Skeletal Biology and AMS Dating of Prehistoric Site CA-SCL-623/H (Stanford)

Primary Investigators: Elizabeth Becker and Alan Leventhal.

Faculty Sponsors: Dr. Marco Meniketti and Alan Leventhal.

Background: CA-SCL-623/H is a prehistoric ancestral Ohlone cemetery site located on the northern end of Stanford University campus.  The site was excavated by The Muwekma Tribe’s CRM firm Ohlone Families Consulting Services between 2003 and 2004 in order to make way of the newly planned campus Classic Residence Complex.  A total of 23 primary inhumations were recovered at a depth of over 8 feet deep thus suggesting fairly old antiquity.  A preliminary skeletal inventory was conducted by SJSU Anthropology alumna Susan Morley, however, due to a rushed deadline, no comprehensive study was conducted on these human remains or organic material submitted for radio carbon dating.  Under the direction of Alan Leventhal as part of his Anthropology 195 class, San Jose Alumna Emily McDaniel (graduated 2011) and Anthropology senior Elizabeth Becker proceeded to conduct a comprehensive study of these burials with the intention of eventually publishing the results.  The Muwekma Ohlone Tribe issued a letter of support for the team to conduct AMS dating, Stable Isotope and Ancient DNA studies on these ancestral remains.  Other nearby sites (e.g., CA-SCL-287) that SJSU Anthropology students and alumni have worked on and published have yielded dates spanning 2000 to 4000 years old. 

College of Social Sciences Foundation Research Grant:

In order to accomplish the AMS dating stated above Elizabeth Becker applied for a grant from the College of Social Sciences Foundation Research this past Fall 2012 semester.  She was awarded $1370.00 for this research project which resulted in mid-range dates of 2085 BC and 2746 BC.

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