Tang and Marston publish earliest dated millet in South China

Lab alumna Yiyi Tang (CAS '21, GRS '21) and Marston are co-authors on a new article, "Early millet cultivation, subsistence diversity, and wild plant use at Neolithic Anle, Lower Yangtze, China," published in The Holocene (access it here). In the article, which is based on Yiyi's MA project, we present evidence for a diversified agricultural system, focused on rice cultivation but incorporating also two types of millet and a variety of potentially cultivated edible wild plants. The millet seeds are directly dated to the early 6th millennium BCE, making these the earliest directly dated millet remains from the Yangtze River basin, and thus the earliest firm evidence for millet cultivation in South China. This is Yiyi's first published article — congratulations, Yiyi!

Marston publishes first archaeological evidence for maize nixtamalization

A new article in the Journal of Archaeological Science, co-authored by Marston, provides the first direct archaeological evidence for maize nixtamalization. Samples from two chultunes, rock-carved pits, from the Classic Maya site of San Bartolo, Guatemala, yielded abundant quantities of starch spherulites, which Marston and EAL alumna Emily Johnson (CAS '17) previously identified as a product of nixtamalization. Even more exciting, Marston and co-authors found parasite eggs in the same deposits, indicating these chultunes were used as latrines, leading to the conclusion that nejayote, the caustic liquid that is a by-product of nixtamalization, may have been used to "flush" these toilets. Read more about it here (free until July 5)!

Evan McDuff earns Fulbright fellowship

By John M. MarstonMarch 31st, 2022in Funding, News, Research

Evan McDuff has been awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to Israel for his doctoral dissertation research project, titled "Spices, Identity, and Acts of Culinary Resistance in the Face of the Roman Empire". This fellowship will support Evan during the Spring 2023 semester at the University of Haifa, where he will work in the Laboratory for Sedimentary Archaeology with Prof. Ruth Shahack-Gross. Congratulations, Evan!

Marston co-authors chapter on Archaeobotany in Anatolia

By John M. MarstonJanuary 4th, 2022in Publications, Research

John M. Marston and Lorenzo Castellano (PhD candidate at NYU ISAW) have co-authored a chapter in the just-released Archaeology of Anatolia, Volume IV titled "Archaeobotany in Anatolia". This is the first comprehensive survey and integration of published quantitative archaeobotanical seed remains from Anatolia in nearly 30 years, spanning the Paleolithic to the Ottoman period. The underlying database and bibliography, published open-access through tDAR, are comprehensive references for future study and analysis.

Evan McDuff earns fellowship for dissertation research in Israel

By John M. MarstonJanuary 4th, 2022in Awards, Funding, Research

Evan McDuff has been awarded an Educational and Cultural Affairs Junior Research Fellowship from the W.F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem for his doctoral dissertation research project, titled "Spices, Identity, and Acts of Culinary Resistance in the Face of the Roman Empire". This fellowship will support Evan during the Fall 2022 semester in Jerusalem. Congratulations, Evan!

Alumna Goldfield writes PBS episode on dissertation research

By John M. MarstonDecember 6th, 2021in Alumni, Outreach, Research

Lab alumna Anna Goldfield (GRS '17) is the writer for a recent episode of the PBS series Eons on her dissertation research on Neanderthal energetics. The episode describes the recent finds of Neanderthal remains from El Sidrón cave in the context of Neanderthal extinctions of the late Pleistocene, a topic addressed by Goldfield in this article, published in the Journal of Human Evolution in 2018. Watch the episode here!