December 17, 2008

9 down, 51 to go

Last week, a few more of my Sr samples got run on the SEM. Fortunately, all 9 of them worked perfectly. Maybe centrifuging the samples was indeed the key that caused about two-thirds of my samples to fail in October. My Sr graph is now getting more and more populated, and thus harder and harder to interpret. I still have strong evidence of several immigrants from different phases and contexts, but there is a vast grey area of people who could be immigrants or could be locals. There's no Sr baseline for Rome, only geological maps that indicate an approximate range that the city should be and my two pig samples. Adding more people also means the demographics of the migrants are changing: after yesterday's results, two of the clearest immigrants are a 15-year-old and a 50-60-year-old male. Both of these are interesting in light of historical demographers' insistence that migrants were largely 20-30-year-old males in the military. Both have signatures in the low .707s, but I don't know yet which geographical area this maps to, other than that it was likely south of Rome. I also have a bit of unpublishable data (I'm rerunning the sample) indicating at least one person was from a .713 region, likely pretty far north of Rome.

So unless any samples fail, I am done with creating little tiny dots of Sr and am just waiting for the SEM to be back on its feet to run the remaining 50 people. Then, I have to figure out how to use my remaining $3k in grant money. Do I test the third molars of the immigrants with Sr to find out if they moved more than once? Do I add oxygen isotope analyses to see if I can identify individuals' homelands further? Do I just buy a bunch of books and a new pair of jeans and write it all off as research expenses?

2 comments:

TCho said...

just saying hi! I'm a latecomer to Facebook and am slowly getting addicted to it. Hope you're well!

It's strange that my main memory of you is you coming to my birthday parties at McDonalds. :-)

gauze blouse said...

Very good info here, thank you!

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