Saturday, 26 July 2014

Integrating archaeological science at medieval Riga

Team palynology and zooarchaeology
Team archaeobotany and geoarchaeology
Lovely weather here in London today, though mostly being experienced inside a meeting room at the Warburg Institute! I'm away from Edinburgh this week, firstly for a project meeting for the Ecology of Crusading project and then for a week of lab work in Bristol - more on that to come! This weekend I am here with fellow team members Rowena Banerjea, Alex Brown, Monica Badura and PI Aleks Pluskowski, discussing our  analyses of deposits from medieval Riga. This is the first time we've all got together to integrate our data, and to get updates on the dating of the deposits. So far  we have potentially the earliest known building in Riga, on the basis of dendrochronological dates, and some great archaeobotanical data on the types of plant materials that were being used - along with the micromorphology it looks like a lot of the plant material is associated with construction, such as wood chipping on floors. There's also some great data from a large (communal?) latrine which is giving us great insights into early health and diet (see also this recently published paper on the intestinal parasites from the latrine!). The geochemical data is showing quite distinctive differences between buildings, and even within buildings, in terms of the types of activities going on, though we are still trying to work out how this varies over the lifetime of the buildings.

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