February Meeting Announcement


Please join us Fri­day, Feb­ru­ary 26th, 2016 at 7:00pm in Room 132 of the Archae­ol­o­gy Build­ing for our Feb­ru­ary speak­er.  The Saska­toon Archae­o­log­i­cal Soci­ety is pleased to present Dr. Treena Swanston (Depart­ment of Archae­ol­o­gy & Anthro­pol­o­gy, Uni­ver­si­ty of Saskatchewan) speak­ing on “Lead and the Franklin Expe­di­tion: A New Per­spec­tive”.  All are wel­come to attend!

Treena grew up in Regi­na and received a BSc in Micro­bi­ol­o­gy from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Regi­na. She moved to Saska­toon and worked for a num­ber of years in the Micro­bi­ol­o­gy Depart­ment at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Saskatchewan as a research tech­ni­cian. While work­ing as a tech­ni­cian, she com­plet­ed a BA in Archae­ol­o­gy. Her MA involved the analy­sis and relo­ca­tion of a late 19th cen­tu­ry Catholic ceme­tery near Bat­tle­ford, Saskatchewan, and her PhD dis­ser­ta­tion focused on the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of a latent tuber­cu­lo­sis infec­tion in the lungs of the Kwä­day Dän Ts’ìnchi ancient indi­vid­ual who was recov­ered from a melt­ing glac­i­er in north­ern British Colum­bia. Treena became a post­doc in the Depart­ment of Anato­my and learned how to use var­i­ous beam lines at the Cana­di­an Light Source. She is cur­rent­ly in a fixed-term fac­ul­ty posi­tion in the Depart­ment of Archae­ol­o­gy and Anthro­pol­o­gy at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Saskatchewan.

Abstract: Lead and the Franklin Expe­di­tion: A New Per­spec­tive
In 1845, Sir John Franklin and a crew of 128 men set off from Eng­land to locate the North­west Pas­sage. They spent the first win­ter at Beechey Island, where three crew­men died and were buried. In Sep­tem­ber 1846, the ships became strand­ed in the ice close to King William Island, and this is where the crew remained until April 1848. By this time, Franklin and 23 crew mem­bers had died. The remain­ing 105 indi­vid­u­als left the ships and start­ed a jour­ney south towards the main­land, but they did not sur­vive. Pre­vi­ous analy­ses of bone and hair sam­ples from the expe­di­tion indi­cate that crew mem­bers had high lead (Pb) lev­els, but ques­tions remain regard­ing the dura­tion of expo­sure, and the degree to which it may have impact­ed the crew. By using syn­chro­tron light for high res­o­lu­tion imag­ing, we have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to iden­ti­fy the spa­tial pat­terns of Pb dis­tri­b­u­tion in bone that can be com­pared with bone remod­el­ing events to deter­mine the preva­lence and tim­ing of the uptake. Our results sup­port recent con­clu­sions that the crew was chron­i­cal­ly exposed to Pb pri­or to the expe­di­tion.