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College of Arts and Sciences Native American

Nicotine identified in ancient dental plaque

A 1945 picture of a Yokuts Native American woman smoking a pipeA team of scientists including researchers from Washington State University has shown for the first time that nicotine residue can be extracted from plaque, also known as “dental calculus”, on the teeth of ancient tobacco users.

Their research provides a new method for determining who was consuming tobacco in the ancient world and could help trace the use of tobacco and other intoxicating plants further back into prehistory.

“The ability to identify nicotine and other plant-based drugs in ancient dental plaque could help us answer longstanding questions about the consumption of intoxicants by » More …

Digital archiving project receives prestigious Mellon grant

Washington State University researchers have received a $555,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support development and evaluation of a unique online platform for gathering, curating and sharing Native American library and archive collections nationwide.

This three-year grant follows a $69,500 grant by the Foundation to WSU in 2015 for the project-planning phase. It is part of a larger Mellon initiative supporting community-based archives and collection building.

The new support will enable the expansion of Mukurtu CMS, a free, open-source content management system developed at WSU, to create Mukurtu Shared, a culturally responsive online platform » More …

Prehistoric turkey DNA used to track human migration

In the mid-to-late 1200s, some 30,000 ancestral pueblo farmers left their homes in southwestern Colorado’s Mesa Verde region and never returned.

Where these people went and why they left are two of American archeology’s longest-standing mysteries. » More …

WSU-led cultural preservation initiative wins exemplary service award

The Society of American Archivists conferred its Council Exemplary Service Award to the Sustainable Heritage Network, a WSU-led project for digital preservation of cultural heritage managed by the Center for Digital Scholarship and Curation.

Read more at WSU News >>

WSU center receives $147,179 to expand Native American archive

WSU’s Center for Digital Scholarship and Curation recently received a $147,179 Digital Extension Grant from the American Council of Learned Societies to expand the Plateau Peoples’ Web Portal, a national archive of Native American cultural materials.

Read more at WSU News >>

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