ARCHAEOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY: REVEALING TRACES OF THE PAST
University of Granada (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Conference name: 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 3-5 July, 2017
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:The starting point for this paper is the description of experiences of teaching and research carried out as a part of the ARCHEM project entitled “Archaeology and Chemistry. Reconstructing eating habits in the Culture of Argar”, and funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology (Spain) since 2016. An interdisciplinary group of colleagues from the University of Granada (Spain): Analytical Chemistry, Prehistoric and Archaeology and Edaphology and Agricultural Chemistry departments, Centre for Scientific Instrumentation (CIC) and some relevant specialist in Archaeology are participating in the current Project.
The key point of the ARCHEM Project is twofold. On the one hand the promotion and reinforcement of the cooperation between the chemical sciences and the archaeological studies. Archaeology and chemistry are relevant disciplines to arise the maximum information in analysis of materials from excavations worldwide. Archaeological chemistry emphasized studies not only in ancient metals, stone, pottery and glass, but also in news area of interest as archaeological soils, fibers, dyes, bone, DNA and recently in organic residues remained in ceramics sherds. In the last few years, scientists have focused on the use of analytical chemistry to identify the constituents of archaeological artefacts to find out what the objects were made from and even their provenance. The progress achieved has contributed to discern patterns of human behavior in the past. The current Project focuses on the characterization of the organic residues inside archaeological pottery. Therefore, it is an innovative project between two fields of knowledge that have evolved separately but that start walking together.
And on the other point of view, ARCHEM is focused on developing of competencies on the field of archaeological chemistry through the production of Doctoral and Master Theses. In this way, students from Master's degree (members of the ARCHEM project) have to learn a new perspective in this discipline and its relation to the analysis of archaeological pottery as well as aspects related to the chemical analysis. To learn some basic about chemical analysis provides to students of humanistic profile a scientific knowledge which gives them a skills and abilities for a more complete professional development in Archaeometry. In this context, the idea of adapting teaching and learning of the analytical chemistry has led the team of researchers, members of the aforementioned project, to consider in the future the transmission of knowledge through teaching Chemistry in the Archaeology degree. In this way the humanist students could initiate contact to chemistry from the beginning of his degree studies allowing them unravel the secrets of archaeology through chemistry.
Keywords: Research project, Archaeological chemistry.