Preparing my lecture for the new Scientific Methods in Archaeology course for VU Amsterdam and University of Amsterdam students studying a minor in Geoarchaeology. The focus will be on detecting human activity in the past, to illustrate this I will include Easter Island/Rapa Nui as a case study. We will focus on how palaeoecological evidence can be used to gain insights into past human activity. Whilst putting this together I discovered these nice documentaries looking at humans and their environmental impacts on Easter Island/Rapa Nui which I wanted to share, they show how much effort people would have had to put into altering their landscape:
For further information see also:
Rull, V., Cañellas-Boltà, N., Saez, A., Margalef, O., Bao, R., Pla-Rabes, S., Valero-Garcés, B. & Giralt, S. (2013) Challenging Easter Island’s collapse: The need for interdisciplinary synergies. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 1, DOI: 10.3389/fevo.2013.00003
Published open access:
Julier, A.C.M., Jardine, P.E., Coe, A.L., Gosling, W.D., Lomax, B.H. & Fraser, W.T. (2016) Chemotaxonomy as a tool for interpreting the cryptic diversity of Poaceae pollen. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 235, 140-147. DOI: 10.1016/j.revpalbo.2016.08.004
10:30 – 11:00 Barry Thomas (Aberystwyth University). Ecological interpretations of Asturian and Cantabrian lycophyte microspore floras of the Variscan Foreland and the Appalachian Province of the Central Coalfields of the U.S.A
11:00 – 11:30 Adele Julier (Open University). Can FTIR spectroscopy be used to identify grass pollen?
14:00 – 14:30 Viktória Baranyi1 (Oslo Universiy). Morphology and wall-ultrastructure of Froelichsporites traversei, an enigmatic sporomorph from the Late Triassic in North America.
14:30 – 15:00 Hannah Banks (Royal Botanic Gardens Kew). Functional and phylogenetically useful structures in Caesalpinioid legume pollen.
15:00 – 15:30 Sam Slater (Sheffield University). A quantitative analysis of Middle Jurassic vegetation dynamics based on dispersed spore/pollen assemblages from the Ravenscar Group, North Yorkshire, UK.
Afternoon tea 15:30 – 16:00
16:00 – 16:30 Alex Askew (Sheffield University). A palynological investigation of the Middle Devonian of northern Spain: hunting for the Kačák event.
16:30 – 17:00 Phil Jardine (Open University). A new use for old pollen: reconstructing past solar irradiance using pollen chemistry.
To register please contact Barry Lomax (Group secretary)
Well, we’ve heard from Wes and Adele, and now it’s my turn (Phil Jardine) for a bit of a chat on the “Ecology of the past” YouTube channel. Similar to the previous interview videos, I’m talking about my role on the Bosumtwi pollen chemistry project, and what I’ve done (academically speaking) prior to coming to the Open University. Enjoy!