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College of Liberal Arts

University of Mississippi

Virtual Oxford Science Cafe to Focus on Ancient Migration

UM professors to discuss ‘Tales of Teeth’ during Tuesday event on Zoom

This site from the Gallina culture was occupied during the pre-Hispanic period in the American Southwest from around 1050 to 1300. Submitted photo

This site from the Gallina culture was occupied during the pre-Hispanic period in the American Southwest from around 1050 to 1300. Submitted photo

SEPTEMBER 13, 2020 BY EDWIN B. SMITH

Ancient migration patterns is the topic for a virtual Oxford Science Cafe scheduled Tuesday (Sept. 15) by organizers in the University of Mississippi Department of Physics and Astronomy.

The Virtual Oxford Science Cafe program can be seen on Zoom beginning at 6 p.m. Carolyn Freiwald, UM associate professor of anthropology, and Lexi O’Donnell, a visiting assistant professor in the UM Department of Sociology and Anthropology, will discuss “Archaeological Science: Our Teeth Tell (Migration) Tales.”

The Corpus Christi Cathedral, also known as Tlalnepantla Cathedral, was built by the Franciscan order in Tlalnepantla, Mexico, in 1525. Submitted photo

The Corpus Christi Cathedral, also known as Tlalnepantla Cathedral, was built by the Franciscan order in Tlalnepantla, Mexico, in 1525. Submitted photo

“Archaeologists reconstruct the past in multiple ways, using novel scientific techniques, historic records, oral traditions and artifacts,” O’Donnell said. “Dr. Freiwald and I will talk about our research on ancient migration in northern New Mexico and today’s Mexico City 800 years ago using the biological and chemical differences in human teeth.”

Questions to be addressed during the 45-minute podcast include: Who were migrants in Tlalnepantla, Mexico? What happened to the Gallina people in northern New Mexico when their homes were abandoned?

“Dental morphology and isotopic analysis are key forensic techniques that answer questions posed by historical records and oral traditions,” Freiwald said.

To join in on the Virtual Oxford Science Cafe, click here.

For more information about the Oxford Science Cafe programs, visit https://www.phy.olemiss.edu/oxfordsciencecafe/.