Panel no. 68 - Building New Bridges Between the Humanities and Hard Sciences: The Use of Biomolecular/Biochemical Methods in Archaeology


Convenor

Title Mr First name Mario Last name Novak
Institution Institute for Anthropological Research City Zagreb Country HR

Co-Convenor

Title Dr First name Kendra Last name Sirak
Institution name Harvard Medical School City Boston Country US

Panel

Panel title

Building New Bridges Between the Humanities and Hard Sciences: The Use of Biomolecular/Biochemical Methods in Archaeology

Panel abstract

The incorporation of techniques "borrowed" from the hard sciences (e.g., genetics, chemistry, physics) to archaeological research have provided a new lens for investigating the human past, although archaeologists who specialize in the use of more "traditional" methods of analysis have expressed varying sentiments about the integration of biomolecular and biochemical methods into archaeology. However, as these techniques become increasingly common in the discipline, it is becoming more apparent that both traditional and hard science approaches are strongest when used together, drawing upon the huge possibilities of new data from biomolecular and biochemical techniques that are framed and contextualized by archaeology. Over the last several years, growing cooperation between archaeologists and specialists in genetics, stable isotope analysis, radiocarbon dating, palaeoproteomics, and other biomolecular and biochemical analyses have led to the emergence of studies that draw upon evidence from multiple disciplines to make holistic interpretations about the past. In this session, we embrace the current trend of numerous researchers from humanities and hard sciences collaborating closely and using each other's data to broaden our knowledge about our ancestors, and create a forum that brings together scientists of different backgrounds to discuss various topics pertaining to our distant and more recent past.

IUAES Commission