Strategies for Understanding Biomolecular Preservation within Archaeological Collections

Author(s): Rita Austin; Courtney Hofman; Sabrina Sholts

Year: 2018


Technological and analytical advancements of biomolecular techniques allow scientists and museums to explore and assess archaeological collections from a new perspective, revealing new insights into past peoples, health, and the environment. One of the major challenges for biomolecular research on archaeological remains are uncertainties surrounding biomolecule preservation. Information on how samples were collected, washed, preserved, and maintained are valuable for generating and interpreting biomolecular data. This presentation will discuss reasonable tactics museums and researchers can utilize to help direct and optimize archaeological biomolecular sampling approaches and requests. Specifically, how and why museums should document collection-specific preservation methods and materials, and calling on researchers to assess biomolecular preservation for a collection prior to larger sampling requests. Together these approaches can preserve collections for the future while providing critical information about the potential of museum collections for biomolecular research.

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Strategies for Understanding Biomolecular Preservation within Archaeological Collections. Rita Austin, Courtney Hofman, Sabrina Sholts. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 444132)

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Abstract Id(s): 21713