Environmental Archaeology

Ashley Sharpe holding skull

Old teeth, new stories

UF archaeologist uses Chicxulub ‘dinosaur crater’ rocks, prehistoric teeth to track ancient humans These rocks from the Chicxulub 'dinosaur crater' were used ...
Museum doctoral examines a piece of marine shell made into an ornament.

Beyond the temples

Ancient bones reveal the lives of the Mayan working class Museum doctoral student Ashley Sharpe examines a piece of marine shell made into an ornament. The artifact was found near the ruins of houses belonging to working-class Maya people at the an...
Erin Thornton in Lab

Earliest use of Mexican turkeys by ancient Maya

As a University of Florida graduate student, one of Erin Thornton’s first assignments was to identify turkey bones from an ancient Mayan archaeological site in ...
Maya ritual

Bone collectors and sacred trash

To the Maya, throwing away the bones of hunted animals is as wasteful as throwing away the entire animal itself. In fact, it's pretty much one and the same. When you finish your chicken dinner, your next step is most likely to toss the leftover bo...
SERVING VESSEL

A queen’s final feast

Ritual animal remains from Copan's Margarita structure analyzed The fascinating serving vessel for the turkey was decorated with this small figure holding a l...
Figure 1

Sclerochronology: Playing back the recordings of life

Sclerochronology is the study of astronomical cycles recorded in the hard tissues of organisms such as the shells of mollusks and corals or the teeth and horns of mammals. It is analogous to dendrochronology, the study of annual rings in trees. Scler...