Aaron Jonas Stutz

Aaron Jonas Stutz

Oxford, Georgia, USA

Oxford College and Department of Anthropology, Emory University

Associate Professor


Published on Aug 16, 2017

Uncovering Pockets of Preservation

One of the necessary steps in our project was to figure out what parts of the Mughr el-Hamamah site were disturbed by recent activity, and what parts preserved pristine traces of Early Upper Paleol...

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Published on Aug 07, 2017

Catching up -- a whirlwind, successful season

It is actually shocking to see that we posted our last update nearly four weeks ago. We apologize to all of our backers that we have been unable to keep up, but we will make up for that now. The go...

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Published on Jul 08, 2017

Extra Week 1 -- pointed possibilities

The prettiest artifacts are often found out of their original context during cleaning. Here is an el-Wad point—a classic flint point style made for several millennia in the Early Upper Paleolithic ...

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Published on Jul 08, 2017

Week 1 Update: The Millipedes Ate Our Science Project

We finished our first week of fieldwork at Mughr el-Hamamah on Thursday 6 July. After a day off at our swimming haven down the road (that is, the Amman Beach at the Dead Sea), we began Week 2. Here...

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Published on Jun 29, 2017

The administrative part: the excavation permit

Today, Liv and Aaron drove from the Yarmouk University Research Station--in the Jordan Valley--up to Amman. Our appointment was to meet the field project permit director and pick up our permit to e...

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Published on Jun 27, 2017

Arrived in Jordan ...

Liv, Aaron and family--along with our Emory University students--have arrived in Jordan. Graduate assistant John Murry will be arriving later today. We will be settling into the Yarmouk University ...

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Published on Mar 17, 2017

Caves of the Doves

That's the direct translation of "Mughr el-Hamamah." Rock doves (species Columba livia) like to perch and nest in the large caves found throughout the wider Mediterranean Basin. Not surprisingly, l...

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Published on Mar 15, 2017

Introduction -- Paleo Plants

Our field season at Mughr el-Hamamah will begin on 29 June 2017. Before then, we'll be sharing some posts providing background information and stories on the Biocultural Evolution blog. Our first p...

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Congratulations on surpassing the funding goal!!! This is a thoughtful and important project. And y'all throw down the gauntlet for my Emory students to organize and fund their scientific research :)
Apr 19, 2017
Can a Dietary Intervention Reduce Mercury Toxicity Among Native Communities in Peru?
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Hi Gregory. First of all, thank you for choosing our project to support. We're making great progress, so we're optimistic we'll reach our funding goal and be ready to send all of our backers updates on research milestones and lab notes from the research station in the Jordan Valley this July. Your comment is a great one. Ötzi was such an important find because his body was in natural cold storage for 5000 or so years, preserving stomach contents, among other amazing intact traces of what he did and how he interacted with his environment over his lifetime, as well as how he died. We definitely can't rule out finding a frozen Paleolithic-age body in the ice or buried in the permafrost somewhere in the Alps or Greenland, what we're more likely to get is evidence of how groups of hunter-gatherers from the last Ice Age interacted with and consumed plant resources over multiple generations or even--as in our case--millennia. My colleague John Hawks has a nice overview of recent research on plant and animal DNA trapped in Neandertal tooth calculus. That work shows just how far lab techniques are now taking us toward getting a more detailed picture of our ancestors' omnivorous diets. For instance, Neandertals in Spain nearly 50,000 years ago were eating pine nuts and wild mushrooms. Here's the link to John's blog about the new dental calculus/dietary DNA research (you might need to copy and paste it): http://johnhawks.net/weblog/reviews/neandertals/diet/mushroom-neandertals-2017.html
Apr 02, 2017
How did Paleolithic Hunter-Gatherers Use and Consume Plant Resources in Eurasia?
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We're so grateful for your support, Sarah. We are also already looking forward to sharing the updates with you over the summer. Please share the link to this page and tell friends and colleagues. What I originally talked to Randy about concerning our common interests is that we have interesting evidence for a lot of care for injured, sick or aging group members, even though getting food and resources depended on high average activity levels. There's a medical humanities angle here, I promise you. :)
Mar 19, 2017
How did Paleolithic Hunter-Gatherers Use and Consume Plant Resources in Eurasia?
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Pat, we welcome both the support. Of course animal teeth are one of the many important sources of information about how hunter-gatherers survived and often thrived in the Paleolithic. And appropos your welcome pun, Pat, I'll say this. The southern Levant--from the Mediterranean Coast to eastern Jordan--was the first stop from which modern human populations continued to grow as they spread out of Africa. For reasons we may never know, the hunter-gatherers settling in the Levant--sometimes joining Neandertal groups and forming "mixed families"--had offspring who grew up and dispersed toward Siberia. One of the oldest anatomically modern human fossils outside of Africa and the southern Levant is, wait for it, from Siberia. Geek out about the Siberian fossil and ride the "Molar Express" here: https://bioculturalevolution.net/2014/10/30/neandertals-early-modern-humans-and-us/ --Old professor stutz
Mar 16, 2017
How did Paleolithic Hunter-Gatherers Use and Consume Plant Resources in Eurasia?
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