Thursday, February 25, 2010

Another periodic table

In case you missed her comment to a previous post, Rachel Popelka-Filcoff mentions from Australia that she likes the Dynamic Periodic Table at


particularly how all of the properties are displayed in the tabs, and how one can scroll across and look at things like density, ionization potentials, temperature etc. by moving the slider.

As far as additional information for each element, the links all go to Wikipedia.


Send us your other teaching tips, favorite web sites, etc.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Society for Amercian Archaeology Record online

Tobi Brimsek, Executive Director of the Society for American Archaeology, has announced that The SAA Archaeological Record is now available online in its brand new digital format. The new design includes live links, built-in search functionality, the ability to add personal notes, and much more! To access the new digital magazine now, use this link.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Archaeogeophysics web site, Cal State University@Long Beach

I was surprised, and pleased, to find a web site I had not know about on archaeological geophysics. It is Archaeogeophysics.org, "a wiki-based website that provide users an opportunity to learn how to process various forms of geophysical data, as well as contribute their own knowledge and experience regarding the use of geophysics in an archaeological context."

The website was developed at California State University Long Beach by the CSULB Program in Archaeological Science with funding from California Department of Transportation (Caltrans).

The site has different parts, on techniques, datasets, tutorials, analysis and integration, software, references, glossary.

This looks like an excellent reference site, and another way that North Americans, in particular, can share expertise and experiences. I'll be exploring it in more detail.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

DNA of ancient hair

A research article reported in Nature is being widely circulated. Eske Willerslev, of the Niels Bohr Institute and Institute of Biology University of Copenhagen, along with many co-authors, recovered the genome of a Greenland resident of 4,000 years ago, using 4 strands of hair. Great science as a result of dogged persistence, increasingly powerful technical methods, and being in the right place at the right time.

From the article in the NY Times by Nicholas Wade:

The genome of a man who lived on the western coast of Greenland some 4,000 years ago has been decoded, thanks to the surprisingly good preservation of DNA in a swatch of his hair so thick it was originally thought to be from a bear.

This is the first time the whole genome of an ancient human has been analyzed, and it joins the list of just eight whole genomes of living people that have been decoded so far. It also sheds new light on the settlement of North America by showing there was a hitherto unsuspected migration of people across the continent, from Siberia to Greenland, some 5,500 years ago.

Or, listen to the NPR story by Christopher Joyce.

I guess I should have saved some of my hair when I went to the friseur in Stuttgart on Monday.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Periodic table for archaeometry?

We received the following message from Tim Scarlett, of the Program in Industrial History and Archaeology, Michigan Tech:
I found this link while cruising around with a student looking at resources for material science and archaeology.  If you don't know about it, perhaps you will find is useful:
http://www.webelements.com/

I wonder if anyone in SAS would like to contribute archaeological science information to the pages?  Either way, this is a great example of an internet resource for teaching.  I wish there was more of this out there.
I have used this source as well in my teaching of introductory geology, and for my archaeometry course.

Anyone want to take Tim's suggestion, and contribute to this source on behalf of archaeomtry?

Monday, February 1, 2010

Geoarchaeology after 25 years

Two things have slowed me down here lately - we're in Munich for the Spring semester as part of my sabbatical, and I have been making daily contributions on my earthquake blog (Shaking Earth) about Haiti. Anyway, one of these days one of my younger colleagues will help me out here.

In the meantime, a message from Geoarchaeology co-editor Gary Huckleberry:

Geoarchaeology: An International Journal (published by Wiley-Blackwell) is celebrating its 25th anniversary with a series of events in 2010. The first issue of 2010 is now online . It includes an editorial reviewing the origins of the journal and some recent  developments in geoarchaeology:

Better yet ..... all of the papers in the first issue are available as free downloads. Also, Jamie Woodward and I will soon be posting a Virtual Issue of 25 papers from the journal’s back catalog which will be free for downloading.

We encourage you to check out these and other new developments slated for the journal in 2010.

Gary Huckleberry
Co-Editor, Geoarchaeology: An International Journal
Department of Geosciences, University of Arizona