Projects per year
Through simulated degradation experiments to investigate both the protein breakdown and the intrinsic properties of enamel’s inorganic crystal structure, we have found that an intracrystalline fraction of amino acids can be successfully isolated from enamel. The extent of intra-crystalline protein decomposition (IcPD) in proboscidean enamel has been tested against known age material from Britain, Russia and the Mediterranean, showing a strong correlation between extent of IcPD and age. It is therefore now possible to provide direct age estimation for unknown age proboscidean material from the same temperature regions.
The Wisdom Teeth project is developing IcPD geochronologies using a variety of mammalian taxa (e.g. bovids and equids) from sites spanning the Plio-Pleistocene in Africa. By targeting sites of anthropological significance in regions including Lake Turkana and South Africa, it is hoped that these IcPD geochronogies will provide relative dating to aid existing understanding of human evolution. We are also investigating taphanomic alteration of fossil enamel using an array of techniques including high resolution imaging, to better understand the processes of amino acid preservation. Lastly, we are exploiting the advances in microfluidic technology to develop a “lab-on-a-chip” approach for preparation of enamel samples, with a twofold aim: firstly to reduce sample sizes from ~30 mg to ~ 1 mg, and secondly to allow IcPD dating to be undertaken outside specialist labs.
|Title of host publication||9th International Symposium on Biomolecular Archaeology|
|Publication status||Published - 4 Jun 2021|
|Event||9th International Symposium on Biomolecular Archaeology - Virtual|
Duration: 1 Jul 2021 → 4 Jul 2021
|Conference||9th International Symposium on Biomolecular Archaeology|
|Period||1/07/21 → 4/07/21|
- 1 Active
1/08/19 → 31/12/23
Project: Research project (funded) › Research