Dog coprolites as a source of dietary and genetic information at the Bridge River Site, BC


DNA recovered from ancient coprolites can provide an important source of dietary and host information. In this study, ancient DNA techniques were applied to dog coprolites recovered from two pithouses at Bridge River, a complex hunter-gatherer village on the Fraser River, British Columbia. Dog mitochondrial DNA was targeted to assess the genetic relationship between the domestic dogs of Bridge River and other ancient and modern dog populations both locally and worldwide. Multiple Canis familiaris mitochondrial DNA sequences were recovered from the ancient remains, some of which matched sequences recovered from ancient dogs at other Pacific Northwest Interior Plateau sites. Mitochondrial sequences matching Oncorhynchus nerka were recovered from salmon bones within the canid coprolites, and from the coprolites themselves, indicating that domestic dogs at Bridge River had access to sockeye salmon. Whole genome analysis, followed by next-generation-sequencing on an Illumina MiSeq platform was also applied to investigate other dietary components, as well as the potential for obtaining host nuclear DNA from coprolites.

SAA 2015 abstracts made available in tDAR courtesy of the Society for American Archaeology and Center for Digital Antiquity Collaborative Program to improve digital data in archaeology. If you are the author of this presentation you may upload your paper, poster, presentation, or associated data (up to 3 files/30MB) for free. Please visit for instructions and more information.

Cite this Record

Dog coprolites as a source of dietary and genetic information at the Bridge River Site, BC. Antonia Rodrigues, Camilla Speller, Anna Prentiss, Dongya Yang. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395792)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -142.471; min lat: 42.033 ; max long: -47.725; max lat: 74.402 ;