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Article Reference Validating the probabilistic sex diagnosis (DSP) method with a special test case on Pre-Columbian mummies (including the famous Rascar Capac)
Many museums have either one or more mummies in their collections. The Royal Museums of Art and History in Brussels is no exception and houses several Pre-Columbian mummies, including the one that inspired Hergé, author of the Tintin comics, to create the character of ‘Rascar Capac’. The accurate identification of the sex of a particular mummy is important for testing hypotheses about social structures in ancient societies. Sexing of mummies is mostly based on visual analysis from CT and MRI scans and macroscopic examination from the skeletal tissue such as genitalia and breasts, although skeletal tissue is not always well preserved. Probabilistic Sex Diagnosis (DSP: Diagnose Sexuelle Probabiliste) is a sex estimation method which has recently proved to be highly effective on different modern human and ancient European populations. The aim of this study was to see if it was possible to apply and validate virtual DSP on a study of four ancient Pre-Columbian mummies from South America (which are outside the reference population of DSP). Virtual DSP was performed in the software ‘lhpFusionBox’. All mummies were CT scanned, 3D models were created and virtual DSP was performed. Sex was determined with a probability of 99.9% or over in all cases (DSP determined one male and three females). Preserved skeletal tissue remains confirmed DSP results in half of the mummies. A Principal Components Analysis (PCA) was performed on the DSP results of the mummies and a modern human (MH) population. Half of the mummies were outside the 95% range of the DSP values of MH, largely due to their smaller size. When size was accounted for, they were within the MH range. The unknown sex mummies identified as females by DSP were found to be grouped with the known sex female mummy and the MH females. Similarly, the unknown sex mummy identified as male by DSP was also found to be grouped with MH males. The use of PCA analysis on DSP results is an effective tool to validate DSP results, even with individuals outside of the reference population. Despite differences in size from ancient to modern humans, DSP was found to be accurate and can be used with mummies and other ancient populations from different countries around the world.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2020
Article Reference First record of the terrestrial nemertean Geonemertes pelaensis Semper, 1863 (Hoplonemertea: Prosorhochmidae) for Cuba
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2020
Article Reference A checklist of Lecithoceridae (Lepidoptera: Gelechioidea) of the Afrotropical Region
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2021
Article Reference Investigation of some Givetian rugose corals from the Mont d’Haurs Formation in southern Belgium
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2019
Article Reference C source code Histological and stable isotope analysis of archeological bones from St. Rombout's cemetery (Mechelen, Belgium): Intrasite, intraindividual, and intrabone variability
Abstract This study compares histological preservation in archeological bones from different burial types to unravel the histotaphonomy-to-funerary practices relationship. Αn intraskeletal approach is also adopted to explore intraindividual (inner ear part of the petrous bone vs. upper/lower limb long bones) and intrabone (proximal vs. distal diaphysis) variability in bone collagen preservation, δ13C, and δ15N. The aim is to (a) target bones that likely retain higher amounts of collagen, (b) better understand the inner ear bone collagen isotopic signature and remodeling, and (c) assess intrabone isotopic and histological homogeneity. For the histological analysis, the data have been collected from 61 specimens (20 individuals) from the medieval/postmedieval cemetery of St. Rombout, Belgium. Thin sections have been studied using optical and scanning electron microscopy. For the collagen and isotopic data, 101 samples have been collected from 21 individuals. Distinct histological patterns are observed only in bones from single coffin burials; however, bone histology can display intraindividual and intrabone variability, which are important to account for interpretations. Collagen wt.%, δ13C, and δ15N show significant intraindividual differences but insignificant intrabone variability. This study also confirms the extraordinary nature of the petrous bone, as the inner ear bone collagen δ13C and δ15N values reflect the dietary input of the first approximately 2–3 years of life.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2022
Article Reference Late Pleistocene coprolites from Qurta (Egypt) and the potential of interdisciplinary research involving micromorphology, plant macrofossil and biomarker analyses
As part of a rock art dating project at Qurta (Upper Egypt), samples were collected from an organic deposit and from an accumulation of individual faecal pellets. Radiocarbon dating of these relatively well-preserved materials indicates an unexpectedly old age of ca. 45,000 BP or older. In order to identify the biogenic nature of these deposits and to reconstruct the palaeo-environment at the time of their formation, micromorphological, palaeobotanical, and biomarker analyses were carried out. All data indicate that the organic deposit and the pellets were produced by different species. The presence of a novel biomarker, which only occurs in animal urine (hippuric acid), contributed to the conclusion that the organic deposit most likely represents the remains of a rock hyrax (Procavia capensis) latrine, whereas the pellets stem from small bovids. Plant macroremains from the pellets indicate that the animals browsed in the more vegetated areas, presumably near the Nile, although the general environment was probably mainly arid and open. Combined with the dates, this suggests that the pellets date to MIS 3 or 4. Our results demonstrate the great potential of an interdisciplinary approach to the study of Quaternary coprolite deposits, allowing for more adequate and more complete interpretation.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2018
Article Reference Treeline and timberline dynamics on the northern and southern slopes of the Retezat Mountains (Romania) during the late glacial and the Holocene
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2018
Article Reference Pollen-derived biomes in the Eastern Mediterranean-Black Sea-Caspian-Corridor
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2018
Article Reference Octet Stream Neolithic woodland management and land-use in south-eastern Europe: The anthracological evidence from Northern Greece and Bulgaria
Wood charcoal (anthracological) remains accumulated in archaeological deposits provide a valuable tool for reconstruction of past local vegetation and its use. They can offer evidence complementary to pollen analysis or be the main source on past vegetation change in areas where no pollen preservation is available. The current study assembles the anthracological evidence from 18 Neolithic sites situated in the zone spanning between the Lower Danube plain and the Aegean coast. This evidence is presented within the broader archaeological and paleoecological context of the region and in cal. years BC and/or BP. The data is interpreted in terms of land-use related to woodland management and exploitation of woodland resources during three chronological phases which could be distinguished within the Neolithic of south-eastern Europe: a) 6500-5800 cal. BC, b) 5800-5500 cal. BC, and c) 5500-4900 cal BC). The main vegetation type targeted by the Neolithic population were the thermophilous, mixed deciduous oak communities, which contained a rich and diverse undergrowth of light-demanding and fruit/nut bearing trees, shrubs and herbs. Those plant communities were the major source of fuel wood, forest pasture, fodder, gathered fruits, etc. The analyses indicate stability and sustainability of the firewood procurement and woodland management practices for the whole considered period and further suggest that the Neolithic land-use strategies favoured the rich and often fruit-bearing undergrowth of the oak forests and woodland.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2018
Article Reference Mt. Fuji Holocene eruption history reconstructed from proximal lake sediments and high-density radiocarbon dating
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2018