Dog coprolites as a source of dietary and genetic information at the Bridge River Site, BC

Camilla Filomena Speller, Antonia Rodrigues, Dongya Yang, Anna Prentiss

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


DNA recovered from ancient coprolites can provide an important source of dietary and host information. In this study, ancient DNA techniques were applied to dog coprolites recovered from two pithouses at Bridge River, a complex hunter-gatherer village on the Fraser River, British Columbia. Dog mitochondrial DNA was targeted to assess the genetic relationship between the domestic dogs of Bridge River and other ancient and modern dog populations both locally and worldwide. Multiple Canis familiaris mitochondrial DNA sequences were recovered from the ancient remains, some of which matched sequences recovered from ancient dogs at other Pacific Northwest Interior Plateau sites. Mitochondrial sequences matching Oncorhynchus nerka were recovered from salmon bones within the canid coprolites, and from the coprolites themselves, indicating that domestic dogs at Bridge River had access to sockeye salmon. Whole genome analysis, followed by next-generation-sequencing on an Illumina MiSeq platform was also applied to investigate other dietary components, as well as the potential for obtaining host nuclear DNA from coprolites.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventSociety for American Archaeology - , United States
Duration: 15 Apr 2015 → …


ConferenceSociety for American Archaeology
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Period15/04/15 → …

Bibliographical note

The Digital Archaeological Record (tDAR) is an international digital repository for the digital records of archaeological investigations. tDAR’s use, development, and maintenance are governed by Digital Antiquity, an organization dedicated to ensuring the long-term preservation of irreplaceable archaeological data and to broadening the access to these data.
tDAR id: 395792

Cite this