Simple Non-Destructive Extraction of Biomolecules from Human Skeletal Remains

Author(s): Keri Rowsell; Matthew Collins

Year: 2017


Opportunities for the biomolecular study of archaeological human skeletal remains (HSR) can often be limited by museum regulations that only permit non-destructive analyses. This restriction, coupled with the fairly common practice in England of quick reburial (due mainly to a lack of storage space), can result in a wealth of information being lost. It is therefore important that bioarchaeologists work to establish successful non-destructive methods for the biomolecular analysis of archaeological remains. This paper reports the development of a non-destructive technique for the extraction of collagen from HSR, which has been tested against traditional collagen extraction techniques, in order to establish its relative effectiveness. This technique has subsequently been applied to over 200 post-medieval samples from London, England, where access for sampling and destructive analysis would otherwise have been refused. The eventual aim is to use the collagen extracted from these individuals to study human health and dietary deficiencies in England during the late eighteenth century.

Cite this Record

Simple Non-Destructive Extraction of Biomolecules from Human Skeletal Remains. Keri Rowsell, Matthew Collins. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431363)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 14669