Skip to main content
Kent Academic Repository

The effect of eraser sampling for proteomic analysis on Palaeolithic bone surface microtopography

Sinet-Mathiot, Virginie, Martisius, Naomi L., Schulz-Kornas, Ellen, van Casteren, Adam, Tsanova, Tsenka R., Sirakov, Nikolay, Spasov, Rosen, Welker, Frido, Smith, Geoff M., Hublin, Jean-Jacques and others. (2021) The effect of eraser sampling for proteomic analysis on Palaeolithic bone surface microtopography. Scientific Reports, 11 (1). Article Number 23611. ISSN 2045-2322. (doi:10.1038/s41598-021-02823-w) (KAR id:92807)


Bone surface modifications are crucial for understanding human subsistence and dietary behaviour, and can inform about the techniques employed in the production and use of bone tools. Permission to destructively sample such unique artefacts is not always granted. The recent development of non-destructive proteomic extraction techniques has provided some alternatives for the analysis of rare and culturally significant artefacts, including bone tools and personal ornaments. The Eraser Extraction Method (EEM), first developed for ZooMS analysis of parchment, has recently been applied to bone and ivory specimens. To test the potential impact of the EEM on ancient bone surfaces, we analyse six anthropogenically modified Palaeolithic bone specimens from Bacho Kiro Cave (Bulgaria) through a controlled sampling experiment using qualitative and 3D quantitative microscopy. Although the overall bone topography is generally preserved, our findings demonstrate a slight flattening of the microtopography alongside the formation of micro-striations associated with the use of the eraser for all bone specimens. Such modifications are similar to ancient use-wear traces. We therefore consider the EEM a destructive sampling approach for Palaeolithic bone surfaces. Together with low ZooMS success rates in some of the reported studies, the EEM might not be a suitable approach to taxonomically identify Pleistocene bone specimens.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1038/s41598-021-02823-w
Uncontrolled keywords: Archaeology, Proteomics
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Depositing User: Geoff Smith
Date Deposited: 21 Jan 2022 14:02 UTC
Last Modified: 24 Jan 2022 11:02 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

  • Depositors only (login required):

Total unique views for this document in KAR since July 2020. For more details click on the image.