A field trip to Tabletop Game Cafe

Ok, so its not quite a three-month archaeological field season in Dhofar, but it made a nice change from the Research Commons Seminar Room at OSU and we even got to spend some time in the Forbidden Desert!!

We got together at Tabletop Café to select a board game to ‘deconstruct’ at the upcoming PAST Foundation Agent-Based Modelling Summer Camp. We will be picking apart the game into various components, just as scientists do with complex socio-ecological systems.

We decided on Qwirkle!

A repository of geospatial datasets for Al Mahra and Dhofar

We have compiled a collection of geospatial datasets for the Central South Arabian mountains (CSAM) in Al Mahra, Yemen and Dhofar, Oman. They are stored in the Pangaea data repository and can be accessed here https://doi.pangaea.de/10.1594/PANGAEA.902295

Included are vegetation indices, topographic variables, geomorphology metrics and a layer of fog density. The latter was calculated using a novel fog detection method, shows the average spatial variability in fog and will help improve our understanding of how fog influences vegetation patterns in the region. Vector layers of roads, places and waterpoints are also included.

The datasets can be utilized by researchers from a range of disciplines whom are conducting research in the CSAM region. More specifically, use of the datasets in the fields of geography, anthropology, archaeology, ecology and conservation is encouraged. The datasets could be used in a  range of analytical and modelling techniques or utilized early in the research process to inform research design, fieldwork logistics and/or sampling strategies.

The Paleoethnobotany Laboratory’s Arabian Herbarium is receiving a facelift

The Paleoethnobotany Laboratory Arabian Herbarium is receiving a facelift after new samples arrived from the Oman Botanic Garden this past spring. The Arabian Herbarium has been one of Dr. Joy McCorriston’s many projects. This extensive collection of plants from the Mediterranean to the southern coasts of Yemen have proven to be indispensable as it assists many researchers with plant identification of macro, photolith, pollen, and charcoaled remains.

Ohio State Senior, Jackie Stewart, has been leading the crusade to update the collection to include the new samples from the recent 2018 Autumn Field Season. Stewart is a Biology major minoring in Physical Anthropology and History. She will be graduating in December 2019. Her and Annalee Sekulic’s work mainly focuses on the data organization of the diverse range of plants being entered and mounted in the herbarium. Stewart is passionate about the breadth and immense diversity of knowledge which is found in Arabia.

Welcome Back, Kyle Riordan!

Graduate student and former hyrax midden hunter Kyle Riordan will rejoin the ASOM Team in August to coordinate laboratory and sedimentological analysis. (Kyle is the one on the left!)

French Mission visits Rock Art Discovered by ASOM Field Team

Omani Ministry of Heritage and Culture representative Ali Ahmad Al-Kathiri reports that a French archaeological team has visited the rock art our ASOM team documented in at Mthbon in November 2019. Much in need of dedicated research attention, this rock art stretches along one of the eastern upper tributaries to Wadi Darbat. We hope the French Mission with its expertise in paleography and epigraphy will take on further study!

New PhD for Abigail Buffington

Congratulations to Abby Buffington who passed the oral defense of her dissertation, Using Phytolith Assemblages to Detect a Pastoral Niche in the Vegetation Communities and Plant Exploitation Strategies of Early-Middle Holocene Herders in Wadi Sana, Yemen.

Left to Right: Mark Moritz; Mark Hubbe; Abby Buffington; Joy McCorriston; Julie Field; Graduate Faculty Representative Matthew Anderson; (External Examiner Arlene Rosen not shown)

Drew Arbogast admitted to graduate programs

ASOM Team undergraduate Drew Arbogast has been offered a graduate place in the OSU School of Environment and Natural Resources to study conservation. He has also been accepted at University of Iowa. Congratulations Drew! (We hate to lose you!)

Annalee Sekulic Receives Eleanor Ruffington McMahon Travel Grant

Awarded by the OSU College of Arts and Sciences Honors Program, the Eleanor Ruffington McMahon Award supports undergraduate women honors scholars’ travel to present at conferences. Annalee receives more than the usual cap of $500 to present her research  at the April 2019 Society for Ethnobiology. Congratulations Annalee!