Our first talk of the Fall 2014 NYSAA archaeological lecture series will begin TOMORROW–Thursday, October 2, 2014 at 6:30 pm, in the Center for Natural Sciences room 208 at Ithaca College. Our speaker is Linah Ababneh, Ph.D. (Department of Classics and the Dendrochronology Laboratory, Cornell University), who will speak on “Palynology and archaeology: a case study from the Azraq Basin, Jordan.” Please spread the word to anyone you feel may be interested! All are welcome to attend.
Summary: Archaeology is inherently interdisciplinary; it contributed to other studies such as botany (archaeobotany) and benefited from others e.g. geosciences (geoarchaeology). One case study from the Azraq basin in Jordan is presented. In the middle of the arid desert, this oasis served as a refuge for humans and animals for at least 100,000 years. We (as in the authors) used palynology to understand vegetation change in this oasis from the middle Holocene period until the current time. However, and based on the interpretations of pollen diagram, 14C dates, and aerial imagery we propose the possibility of a Nabataean wall that might have served as a local dam. The dam effect on the pollen record is presented by a silty layer that lacks any pollen assemblages. This is a phenomenon that is often associated with the establishment of water bodies’—regardless artificial or human made, or the lack of pollen preservation. Since pollen is well preserved through the sampled section, we suggest that a landscape management technique is likely the cause for the recorded lack of pollen at that particular layer. Further investigations are being carried in this particular site and other proximal ones on the effect of archaeological practices on pollen assemblages and ultimately changes in vegetation and landscape.
Upcoming NYSAA talks:
November 6: Ananda Cohen Suarez (History of Art, Cornell): Colonial church murals near Cuzco, Peru
December 4: Roald Hoffmann (Chemistry, Cornell): Protochemistries are a bridge
Other local talks of archaeological interest can be found on the CIAMS website:http://ciams.cornell.edu/
As always, please let me know if you no longer wish to receive notices from the FLC NYSAA, or if you need a ride to Thursday’s talk.
Laura W. Johnson-Kelly
President, Finger Lakes Chapter of the NY State Archaeological Association