Dr. Susan Johnston
Class Notes for February 17
∙ Chemical aspects of what you eat and nutritional deficiency or stress can be recorded in bone o Bone growth or tooth enamel gets “interrupted” by nutritional deficiency
o Food shortages are common in agricultural communities before spring; must be severe and prolonged to be recorded in bone
o Agriculture focuses on starchy foods with sugars that cause “caries” or cavities in teeth o Isotopic analysis of particular forms of carbon reveals presence or lack of certain kinds of plants like corn, as well as the relative important or meat vs. plants in diet
o Water has trace elements in it that vary in different places
▪ Elements are recorded in teeth as you grow
▪ Analysis of strontium and oxygen in different parts of the body reveal where the individual grew up and where they lived as an adult
▪ Isotopic analysis of teeth: front teeth grow in first and molars come last, which can reveal differences in water consumption
∙ Human remains can track the movement of individuals
o Amesbury Archer (2500-2000 BCE) from Stonehenge region
▪ Burial had lots of stuff in it
▪ Abscess in jaw (infection) and left patella had been torn off and healed
▪ Isotopic analysis revealed that he was probably from the Swiss Alps but was buried in Stonehenge as a high-status guy
If you want to learn more check out What is a proposition in propositional logic?
o Otzi had preserved bone and tissue
▪ Ability to extract DNA: probably had blue eyes and blonde hair
▪ Found DNA of ibex in his stomach (last meal)
▪ Had lyme disease (presence of DNA of disease-causing bacteria)
▪ Isotopic analysis suggests that he lived south of where he was found for his whole life
∙ DNA studies require organic component of bone or tissue to be well-preserved enough to actually work with it
o Can tell genetic relationships between people and movement of populations o Mitchondrial DNA (mtDNA) is only passed from mom to child, only changes via mutation ▪ Can trace maternal lineages; present in both males and females
o Y chromosome is only passed from dad to child
▪ Can trace male lineages but leaves out women completely We also discuss several other topics like What are the three steps taken to create a karyotype?
Don't forget about the age old question of What refers population size and distribution?
We also discuss several other topics like What were the confederate soldiers fighting for?
o King Tut’s DNA analysis:
▪ He was related to Pharaoh Akhenaten’s dad and was also related to a mummy that is believed to be Akhenaten
▪ He is related to a female mummy that was originally believed to be Nefertiti, Akhenaten’s wife, but no written records indicate that he was her son, so now it is believed that the mummy might not be Nefertiti
▪ He had a cleft palate, club foot, and Kohler’s disease
▪ He probably died from a broken leg complicated by a severe malaria infection o Richard III’s burial was found using GPR and his identity was confirmed by matching mtDNA to his descendants If you want to learn more check out Why would the economy produce at an inefficient point?
We also discuss several other topics like What are the rules for sign convention?
▪ Confirmed that he did have scoliosis but it probably wasn’t bad enough to really affect him that much