Reconstructing Milton life using tooth, bone and hair chemistry

This week we have an article out in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology looking at reconstructing the lives of the St. John's, Milton individuals using isotopic analysis. In this post we explain how we do this kind of analysis, and give you some of the highlights of the article. In previous posts I've talked … Continue reading Reconstructing Milton life using tooth, bone and hair chemistry

Two sisters from St. John’s?

Historically, children have been very much ignored by archaeologists, and stories of little lives are often not told. But we know that the lives of children touch the lives of the whole community, and so whatever we can find out about them is important. Because their bones and teeth are so delicate we're often limited … Continue reading Two sisters from St. John’s?

Children in the Archaeological Record

Today we begin our Little Lives blog series for New Zealand Archaeology week. Welcome! Come and join us as we shine a light on the children of colonial times, whose stories so often don't get told in the history books... Today Dr. Peter Petchey starts us off with some insight into the children in burial … Continue reading Children in the Archaeological Record

Shopping for coffin decorations – how TradeMe helped us visualise colonial funerals

Today's blog is another from our excavation co-director and expert historical archaeologist Dr. Peter Petchey. Here he tells us more about the decorated coffins and how sometimes help in visualising the past comes from unexpected places... A previous blog entry looked at Victorian funerals and the decoration that was sometimes applied to coffins. As I … Continue reading Shopping for coffin decorations – how TradeMe helped us visualise colonial funerals

Beautiful Death – coffin decorations in colonial NZ

Today's blog post comes from Dr. Peter Petchey, our excavation co-director and expert historical archaeologist. Here he tells us about the Victorian penchant for making death beautiful, and what coffin decorations can tell us about the past. It is trite but true that the dead don’t bury themselves. Even if the deceased left instructions, it … Continue reading Beautiful Death – coffin decorations in colonial NZ

Fun with archaeological maps!

Today's blog comes from Alana Kelly, one of our archaeological volunteers on site, who more-often-than-not was given the job of mapping in the features we found. Today she tells us all about how our archaeological maps were drawn and why they're important! An important part of any archaeological excavation is recording and mapping. While most … Continue reading Fun with archaeological maps!