Session: #1061

Theme & Session Format

2. Archaeological Sciences, Humanities and the Digital era: Bridging the Gaps
Session format:
Regular session

Title & Content

Appreciating the Archaeological Value of Preserved Faeces Using Multifaceted Methods
Ancient feces are a valuable type of archaeological material and intact dung, or coprolites, provide a micro-context which serves as time capsules of past ecologies and economies. Preserved dung is being increasingly investigated through an expanding range of archaeological science techniques. Among them, geoarchaeological (micromorphological, mineralogical), archaeobotanical (palynological, carpological, phytolith), parasitological, spectroscopic (Raman, NIR, FTIR) and biomolecular (genomic, proteomic, lipidomic, isotopic (14C, δ13C, δ15N)) methods are being employed to reconstruct archaeo-faunal diets and microbiomes. The relative rarity of coprolites and the multidisciplinary nature of their study means there is little opportunity for like-minded researchers to connect formally. So, building on the community success of the coprolite session at the EAA 2023 Belfast, this session will provide a space to bring together dispersed researchers working on, and interested in, this special archaeological material. All archaeological fecal-related research will be considered, and we are particularly interested in multiproxy studies or those which advance the application of archaeological science techniques to intact coprolites.
coprolite, dung, paleofeces, multiproxy analysis, diet, gut microbiome
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Main organiser:
Eleanor Green (United Kingdom) 1
Daniel Fuks (Israel) 2,3
Zachary Dunseth (United States) 4
1. BioArCh, University of York
2. Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
3. McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge
4. Archaeology Program, Boston University