EAL alumna Kathleen Forste (GRS '20) and John M. Marston are co-authors on a new article, "Urban agricultural economy of the Early Islamic southern Levant: a case study of Ashkelon" just published in Vegetation History and Archaeobotany. This article publishes the full Islamic- and Crusader-period archaeobotanical assemblage from Ashkelon, which provides robust evidence for the complex arboriculture system of the Early Islamic period. The article is available for free online for a limited time at this link; permanent DOI link is here.
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's recent article on Maya nixtamalization (and possible toilets) has been covered by BU's research publication, The Brink. Read the article and interview, titled "What Ancient Toilets Can Teach Us about Maya Life—and Tamales," here.
Kathleen Forste (GRS '21) and Maria Codlin (GRS '22) both were recognized for their doctoral degrees at Boston University's annual doctoral hooding ceremony. Here are the two graduates with Marston, their (co-) advisor. Congratulations to Kathleen and Maria!
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)!
Kathleen Forste (GRS '21) has earned a P.E. MacAllister Scholarship for Fieldwork Participation from the American Society of Overseas Research (ASOR). This award will support her research in Menorca, Spain this summer. Congratulations Kathleen!
Peter Kováčik has received a Summer 2022 Research and Conference Travel Award mini-grant from the Boston University Center for Innovation in Social Science for his dissertation research in the Albuquerque basin of New Mexico this summer. Congratulations, Peter!
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!
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 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!