Well done Emily!

Emily with her PhD thesis.

Emily successfully defended her PhD thesis last Friday. The PhD thesis is entitled “A zooarchaeological study of butchery and bone fat practices among Early Neolithic farming societies in central Europe” and supervised by Prof. Alan Outram at the University of Exeter.

Emily is the first PhD student from our NeoMilk team to obtain a PhD.  Congratulations Dr. Emily Johnson!

NeoMilk at UKAS2017

Mélanie represented the NeoMilk project with a paper on the presence of long-chain fatty acids in archaeological extracts. Other members of the OGU attended the conference: Jamie Lewis (presenting a poster on δ<sup>15</sup>N values of amino-acids of collagen and tissues from pigs raised on controlled diets) and Simon Hammann.

Good conference indeed, next one will be in Manchester.




Deadline extended to March 22!

Session: #405

Cattle-based Agriculture in Central Europe – introduction, spread and impact

Theme: Interpreting the archaeological record

This interdisciplinary session will examine the introduction and spread of cattle-based agriculture by the Neolithic farmers of Central Europe and its implications for modelling the Neolithisation of Northern and Central Europe beginning in the 6th millennium BC. This revolutionary shift in human subsistence strategy reshaped prehistoric European culture, biology and economy, in ways that underlie modern life worldwide.

The session aims to bring together biomolecular, isotopic and morphological studies of faunal, human and other archaeological remains to investigate herding practices. The impact of the introduction of dairying, detectable from organic residues in ceramics and the faunal skeletal-based proxies, into the Neolithic diet on the health and biology of Neolithic humans will also be examined.
The session will provide comprehensive assessments of the ways the first farmers of Central Europe managed and exploited their domesticated animals. Papers from the session will highlight the changing roles of domesticated animals in the diets, economies and evolutionary genetics of Neolithic communities in Central Europe.
We welcome papers on all aspects of the spread of cattle-based agriculture in Central Europe, asking the contributors to emphasise the role(s) and impacts of domesticated animal-based economies on the lives of Neolithic farmers.

Organisers: Mélanie Roffet-Salque (University of Bristol, UK); Jessica Smyth (University College Dublin, Ireland); Richard P. Evershed (University of Bristol, UK).

Submit your contribution before March 22: http://www.eaa2017maastricht.nl

Emmanuelle returns to Alsace

Emmanuelle at the CCE with a beautiful LBK potsherd from Ensisheim

Emmanuelle at the CCE with beautiful refitting LBK potsherds from Ensisheim


Emmanuelle went once again to Alsace, this time to sample sherds from the upper Rhine region.

She had to be patient to access these sherds as she had to wait for the reopening of the new building at the Centre de Conservation et d’Etude (CEE) – Alsace. She met Agathe Mulot who let her access the collection from the LBK site of Ensisheim.

She also had a meeting with Suzanne Plouin, curator in charge of the archaeological collection at the Musée Unterliden in Colmar. She sampled the LBK site of Colmar.

Roz moves to the University of Kiel

2015-03-04 16.22.41Roz Gillis has now moved to Kiel to work with Prof. Cheryl Makarewicz. Good luck for your new job Roz!

Roz has been great collecting archaeozoological data to reconstruct herd management. She has played (and is still playing) a major role in our NeoMilk project!

Of course, Roz is still associated with the project. #NeoMilkforever!


NeoMilk on BBC Radio 4

bbc_radio_4Mélanie Roffet-Salque was interviewed at the BBC in Bristol for the “Food Programme” entitled “the Future of Cheese” on BBC Radio 4. This programme deals with the origins of cheese-making and the future of cheese, including the role of raw milk. Mélanie was invited to talk about the identification of milk residues in ceramic sieves from Poland (research published in Nature in 2012).

The podcast is available here.

NeoMilk at the Neolithic Studies Group Autumn meeting

Part of the NeoMilk team headed to the British Museum in London on Monday 28th November for the Neolithic Studies Group Autumn meeting. The event was organised by our own Roz Gillis and Jess Smyth and entitled “Neolithic food and farming systems”.

Roz Gillis presented the work we recently published in PNAS on early farming communities of the Northern Mediterranean. A multidisciplinary study with archaeolozoological analyses (slaughtering profiles) and lipid residue analyses of pots.

Emily Johnson presented her poster “From animal to archaeologist: profiling sequences of butchery and taphonomy through bone fracture analysis”, co-authored with Pip Parmenter and Alan Outram. This poster was based on the work published this year in JAS reports.

Finally, Mélanie Roffet-Salque presented the NeoMilk team work carried out on the site of Ludwinowo, integrating multiple approaches to get insight into animal management at this LBK site. Co-authors of the talk included Jessica Smyth, Rosalind Gillis, Emily V. Johnson, David T. Altoft, Iain Kendall, Marta Bartkowiak, Marta Osypińska, Joanna Pyzel, Iwona Sobkowiak-Tabaka, Volker Heyd, Arkadiusz Marciniak, Jean-Denis Vigne, Marie Balasse, Alan K. Outram and Richard P. Evershed

We also had the chance to catch up with Penny Bickle (ex-member, now lecturer at the University of York).

That was a lovely day at the British Museum – thank you Roz and Jess for organising and inviting us!

Welcome to our new research analysts!

The NeoMilk team is growing!

Caitlin, Borys and Luke have just started as research analysts in the NeoMilk project. They will be carrying out lipid residue analyses of the pottery sherds we have been sampling all across Europe.

Borys will even be able to work with sherds from his home country (Poland).

Welcome to the team!

Emily at the Taphonomy Working Group meeting, Paris

14614436_10157646805640533_1825641738_oEmily recently attended the fourth meeting of the ICAZ Taphonomy Working Group in Paris to present a just-published paper from the NeoMilk project (Johnson et al. 2016). The meeting was held from the 7th-10th September in the glorious complex belonging to the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle in the  Jardin des Plantes. Emily gave a presentation on new methodology for displaying bone fracture analysis using sequences of fracture freshness, a technique that allows fractures caused by carcass butchering processes, deposition practices and taphonomic factors to be displayed on the same chart. The conference was a brilliant opportunity to meet with colleagues and keep up to date with research, and also to look around some of the amazing museums at lunch break!

Emily’s paper on profiling taphonomic history through bone fracture can be read here for free until the 22 October.

Johnson, E.V., Parmenter, P.C.R., Outram, A.K., 2016. A new approach to profiling taphonomic history through bone fracture analysis, with an example application to the Linearbandkeramik site of Ludwinowo 7, Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 9, 623-629.