Stable isotopes of oxygen are measured in ancient mollusk shells and fish otoliths to learn about past subsistence activities and environmental changes. Since shells and otoliths grow by adding new material on top of older skeletons, one can measure how oxygen isotopes varied over the organism’s life. The talk will describe the process of making these measurements, demonstrate the degree of destruction to the samples, and how such analyses may contribute to collaboration between descendant communities, and archaeologists, and how the method relates to NAGPRA.
The 2021-2022 UGA Laboratory of Archaeology Speaker Series will include presentations regarding the basics of several specialized archaeological science techniques and how those can intersect with tribal perspectives. This series is aimed at widening the knowledge of students, professionals, and the public. Each lecture will conclude with input from various tribal discussants