The Archaeological and Anthropological Society of Victoria is a group that promotes the study of archaeology, anthropology, ethno-archaeology and ethno-history in both Australia and further abroad. Lectures, from a range of talented presenters, are held every third Thursday of the month at 6:30pm at the The Kathleen Syme Library & Community Centre – 251 Faraday St, Carlton.
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 Next Lecture – Thursday 19th of July 2018

Shifting Human Subsistence in Late Bronze to Late Antique Greater Mtskheta, Georgia: Evidence from Carbon and Nitrogen Stable Isotopes

Presented by Natalie Langowski
Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience, University of Melbourne

The region of Mtskheta, Georgia, lies nestled in the Caucasus mountains at the cross-roads between Europe and Western Asia. Rich archaeological evidence reflects a cultural transition from the sedentary settlements of the Late Bronze Age (1500 BC) to the urban populations of the Iberian Kingdom (~400 BC-AD 580).

This doctoral research project uses stable isotope analyses of skeletal remains to reconstruct the human diet over time, and examine the social organisation of the Iberian Kingdom. Carbon and nitrogen isotope results highlight the variable nature of Late Bronze-Early Iron Age subsistence practices, which stands well apart from the standardised animal management strategies of the Hellenistic and Roman-Late Antique periods.

Natalie is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Melbourne Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience, and an AASV committee member. She completed her Master’s research project at the University of Melbourne in 2014, using stable isotopes to reconstruct human diet at Samtavro cemetery (Mtskheta, Georgia) in the 1st-6th centuries AD. This doctorial research expands on that work to examine human behaviour at multiple sites across Mtskheta, and across various time periods.


Palaeopathological survey of Late Bronze Age to Early Medieval Period populations from the Mtskheta region, Georgia

Presented by Marine Chkadua
Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience, University of Melbourne

The Mtskheta region lies in central eastern Georgia (southern Caucasus), and was situated at the crossroads of important trade routes in ancient times. It provides an important site for studying human health during a period of transition from a pre-state society in the Bronze Age (15th – 6th centuries BC), to an urbanised city-state in the subsequent Antique Period (5th century BC – 4th century AD) and Early Middle Ages (4th – 6th centuries AD).

Based on doctoral research, this talk will focus on lesions on the skull known as porotic hyperostosis, which are multifactorial stress markers for anaemia. Changes in the incidence and degree of severity of the lesions provide important insights into the transition of health from pre-settled agro-pastoralists to settled urban dwellers and allow us to examine trends of mortality and survivability of populations over time.

Marine is a PhD candidate at the University of Melbourne Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience. She graduated with a Medical degree from the Tbilisi National Medical University. In 2008, she began working at the Georgian National Museum managing the anthropological collections. Marine has participated in numerous archaeological and paleontological expeditions in Georgia, and joined several international archaeological and anthropological research projects. She is a recipient of the “President’s Grant for Young Scientists”, Tbilisi, Georgia.


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