Presentation Type

Poster

Faculty Mentor’s Full Name

Dr. Meradeth Snow

Faculty Mentor’s Department

Anthropology

Abstract

This research project seeks to explain the use of lithics found at the Bridge River site in British Columbia through the extraction and analysis of ancient DNA (aDNA) found on the surface of stone tools. The methods used for extraction were nondestructive. Using sonication to release the trapped aDNA from microcracks on the tool’s surface, and the amplification of mitochondrial DNA regions Cytochrome B and 16S in order to determine what species the tools were used to process. The findings of this project have the potential to further refine the extraction process for ancient DNA present on lithic material, as well as end archaeologists’ longtime debate over whether or not certain tools were used explicitly for one particular organic material, such as with the making of bone tools, and whether or not scrapers were specifically used for one species at the Bridge River site. To date, we have worked with over 65 tools, and extracted both Puma (Puma concolor) and Dog (Canis lupis familiaris) DNA from our samples. This project provides us with a unique opportunity to both enhance our knowledge of lithic use at archaeological sites, and successfully extract more genetic material moving forward.

Category

Social Sciences

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Apr 27th, 11:00 AM Apr 27th, 12:00 PM

Scraping Away at the Past: Extracting Ancient DNA from Stone Tools

UC South Ballroom

This research project seeks to explain the use of lithics found at the Bridge River site in British Columbia through the extraction and analysis of ancient DNA (aDNA) found on the surface of stone tools. The methods used for extraction were nondestructive. Using sonication to release the trapped aDNA from microcracks on the tool’s surface, and the amplification of mitochondrial DNA regions Cytochrome B and 16S in order to determine what species the tools were used to process. The findings of this project have the potential to further refine the extraction process for ancient DNA present on lithic material, as well as end archaeologists’ longtime debate over whether or not certain tools were used explicitly for one particular organic material, such as with the making of bone tools, and whether or not scrapers were specifically used for one species at the Bridge River site. To date, we have worked with over 65 tools, and extracted both Puma (Puma concolor) and Dog (Canis lupis familiaris) DNA from our samples. This project provides us with a unique opportunity to both enhance our knowledge of lithic use at archaeological sites, and successfully extract more genetic material moving forward.