Thursday, June 30, 2016

Dr. Vasant Shinde, a Vice-Chancellor of Deccan College, Visits My Lab

Prof. Vasant Shinde, Internationally renowned Archaeologist, visited my lab during June 25 to July 4, 2016.

He is presently the Vice-Chancellor of the Deccan College, Post-Graduate and Research Institute, Deemed University, Pune. He obtained his B.A. in History from the University of Poona, and a Master’s Degree (First Class first) in Archaeology from Deccan College, Deemed University (at that time affiliated to the University of Poona). He subsequently completed his Ph.D. in Protohistoric Archaeology on Early Settlements in Central Tapi Basin from the same University. Prof. Shinde has been teaching the Post-Graduate course in Archaeology since 1982. In addition to being a Recognized Post-Graduate teacher and Research guide at Deccan College, Deemed University, University of Poona and Solapur University and EotvosLorand University of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary, he has been also conducting teaching for the Post-Graduate Diploma course at the Institute of Archaeology, Archaeological Survey of India, New Delhi, since 1991. Prof. Shinde has been a pioneer in archaeological research since the last 35 years, specialising in the Protohistory of South Asia as well as Field Archaeology. He has completed 16 major research projects, in the process of which he has collaborated with scholars and institutes from around the world, from Institutes such as the Universities of Pennsylvania and Wisconsin in the United States of America to Cambridge and Oxford Universities in the United Kingdom, to the International Research Center for Japanese Studies and Research Institute for Humanities and Nature (both in Kyoto, Japan), Seoul National University College of Medicine, South Korea, and so on. He has also directed a vast number of excavations around the country, from Harappan sites in Gujarat and Haryana to Chalcolithic sites in Madhya Pradesh and the Deccan, to Protohistoric and Early historic Sites in Rajasthan and Maharashtra. Presently, he has been directing a very prestigious research project at the largest Harappan site of Rakhigarhi in Haryana. In the course of his research work, Prof. Shinde has also travelled to and delivered lectures at Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Iran, Denmark, France, England, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Oman, Malaysia, China, Japan, South Korea, Turkmenistan and several other countries throughout Europe and Asia, as well as in North and Central America. His contributions to Archaeology in India and abroad take the form of a large number of research papers, edited volumes and other publications, comprising 8 books, 10 edited books, 117 papers in national journals and 59 research papers in International journals alone, in addition to popular articles in magazines and other periodicals.  He has established the Society of South Asian Archaeology (SOSAA) with a view to promoting young archaeologists and further global collaboration (From HP of Deccan College, India).

Since 2010, we have collaborated each other about our common interest, the scientific studies on the remains from archaeological sites of both countries. Please see the summary of our collaboration with the archaeologists in India for the past several years. 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Our work reported in "Archaeology Magazine" and "Live Science"

Archaeology Magazine:

Live Science:

Eight serial photos about facial reconstruction in this case at Live Science:

My study on Silla woman skeleton is reported in Archaeology Magazine. 

Reported in Korean Newspaper about My Lab's Research

Bioanthropological studies of my lab and colleagues have been reported in a Korean newspaper, Joong Ang Ilbo. 

Friday, June 17, 2016

Helicobacter pylori from Korean mummies

Helicobacter pylori is gram negative bacterium, infecting about half of the world’s human population. Modern H. pylori strains have been assigned to distinct populations with at least six ancestral origins. Of them, H. pylori infection in Korea is caused by East Asian strains (hp EastAsia).

In addition to the clinical importance of H. pylori, mainly concerning with stomach ulcer or cancer, it is also very suggestive for understanding human population history worldwide that was shaped by migrations and population expansions. By intrafamilial transmission and its long-term association with humans, we can trace complex migrations in human history by observing a phylogeographic distribution pattern of H. pylori.

Although invaluable information very suggestive for understanding human migration history could be obtained by previous studies on H. pylori genome, most of studies were laid focus on the modern people. Only exception to this was ancient microbiome research on the 5300-year-old Iceman from which H. pylori genome was obtained and analyzed very successfully. Even so, the data pool of H. pylori aDNA is still empty. We admit that more trials should be done on the human samples obtained from archaeological sites worldwide.

In this regard, Joseon mummies are very ideal for study on ancient H. pylori. Owing to the superbly preserved condition of Joseon mummies, the stomach, the ancient sample invaluable for studying several hundred year old H. pylori genome, could be maintained perfectly within their body cavities. Our study is therefore designed to see if H. pylori aDNA could be detected successfully from 16th to 18th century Joseon mummies.

Friday, June 10, 2016

[New Publication] Bio-Anthropological Studies on Human Skeletons from the 6th Century Tomb of Ancient Silla Kingdom in South Korea

Our new paper, "Bio-Anthropological Studies on Human Skeletons from the 6th Century Tomb of Ancient Silla Kingdom in South Korea" is published in PLOS ONE.

In November and December 2013, unidentified human skeletal remains buried in a mokgwakmyo (a traditional wooden coffin) were unearthed while conducting an archaeological investigation near Gyeongju, which was the capital of the Silla Kingdom (57 BCE– 660 CE) of ancient Korea. The human skeletal remains were preserved in relatively intact condition. In an attempt to obtain biological information on the skeleton, physical anthropological, mitochondrial DNA, stable isotope and craniofacial analyses were carried out. The results indicated that the individual was a female from the Silla period, of 155 ± 5 cm height, who died in her late thirties. The maternal lineage belonged to the haplogroup F1b1a, typical for East Asia, and the diet had been more C3- than C4-based. Finally, the face of the individual was reconstructed utilizing the skull (restored from osseous fragments) and three-dimensional computerized modeling system. This study, applying multi-dimensional approaches within an overall bio-anthropological analysis, was the first attempt to collect holistic biological information on human skeletal remains dating to the Silla Kingdom period of ancient Korea.