“Here we go again”: the inspection of collagen extraction protocols for 14C dating and palaeodietary analysis

Sahra Talamo, Helen Fewlass, Raquel Maria, Klervia Jaouen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations

Abstract

Archaeological bone collagen is highly useful for radiocarbon (14C) dating and palaeodietary reconstruction. However, collagen preservation and carbon contamination are essential considerations when extracting collagen, becoming especially crucial close to the limit of the method (50,000 years before present = BP). Strong progress has been achieved in the past two decades by 14C and stable isotopic laboratories in removing contamination from archaeological bones, but different pretreatment protocols have been proven to produce varying results. Here we compare three collagen extraction protocols used for palaeodietary studies and 14C dating, considering collagen yield, elemental and stable isotopic data, FTIR analysis, and 14C dates. We focus on the impact of ultrafiltration on the yield and quality of the extracted material. The results again underline the importance of rigorous decontamination methods to gain accurate 14C dates and demonstrate that different protocols have significant effects on the quality and yield of extracted collagen.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-77
Number of pages16
JournalScience and Technology of Archaeological Research
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2021

Keywords

  • Collagen
  • FTIR
  • bone pretreatment
  • palaeodiet
  • radiocarbon dating
  • ultrafiltration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology

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