PalaeoChron is delighted to be hosting Saltanat Amirova in the AMS lab. Saltanat is a Graduate Diploma student from the Institute of Archaeology of UCL. She hails from Kazakhstan. She is in Oxford for 2 weeks helping us to prepare samples for the FINDER and PalaeoChron ERC projects and working on material from Denisova Cave. Saltanat has been sampling tiny fragments of bone to then be prepared for ZooMS in our laboratory. She speaks fluent Russian which is useful for our project! We are really very grateful to volunteers like Saltanat for helping us with the laborious work of preparing samples for ZooMS. We hope that amongst the bones she is working there will be a hominin bone! So far we have found 4 such bone fragments in the Denisova material, an average of 1 every 1000 bones! It is rather like finding a needle in a haystack, but because the preservation state of bone at Denisova is so good, even a tiny bone can be tremendously informative as we have already seen, and will see again in due course.
If anyone is interested in becoming involved in either FINDER or PalaeoChron in this area, please get in touch!