full transcript

From the Ted Talk by Carolyn Freiwald: The hidden history found in your teeth

Unscramble the Blue Letters

But let me take you to another Maya city. And this is where I work, called Xunantunich. In 2016, archaeologists found the largest tomb ever discovered in the country, in Belize -- that's where xaunntciunh is. And inside that tomb, there were the remains of a ruler, but also jade, the kind of plates and the kind of vessels that you might see in a museum, and jaguar bones, which symbolize possibly royal peowr. This person may have actually even been wearing a jaguar pelt cape. But Xunantunich was a fairly small city. So there was a possibility that this was a foreign rleur. But in fact, looking at the DNA and looking at the totoh enamel, this was no foreign king. She was a Maya queen or some other royalty who was probably local. We actually don't usually find foreign kings and queens. But I told you the story was about migrants. And it is, because, in fact, it was the commoners who moved. Up to 25 percent of the population of every village and every city ctonsiesd of migrants -- men, wmeon and children who'd moved, sometimes from multiple places, to live in the same household. Migration seemed to be common among the Maya and many ancient civilizations. But we can move forward in time to the year 1493, when Christopher Columbus set off on his second voyage to establish a trading outpost. He left with 17 ships and 1,200 men, nobility, cgelry, sailors and craftsmen to establish what we now know as La Isabela, named after Queen Isabella, in the northern part of the dmincioan Republic, or La esaploña, as they called it then. Things were not good: food was scarce, desaise was rampant and Columbus may not have been the best manager, so mrtilotay rtaes were high. And by the 1980s and 90s, when archaeologists bgaen to excavate the settlement and then the cemetery, they started to wonder: Did the ships’ resotrs include everyone who is buried here? Who actually lived at La ilaseba? My job came a bit later as a graduate sundett when I was tasked with going around the ialsnd to try and collect samples that could serve as proxies for hamun teeth. What would the enamel look like of the people who were living at La Isabela? Someone else got to go to Spain, but I rented a car, dorve around, went into the mountains, drove toward the river vleylas. And of course, I went to a beach or two. And everything was going really well until the last day when I came to what was supposed to be a bridge and saw a river and a herd of cows. So it was getting dark. I was by myself. I was low on gas. And after I saw some cwoybos on the other side of the river kind of waving their hands, I just rolled down the window and gunned it. And I made it across and I had the smpeals, which was a good thing because there were some surprises. We did find soldiers and people from Spain, probably adlinsuaa, where clubmuos sailed from, and maybe other ptars of the Mediterranean. But we also found an indigenous Taíno woman, a loacl one, and other women who came from Europe, and one person who, if we can get some DNA to see if this is actually true, may have been from Africa. None of these people were on the ships' rosters. Teeth can tell us things that the history books lavee out.

Open Cloze

But let me take you to another Maya city. And this is where I work, called Xunantunich. In 2016, archaeologists found the largest tomb ever discovered in the country, in Belize -- that's where ___________ is. And inside that tomb, there were the remains of a ruler, but also jade, the kind of plates and the kind of vessels that you might see in a museum, and jaguar bones, which symbolize possibly royal _____. This person may have actually even been wearing a jaguar pelt cape. But Xunantunich was a fairly small city. So there was a possibility that this was a foreign _____. But in fact, looking at the DNA and looking at the _____ enamel, this was no foreign king. She was a Maya queen or some other royalty who was probably local. We actually don't usually find foreign kings and queens. But I told you the story was about migrants. And it is, because, in fact, it was the commoners who moved. Up to 25 percent of the population of every village and every city _________ of migrants -- men, _____ and children who'd moved, sometimes from multiple places, to live in the same household. Migration seemed to be common among the Maya and many ancient civilizations. But we can move forward in time to the year 1493, when Christopher Columbus set off on his second voyage to establish a trading outpost. He left with 17 ships and 1,200 men, nobility, ______, sailors and craftsmen to establish what we now know as La Isabela, named after Queen Isabella, in the northern part of the _________ Republic, or La ________, as they called it then. Things were not good: food was scarce, _______ was rampant and Columbus may not have been the best manager, so _________ _____ were high. And by the 1980s and 90s, when archaeologists _____ to excavate the settlement and then the cemetery, they started to wonder: Did the ships’ _______ include everyone who is buried here? Who actually lived at La _______? My job came a bit later as a graduate _______ when I was tasked with going around the ______ to try and collect samples that could serve as proxies for _____ teeth. What would the enamel look like of the people who were living at La Isabela? Someone else got to go to Spain, but I rented a car, _____ around, went into the mountains, drove toward the river _______. And of course, I went to a beach or two. And everything was going really well until the last day when I came to what was supposed to be a bridge and saw a river and a herd of cows. So it was getting dark. I was by myself. I was low on gas. And after I saw some _______ on the other side of the river kind of waving their hands, I just rolled down the window and gunned it. And I made it across and I had the _______, which was a good thing because there were some surprises. We did find soldiers and people from Spain, probably _________, where ________ sailed from, and maybe other _____ of the Mediterranean. But we also found an indigenous Taíno woman, a _____ one, and other women who came from Europe, and one person who, if we can get some DNA to see if this is actually true, may have been from Africa. None of these people were on the ships' rosters. Teeth can tell us things that the history books _____ out.

Solution

  1. valleys
  2. drove
  3. women
  4. student
  5. ruler
  6. power
  7. cowboys
  8. rates
  9. local
  10. clergy
  11. columbus
  12. xunantunich
  13. rosters
  14. disease
  15. española
  16. human
  17. began
  18. consisted
  19. samples
  20. parts
  21. andalusia
  22. mortality
  23. tooth
  24. isabela
  25. leave
  26. dominican
  27. island

Original Text

But let me take you to another Maya city. And this is where I work, called Xunantunich. In 2016, archaeologists found the largest tomb ever discovered in the country, in Belize -- that's where Xunantunich is. And inside that tomb, there were the remains of a ruler, but also jade, the kind of plates and the kind of vessels that you might see in a museum, and jaguar bones, which symbolize possibly royal power. This person may have actually even been wearing a jaguar pelt cape. But Xunantunich was a fairly small city. So there was a possibility that this was a foreign ruler. But in fact, looking at the DNA and looking at the tooth enamel, this was no foreign king. She was a Maya queen or some other royalty who was probably local. We actually don't usually find foreign kings and queens. But I told you the story was about migrants. And it is, because, in fact, it was the commoners who moved. Up to 25 percent of the population of every village and every city consisted of migrants -- men, women and children who'd moved, sometimes from multiple places, to live in the same household. Migration seemed to be common among the Maya and many ancient civilizations. But we can move forward in time to the year 1493, when Christopher Columbus set off on his second voyage to establish a trading outpost. He left with 17 ships and 1,200 men, nobility, clergy, sailors and craftsmen to establish what we now know as La Isabela, named after Queen Isabella, in the northern part of the Dominican Republic, or La Española, as they called it then. Things were not good: food was scarce, disease was rampant and Columbus may not have been the best manager, so mortality rates were high. And by the 1980s and 90s, when archaeologists began to excavate the settlement and then the cemetery, they started to wonder: Did the ships’ rosters include everyone who is buried here? Who actually lived at La Isabela? My job came a bit later as a graduate student when I was tasked with going around the island to try and collect samples that could serve as proxies for human teeth. What would the enamel look like of the people who were living at La Isabela? Someone else got to go to Spain, but I rented a car, drove around, went into the mountains, drove toward the river valleys. And of course, I went to a beach or two. And everything was going really well until the last day when I came to what was supposed to be a bridge and saw a river and a herd of cows. So it was getting dark. I was by myself. I was low on gas. And after I saw some cowboys on the other side of the river kind of waving their hands, I just rolled down the window and gunned it. And I made it across and I had the samples, which was a good thing because there were some surprises. We did find soldiers and people from Spain, probably Andalusia, where Columbus sailed from, and maybe other parts of the Mediterranean. But we also found an indigenous Taíno woman, a local one, and other women who came from Europe, and one person who, if we can get some DNA to see if this is actually true, may have been from Africa. None of these people were on the ships' rosters. Teeth can tell us things that the history books leave out.

Frequently Occurring Word Combinations

ngrams of length 2

collocation frequency
people move 2
ancient migration 2
maya region 2
foreign king 2

Important Words

  1. africa
  2. ancient
  3. andalusia
  4. archaeologists
  5. beach
  6. began
  7. belize
  8. bit
  9. bones
  10. books
  11. bridge
  12. buried
  13. called
  14. cape
  15. car
  16. cemetery
  17. children
  18. christopher
  19. city
  20. civilizations
  21. clergy
  22. collect
  23. columbus
  24. common
  25. commoners
  26. consisted
  27. country
  28. cowboys
  29. cows
  30. craftsmen
  31. dark
  32. day
  33. discovered
  34. disease
  35. dna
  36. dominican
  37. drove
  38. enamel
  39. española
  40. establish
  41. europe
  42. excavate
  43. fact
  44. find
  45. food
  46. foreign
  47. gas
  48. good
  49. graduate
  50. gunned
  51. hands
  52. herd
  53. high
  54. history
  55. household
  56. human
  57. include
  58. indigenous
  59. isabela
  60. isabella
  61. island
  62. jade
  63. jaguar
  64. job
  65. kind
  66. king
  67. kings
  68. la
  69. largest
  70. leave
  71. left
  72. live
  73. lived
  74. living
  75. local
  76. manager
  77. maya
  78. mediterranean
  79. men
  80. migrants
  81. migration
  82. mortality
  83. mountains
  84. move
  85. moved
  86. multiple
  87. museum
  88. named
  89. nobility
  90. northern
  91. outpost
  92. part
  93. parts
  94. pelt
  95. people
  96. percent
  97. person
  98. places
  99. plates
  100. population
  101. possibility
  102. possibly
  103. power
  104. proxies
  105. queen
  106. queens
  107. rampant
  108. rates
  109. remains
  110. rented
  111. republic
  112. river
  113. rolled
  114. rosters
  115. royal
  116. royalty
  117. ruler
  118. sailed
  119. sailors
  120. samples
  121. scarce
  122. serve
  123. set
  124. settlement
  125. ships
  126. side
  127. small
  128. soldiers
  129. spain
  130. started
  131. story
  132. student
  133. supposed
  134. surprises
  135. symbolize
  136. tasked
  137. taíno
  138. teeth
  139. time
  140. told
  141. tomb
  142. tooth
  143. trading
  144. true
  145. valleys
  146. vessels
  147. village
  148. voyage
  149. waving
  150. wearing
  151. window
  152. woman
  153. women
  154. work
  155. xunantunich
  156. year