Archaeology Meets Science

Book Details

Author  Holley Martlew
Publisher  Oxbow Books
Publication Date   May 13, 2008
ISBN  1842172387
Pages  320

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This book has come out of a project that pioneered, and is continuing to pioneer, the in-depth application of state of the art scientific analyses to ceramic artefacts and skeletal material. The vases and skeletons of Bronze Age Greece which are the subjects of this comprehensive study, do not appear as they do in their usual format - illustrations in a book with descriptions of contexts. In this project, and therefore in this book, each object is revealed from the inside, and because of this, it has a different story to tell - what people ate and drank in everyday life, the diet and health of the people who lived in Bronze Age Greece. By means of organic residue and stable isotope analysis, knowledge has been extended beyond anything previously gleaned through normal archaeological research. There are some fascinating insights, such as the origin of modern Greek retsina, which was traced first to the time of Agammemnon, then to Crete in the 17th century BC and finally to the Early Minoan Period, c. 2000 BC. The results of this ground breaking project have been presented in 7 international exhibitions, starting with the National Archaeological Museum in Athens in 1999. It is the most widely travelled exhibition of Greek artefacts ever mounted. This volume gives the reader the ultimate "story within the story": the primary scientific evidence behind the work that has been carried out up to 2003. It has been written by the world renowned scientists who carried out the work.

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