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Harvard Archaeology Course Uses Forest as Classroom

January 1, 2005
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This past September, Harvard Forest was the site of a lively field archaeology course run by Noreen Tuross, Clay Professor of Noreen Tuross Archaeology CourseScientific Archaeology at Harvard University. Ten students, two teaching fellows and Professor Tuross intensively sampled the Pierce Farm, investigating signals of past land use in phosphorus, DNA, and soil pollen. Many of the analyses were run on-site at the John G. Torrey Laboratory. Harvard Forest ecologists have previously investigated the land-use history of the Pierce Farm, and this background information made it an ideal site to test to what extent these biological and chemical signals can be used to infer past land use. This course highlights the role Harvard Forest plays as a field laboratory for interdisciplinary research for many researchers and students at Harvard University.

The undergraduate and graduate students in the course, coming from anthropology, history and ecology backgrounds, presented their findings in a poster session at the Peabody Museum on December 16.

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