Hidden Treasures:The Potential of Archaeological Science at the Medieval Site of Bardhaʿa and Beyond

Ashleigh Haruda, ARISC Fellow, University of Oxford and University of Copenhagen

Thursday, November 3, 2022, 6:00-7:30 PM Baku time

Overview: While the excavations at the medieval site of Bardha’a concluded in 2018, the analyses of the archaeological artefacts are still ongoing. A variety of archaeological scientific methods including new techniques such as zooarchaeology by mass spectrometry (ZooMS) have been deployed on the animal bone remains, revealing surprises, such as the earliest known water buffalo in the Caucasus. These and other additional methods, such as aDNA, are discussed here to outline the potential of these new techniques to discover previously hidden data in the archaeological archive.

Speaker: Dr. Ashleigh Haruda is a zooarchaeologist, an ARISC Research Fellow, and is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Wellcome Trust Palaeogenomics and Bio-Archaeology Research Network (PaleoBARN) at the University of Oxford and a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Copenhagen working on the DFF project, ‘Birds as a key line of evidence for human vulnerability and resilience to environmental shifts in a pre-agricultural context’. She specialises in the application of scientific methods such as advanced statistical shape analysis (geometric morphometrics), ancient DNA, and stable isotopes to archaeological animal remains to detect animal species and breeds in the archaeological record. She works on archaeological assemblages and projects in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Jordan, and Europe ranging from the Eneolithic to the medieval periods. 

Funding for the ARISC fellowship is provided by the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) through a grant to the Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC). This event is sponsored by the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC). Lectures are free and open to the public. Learn more at www.arisc.org

*ARISC does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, physical or mental disability, medical condition, ancestry, marital status, age, sexual orientation, citizenship, or status as a covered veteran.