Wulli Wulli country, Queensland, Australia. © Everick Foundation Ltd.

Wulli Wulli country, Queensland, Australia. © Everick Foundation Ltd.

Wulli Wulli, Queensland

Analysing the ancestors: Osteological, aDNA, and isotope analyses of a human mandible and its implications for understanding the life-ways of ancient Australians in Wulli Wulli, Queensland.

Wulli Wulli country, Queensland, Australia. © Everick Foundation Ltd.

Wulli Wulli country, Queensland, Australia. © Everick Foundation Ltd.

PROJECT

Osteological, aDNA and isotope analyses of recovered human remains (one human mandible) at the request of the Wulli Wulli National Aboriginal Corporation, and in collaboration with Everick Foundation, Dr. Marin Pilloud (University of Nevada, Reno), Dr. K. Ann Horsburgh (Southern Methodist University), and Dr. Brian Codding (University of Utah).

ISSUE

Connection between ancestors, living people, and the land is an essential foundation of Wulli Wulli cultural heritage. Scientific approaches have the potential to enhance and support these kinship connections by increasing our understanding of past human experience. Osteological, aDNA and isotope analyses of the human mandible in quesiton can provide specific information about the individual’s ethnicity, physical characteristics, diet, health, lifestyle, provenance, and time in which the individual lived.

Wulli Wulli country, Queensland, Australia. © Everick Foundation Ltd.

Wulli Wulli country, Queensland, Australia. © Everick Foundation Ltd.

SOLUTION

In May 2018, Dr. Pilloud conducted osteological analyses providing a full skeletal assessment of the human mandible in question, to determine age, sex, ancestry, diet, trauma, and evidence of post-depositional processes. A third molar has been removed and will undergo destruction analysis to determine ancient DNA (Dr. Horsburgh). Isotope analysis (Dr. Codding) will use a molar fragment to acquire a date range and further our understanding of the relationship between the ancient Australian diet and their environment.

OUTCOME

In May 2018, Dr. Pilloud conducted osteological analyses providing a full skeletal assessment of the human mandible to determine age, sex, ancestry, diet, trauma, and evidence of post-depositional processes. A third molar has been removed and will undergo destruction analysis to determine ancient DNA (Dr. Horsburgh). Isotope analysis (Dr. Codding) will use a molar fragment to acquire a date range and further our understanding of the relationship between the ancient Australian diet and their environment.

OUR PARTNERS

The University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.

The University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.

Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, USA.

Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, USA.

For more information, please contact Everick Foundation at info@everick.com.au or call (07) 3211 4478.