Ancient DNA from Stone Tools


Proteins and DNA can be trapped in the microcracks on the surface of stone tools, which can then be extracted and analyzed to aid in inferring the use of the tool (Shanks et al. 2001; 2005). This nondestructive method involves the use of sonication to release DNA from the microcracks, then amplification of regions of mitochondrial DNA that are species specific. This technique was applied to ground and chipped stone from the Bridge River site in British Columbia. Focus on groundstone was of particular interest, due to debate over its use in either food preparation or bone tool creation. If used for bone tools, the potential to identify which species, such as deer or bear, was also addressed. Scrapers were also analyzed in order to surmise the species the tool had been used on. This technique provides an interesting new avenue of investigation into the use of lithics from archaeological sites.

Cite this Record

Ancient DNA from Stone Tools. Meradeth Snow, Clare Super, Anna Marie Prentiss. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430129)


Geographic Keywords
North America-Canada

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16114