The interaction between organic matter and mineral surfaces is critical to the preservation of biomolecules associated with artefacts yet this process is poorly understood. This is particularly relevant to more polar compounds such as organic acids and proteins that are notoriously difficult to extract and characterise. Proteins are known to persist when sorbed to archaeological mineral artefacts, but their low concentration (1) and difficulty of removal (2) has meant that they have been largely overlooked. You will optimise methods for the combined extraction of a diverse range of compounds from ceramics and evaluate the potential of other mineral artefacts for binding organic molecules. You will then apply optimized extraction protocol to archaeological artefacts generated across the network.
PhD starting October 2021 and recruiting now.
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