Combined visual and biochemical analyses confirm depositor and diet for Neolithic coprolites from Skara BraeCitation formats

  • External authors:
  • Andrzej Romaniuk
  • Elsa Panciroli
  • Carla Willars
  • Jeremy S. Herman
  • Lore G. Troalen
  • Alexandra N. Shepherd
  • David V. CLarke
  • Alison Sheridan
  • Ian B. Butler
  • Robin Bendrey

Standard

Combined visual and biochemical analyses confirm depositor and diet for Neolithic coprolites from Skara Brae. / Romaniuk, Andrzej; Panciroli, Elsa; Buckley, Michael; Pal Chowdhury, Manasij; Willars, Carla; Herman, Jeremy S.; Troalen, Lore G.; Shepherd, Alexandra N.; CLarke, David V.; Sheridan, Alison; van Dongen, B E; Butler, Ian B.; Bendrey, Robin.

In: Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences, Vol. 12, 274, 10.11.2020.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Harvard

Romaniuk, A, Panciroli, E, Buckley, M, Pal Chowdhury, M, Willars, C, Herman, JS, Troalen, LG, Shepherd, AN, CLarke, DV, Sheridan, A, van Dongen, BE, Butler, IB & Bendrey, R 2020, 'Combined visual and biochemical analyses confirm depositor and diet for Neolithic coprolites from Skara Brae', Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences, vol. 12, 274. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12520-020-01225-9

APA

Romaniuk, A., Panciroli, E., Buckley, M., Pal Chowdhury, M., Willars, C., Herman, J. S., Troalen, L. G., Shepherd, A. N., CLarke, D. V., Sheridan, A., van Dongen, B. E., Butler, I. B., & Bendrey, R. (2020). Combined visual and biochemical analyses confirm depositor and diet for Neolithic coprolites from Skara Brae. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences, 12, [274]. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12520-020-01225-9

Vancouver

Romaniuk A, Panciroli E, Buckley M, Pal Chowdhury M, Willars C, Herman JS et al. Combined visual and biochemical analyses confirm depositor and diet for Neolithic coprolites from Skara Brae. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences. 2020 Nov 10;12. 274. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12520-020-01225-9

Author

Romaniuk, Andrzej ; Panciroli, Elsa ; Buckley, Michael ; Pal Chowdhury, Manasij ; Willars, Carla ; Herman, Jeremy S. ; Troalen, Lore G. ; Shepherd, Alexandra N. ; CLarke, David V. ; Sheridan, Alison ; van Dongen, B E ; Butler, Ian B. ; Bendrey, Robin. / Combined visual and biochemical analyses confirm depositor and diet for Neolithic coprolites from Skara Brae. In: Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences. 2020 ; Vol. 12.

Bibtex

@article{f41dab48ada54b48806562faf2accef9,
title = "Combined visual and biochemical analyses confirm depositor and diet for Neolithic coprolites from Skara Brae",
abstract = "Coprolites (fossilized faeces) can provide valuable insights into species{\textquoteright} diet and related habits. In archaeozoological contexts, they are a potential source of information on human-animal interactions as well as human and animal subsistence. However, despite a broad discussion on coprolites in archaeology, such finds are rarely subject to detailed examination by researchers, perhaps due to the destructive nature of traditional analytical methods. Here, we have examined coprolitic remains from the Neolithic (third millennium BCE) settlement at Skara Brae, Orkney, using a range of modern methods: X-ray computed tomography, scanning electron microscopy, lipid and protein analysis (shotgun proteomics of the coprolite matrix as well as collagen peptide mass fingerprinting of isolated bone fragments). This combined approach minimised destructiveness of sampling, leaving sufficient material for subsequent study, while providing more information than traditional morphological examination alone. Based on gross visual examination, coprolites were predominantly attributed to domestic dogs (Canis familiaris), with morphologically identified bone inclusions derived from domestic sheep (Ovis aries) and common voles (Microtus arvalis). Partial dissection of a coprolite provided bone samples containing protein markers akin to those of domestic sheep. Considering the predominance of vertebral and distal limb bone fragments, Skara Brae dogs were probably consuming human butchery or meal refuse, either routinely fed to them or scavenged. The presumably opportunistic consumption of rodents may also have played a role in pest control.",
author = "Andrzej Romaniuk and Elsa Panciroli and Michael Buckley and {Pal Chowdhury}, Manasij and Carla Willars and Herman, {Jeremy S.} and Troalen, {Lore G.} and Shepherd, {Alexandra N.} and CLarke, {David V.} and Alison Sheridan and {van Dongen}, {B E} and Butler, {Ian B.} and Robin Bendrey",
year = "2020",
month = nov,
day = "10",
doi = "10.1007/s12520-020-01225-9",
language = "English",
volume = "12",
journal = "Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences",
issn = "1866-9557",
publisher = "Springer Nature",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Combined visual and biochemical analyses confirm depositor and diet for Neolithic coprolites from Skara Brae

AU - Romaniuk, Andrzej

AU - Panciroli, Elsa

AU - Buckley, Michael

AU - Pal Chowdhury, Manasij

AU - Willars, Carla

AU - Herman, Jeremy S.

AU - Troalen, Lore G.

AU - Shepherd, Alexandra N.

AU - CLarke, David V.

AU - Sheridan, Alison

AU - van Dongen, B E

AU - Butler, Ian B.

AU - Bendrey, Robin

PY - 2020/11/10

Y1 - 2020/11/10

N2 - Coprolites (fossilized faeces) can provide valuable insights into species’ diet and related habits. In archaeozoological contexts, they are a potential source of information on human-animal interactions as well as human and animal subsistence. However, despite a broad discussion on coprolites in archaeology, such finds are rarely subject to detailed examination by researchers, perhaps due to the destructive nature of traditional analytical methods. Here, we have examined coprolitic remains from the Neolithic (third millennium BCE) settlement at Skara Brae, Orkney, using a range of modern methods: X-ray computed tomography, scanning electron microscopy, lipid and protein analysis (shotgun proteomics of the coprolite matrix as well as collagen peptide mass fingerprinting of isolated bone fragments). This combined approach minimised destructiveness of sampling, leaving sufficient material for subsequent study, while providing more information than traditional morphological examination alone. Based on gross visual examination, coprolites were predominantly attributed to domestic dogs (Canis familiaris), with morphologically identified bone inclusions derived from domestic sheep (Ovis aries) and common voles (Microtus arvalis). Partial dissection of a coprolite provided bone samples containing protein markers akin to those of domestic sheep. Considering the predominance of vertebral and distal limb bone fragments, Skara Brae dogs were probably consuming human butchery or meal refuse, either routinely fed to them or scavenged. The presumably opportunistic consumption of rodents may also have played a role in pest control.

AB - Coprolites (fossilized faeces) can provide valuable insights into species’ diet and related habits. In archaeozoological contexts, they are a potential source of information on human-animal interactions as well as human and animal subsistence. However, despite a broad discussion on coprolites in archaeology, such finds are rarely subject to detailed examination by researchers, perhaps due to the destructive nature of traditional analytical methods. Here, we have examined coprolitic remains from the Neolithic (third millennium BCE) settlement at Skara Brae, Orkney, using a range of modern methods: X-ray computed tomography, scanning electron microscopy, lipid and protein analysis (shotgun proteomics of the coprolite matrix as well as collagen peptide mass fingerprinting of isolated bone fragments). This combined approach minimised destructiveness of sampling, leaving sufficient material for subsequent study, while providing more information than traditional morphological examination alone. Based on gross visual examination, coprolites were predominantly attributed to domestic dogs (Canis familiaris), with morphologically identified bone inclusions derived from domestic sheep (Ovis aries) and common voles (Microtus arvalis). Partial dissection of a coprolite provided bone samples containing protein markers akin to those of domestic sheep. Considering the predominance of vertebral and distal limb bone fragments, Skara Brae dogs were probably consuming human butchery or meal refuse, either routinely fed to them or scavenged. The presumably opportunistic consumption of rodents may also have played a role in pest control.

U2 - 10.1007/s12520-020-01225-9

DO - 10.1007/s12520-020-01225-9

M3 - Article

VL - 12

JO - Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences

JF - Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences

SN - 1866-9557

M1 - 274

ER -