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DNA Identification of Prehistoric Puebloan Quids

Author(s): Keith L Johnson ; Karen R. Adams ; Terence Murphy

Year: 2015

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Quids are small wads of fiber that were chewed or sucked by prehistoric Native Americans and then spit out. To identify the plants used for making a selection of quids from Antelope Cave, we extracted DNA from 10 quids, used polymerase chain reaction to amplify a 250-base section near the chloroplast trnL gene, and determined the sequence of the amplified fragment. DNAs from the 10 quids had identical base sequences, and these matched corresponding sequences from authentic samples of Yucca baccata and Y. glauca (the two species had identical sequences in that region). The amplified DNA sequences from the quids differed from those of Agave angustifolia, A. deserti, and Nolina microcarpa, and from Nicotiana attenuata, the putative contents, by at least seven bases.

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DNA Identification of Prehistoric Puebloan Quids. Terence Murphy, Karen R. Adams, Keith L Johnson. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 394882)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -115.532; min lat: 30.676 ; max long: -102.349; max lat: 42.033 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America