Episode 28: Deciphering Prehistoric Diets with Stable Isotope Analysis

In this captivating episode of The Arch and Anth Podcast, we dive deep into the world of prehistoric hunter-gatherers and their dietary secrets with the esteemed biological anthropologist and bioarchaeologist, Victoria van der Haas from the University of Alberta. Join us on a journey where we unravel the mysteries of stable isotope analysis and gain insights into the ancient diets of Siberian communities.

Meet Victoria van der Haas

Unveiling the Scientist: Get to know the remarkable Victoria van der Haas, a dedicated biological anthropologist and bioarchaeologist whose research takes us back in time to explore the lives of prehistoric hunter-gatherers. Discover her passion for understanding ancient human lifestyles.

The Science of Stable Isotope Analysis

Unlocking the Technique: Explore the fascinating world of stable isotope analysis. Victoria sheds light on the intricacies of this scientific method, including how dentine from molar teeth is sampled and how stable carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios are measured. How does this analysis help us uncover the past?

Reconstructing Ancient Siberian Diets

Dining with the Ancients: Join us at the virtual dinner table as we reconstruct the diets of ancient Siberian communities. Victoria provides insights into the dietary patterns of prehistoric hunter-gatherers living around Lake Baikal. What did their meals consist of, and how did they adapt to their environment?

Hominin Dispersals in Southeast Asia

Tracing Human Movements: Victoria’s previous studies have delved into hominin dispersals in Southeast Asia. Discover the exciting journey of dating a shell associated with Homo erectus from Trinil Java. What revelations have emerged from this exploration, and how does it contribute to our understanding of human history?

Unveiling Tool Production by Homo Erectus

Ancient Artifacts: Explore the intriguing world of tool production associated with Homo erectus. Victoria unveils the geometric patterns of engravings found on shells, providing evidence of ancient craftsmanship in Trinil, Java. What significance do these artifacts hold, and what do they reveal about our ancestors?