Diagenetic activities in Copenhagen

Time and space, two things bound to certain laws. One of them is that there is never enough of either. To be able to examine Anne Marie Høier Eriksen’s Ph.D. thesis “Bone Diagenesis – The effect of depositional environments on bone degradation” and still make FoFs archaeology-day tomorrow I ended up on a quick return flight to Copenhagen (not that the train companies are particularly good at what they are doing in Sweden, but I usually use them for Copenhagen-trips anyway).

Anne Marie’s thesis was worth the effort though. Four dens chapters on bone diagenesis and DNA preservation, chapters filled with empirical data as well as a good review on the state of the art. It was the kind of thesis I would have loved to write myself when I was doing my Ph.D. Ian Barnes was also on the examining committee (as was Morten Allentoft), and he raised a good question: “How come we do not know these things by now when we have worked on them for a quarter of a century?”. Superficially it is a system with few components: DNA, bone apatite, and proteins (mainly collagen). But the way these components interact and depend on external factors makes the whole diagenetic system super complex. Today Anne Marie took us a fair bit closer to understanding this system.

Anne Marie Høier Eriksen defending her thesis from yours truely

Skärmavbild 2019-10-11 kl. 19.44.25