ASM GM 2014 - Fossilized Feces Help Anthropologists Understand Pre-Columbian Cultures

By evaluating the bacteria and fungi found in fossilized feces, microbiologists are providing evidence to help support archeologists' hypotheses regarding cultures living in the Caribbean over 1,500 years ago. Researchers discuss how the analysis of 1,500-year-old coprolites from archeological excavations in Vieques, Puerto Rico helped confirm that there were once two distinct ethnic populations living there from widely divergent backgrounds, one being the Bolivian Andes.


Participants:

  • Jessica Rivera, University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras
  • Raul J. Cano, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo