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Detection of Animal Residues in Humus Samples from a Prehistoric Site in the Lower Mackenzie River Valley, Northwest Territories

Authors
Journal
Journal of Archaeological Science
0305-4403
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
21
Issue
3
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1006/jasc.1994.1038
Keywords
  • Humus
  • Animal Residue
  • Prehistoric Pit Features
  • Subarctic
  • Lipids
  • Proteins
  • Gas Chromatography
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Immunoelectrophoresis
Disciplines
  • Archaeology

Abstract

Abstract Analytical methods were used to determine the presence of animal residues contained in two humus samples collected from two pit features of a prehistoric Athapaskan archaeological site in the lower Mackenzie Valley of the Northwest Territories. These methods include gas chromatography, mass spectrometry, thin-layer chromatography and cross-over immunoelectrophoresis. Humus lipids from the pits showed evidence of cholesterol, arachidonic acid and nervonic acid, demonstrating the presence of residues from terrestrial and marine animals. Furthermore, positive reactions were obtained to Cervidae and bovine antisera. These findings allow us to better interpret the contents and functions of the pit features.

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