergraduate (senior) studying neuroscience and classics, came all the way from Union College in the State of New York (USA) and spent 6 weeks between June and July at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, working alongside Samantha Brown. Laura has been helping us sample and analyse new samples from Denisova Cave.

Laura Doody preparing samples for ZooMS at the Max Planck facility in Jena.

Finally, Geoff Church,  an archaeology student from Birkbeck, UCL, came to Oxford to help us sample, among others, material from Strashnaya Cave in the Siberian Altai. Geoff worked tirelessly for a week in late June and managed to sample nearly 500 bones! Strashnaya Cave has been most recently excavated by Andrei Krivoshapkin and colleagues and has yielded already some human fossils. More would be very welcome!

Geoff Church, an Archaeology student at Birkbeck, UCL, drilling bones for ZooMS analyses at the Research Lab for Archaeology.

We are really very grateful to our volunteers for helping us with the laborious preparation of thousands of samples. We hope that amongst the bones they have been working there will be a hominin bone!

Watch this space for news, and if anyone is interested in becoming involved in either FINDER or PalaeoChron ERC projects, please get in touch.

2000 samples!

To celebrate our first 2000 analysed bones (we aim for 40,000 by the end of the project!) and the fact that we have a beautiful FINDER project logo created by a very talented graphic designer (email me for details), we have printed and are showcasing our new project T-shirts!



FINDER goes to Siberia

In the past couple of weeks, Sam Brown has travelled to Siberia to collect new samples for the project and also to attend and present preliminary results of her PhD project at the international archaeological conference held this week at Denisova Cave.

Below giving a talk to the audience at the campsite, and also with Tom Higham, Michael Petraglia and Marine Frouin inside the Cave.