Archaeological Science Under a Microscope

Archaeological Science Under a Microscope

Studies in Residue and Ancient DNA Analysis in Honour of Thomas H. Loy

Edited by: Michael Haslam, Gail Robertson, Alison Crowther, Sue Nugent, Luke Kirkwood

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These highly varied studies, spanning the world, demonstrate how much modern analyses of microscopic traces on artifacts are altering our perceptions of the past. Ranging from early humans to modern kings, from ancient Australian spears or Mayan pots to recent Maori cloaks, the contributions demonstrate how starches, raphides, hair, blood, feathers, resin and DNA have become essential elements in archaeology’s modern arsenal for reconstructing the daily, spiritual, and challenging aspects of ancient lives and for understanding human evolution. The book is a fitting tribute to Tom Loy, the pioneer of residue studies and gifted teacher who inspired and mentored these exciting projects.


ISBN (print):
ISBN (online):
Publication date:
Jul 2009
Terra Australis 30
ANU Press
Terra Australis
Arts & Humanities: Archaeology
Australia; Africa: South Africa; Europe: Czech Republic; Southeast Asia: Indonesia

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Archaeological Science Under a Microscope »

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  1. Preface (PDF, 352KB)Michael Haslam and Alison Crowther doi
  2. Stones, stories and science (PDF, 413KB)Richard Fullagar doi
  3. Tom Loy publications: 1978-2006 (PDF, 345KB) doi

Principles: synthesis, classification and experiment

  1. The impact of micro-residue studies on South African Middle Stone Age research (PDF, 2.8MB)Marlize Lombard and Lyn Wadley doi
  2. A microstratigraphic investigation into the longevity of archaeological residues Sterkfontein, South Africa (PDF, 2.1MB)Peta Jane Jones doi
  3. Mountains and molehills: sample size in archaeological microscopic stone-tool residue analysis (PDF, 1.8MB)Michael Haslam doi
  4. Building a comparative starch reference collection for Indonesia and its application to palaeoenvironmental and archaeological research (PDF, 2.6MB)Carol Lentfer doi
  5. Morphometric analysis of calcium oxalate raphides and assessment of their taxonomic value for archaeological microfossil studies (PDF, 2.6MB)Alison Crowther doi
  6. Starch granule taphonomy: the results of a two year field experiment (PDF, 1.6MB)Huw Barton doi
  7. Toward using an oxidatively damaged plasmid as an intra- and inter-laboratory standard for ancient DNA studies (PDF, 657KB)Loraine Watson, Julie Connell, Angus Harding and Cynthia Whitchurch doi
  8. Method validation in forensics and the archaeological sciences (PDF, 610KB)Vojtech Hlinka, Iman Muharam and Vanessa K. Ientile doi

Practice: case studies in residue and ancient DNA analysis

  1. Mesolithic stone tool function and site types in Northern Bohemia, Czech Republic (PDF, 1.7MB)Bruce Hardy and Jiri Svoboda doi
  2. Chloroplast DNA from 16th century waterlogged oak in a marine environment: initial steps in sourcing the Mary Rose timbers (PDF, 1.8MB)Alanna K. Speirs, Glenn McConnachie and Andrew J. Lowe doi
  3. Drawing first blood from Maya ceramics at Copán, Honduras (PDF, 763KB)Carney Matheson, Jay Hall and Rene Viel doi
  4. A molecular study of a rare Maori cloak (PDF, 853KB)Katie Hartnup, Leon Huynen, Rangi Te Kanawa, Lara Shepherd, Craig Millar and David Lambert doi
  5. Tools on the surface: residue and use-wear analyses of stone artefacts from Camooweal, northwest Queensland (PDF, 1.9MB)Jane Cooper and Sue Nugent doi
  6. Starch residues on grinding stones in private collections: a study of morahs from the tropical rainforests of NE Queensland (PDF, 1.8MB)Judith Field, Richard Cosgrove, Richard Fullagar and Braddon Lance doi
  7. Aboriginal craft and subsistence activities at Native Well I and Native Well II, Central Western Highlands, Queensland: results of a residue and use-wear analysis of backed artefacts (PDF, 1.6MB)Gail Robertson doi
  8. Deadly weapons: backed microliths from Narrabeen, New South Wales (PDF, 1.5MB)Richard Fullagar, Josephine McDonald, Judith Field and Denise Donlon doi

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