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Identification of Adhesive on Bone-Handled Microblades from the Houtaomuga Site in Northeast China

Author(s): Shaowu Lyu ; Chunxue Wang ; Quanchao Zhang ; Lixin Wang ; Ningning Liang

Year: 2017

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With the emergence and development of composite tools in the Upper Paleolithic, adhesives became one of the most widely used materials by early human societies. Of particular interest is to know which animal/plant species were being exploited for glue manufacturing. The Houtaomuga site, located in northeast China, provides favorable materials for the identification of organic residues; and a few bone-handled microblades were collected from this site. In this study, we scraped micro adhesive samples from bone-handled microblades and carried out FTIR and proteomics analysis to determine the protein components and precise origins. The identified signatures from tandem mass spectra of doubly protonated tryptic peptides match most closely to known horse collagen markers, suggesting the adhesive was an animal glue made from horse parts. These results reveal the diverse utilizations of horses at the site, which provided not only meat and hides, but also parts for manufacturing adhesive.

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Identification of Adhesive on Bone-Handled Microblades from the Houtaomuga Site in Northeast China. Shaowu Lyu, Chunxue Wang, Quanchao Zhang, Lixin Wang, Ningning Liang. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 432037)


Spatial Coverage

min long: 66.885; min lat: -8.928 ; max long: 147.568; max lat: 54.059 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16452

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