In this study we explore the potential of combining traditional zooarchaeological determination and proteomic identification of morphologically non-diagnostic bone fragments (ZooMS) collected from the Uluzzian levels of three Italian sites: Uluzzo C Rock Shelter, Roccia San Sebastiano cave, and Riparo del Broion. Moreover, we obtained glutamine deamidation ratios for all the contexts analysed during routine ZooMS screening of faunal samples, giving information on collagen preservation. We designed a selection protocol that maximizes the efficiency of the proteomics analyses by excluding particularly compromised fragments (e.g. from taphonomic processes), and that aims to identify new human fragments by favouring bones showing morphological traits more similar to Homo. ZooMS consistently provided taxonomic information in agreement with the faunal spectra outlined by traditional zooarchaeology. Our approach allows us to delineate and appreciate differences between the analysed contexts, particularly between the northern and southern sites, related to faunal, environmental, and climate composition, although no human remains were identified. We reconstructed the faunal assemblage of the different sites, giving voice to morphologically undiagnostic bone fragments. Thus, the combination of these analyses provides a more complete picture of the faunal assemblage and of the paleoenvironment during the Middle-Upper Palaeolithic transition in Italy.

Integrating ZooMS and zooarchaeology: New data from the Uluzzian levels of Uluzzo C Rock Shelter, Roccia San Sebastiano cave and Riparo del Broion

Matteo Romandini
Formal Analysis
;
Owen Alexander Higgins;Davide Delpiano;Marco Peresani
Writing – Review & Editing
;
2022

Abstract

In this study we explore the potential of combining traditional zooarchaeological determination and proteomic identification of morphologically non-diagnostic bone fragments (ZooMS) collected from the Uluzzian levels of three Italian sites: Uluzzo C Rock Shelter, Roccia San Sebastiano cave, and Riparo del Broion. Moreover, we obtained glutamine deamidation ratios for all the contexts analysed during routine ZooMS screening of faunal samples, giving information on collagen preservation. We designed a selection protocol that maximizes the efficiency of the proteomics analyses by excluding particularly compromised fragments (e.g. from taphonomic processes), and that aims to identify new human fragments by favouring bones showing morphological traits more similar to Homo. ZooMS consistently provided taxonomic information in agreement with the faunal spectra outlined by traditional zooarchaeology. Our approach allows us to delineate and appreciate differences between the analysed contexts, particularly between the northern and southern sites, related to faunal, environmental, and climate composition, although no human remains were identified. We reconstructed the faunal assemblage of the different sites, giving voice to morphologically undiagnostic bone fragments. Thus, the combination of these analyses provides a more complete picture of the faunal assemblage and of the paleoenvironment during the Middle-Upper Palaeolithic transition in Italy.
2022
Silvestrini, Sara; Lugli, Federico; Romandini, Matteo; Real, Cristina; Sommella, Eduardo; Salviati, Emanuela; Arrighi, Simona; Bortolini, Eugenio; Figus, Carla; Higgins, OWEN ALEXANDER; Marciani, Giulia; Oxilia, Gregorio; Delpiano, Davide; Vazzana, Antonino; Piperno, Marcello; Crescenzi, Carlo; Campiglia, Pietro; Collina, Carmine; Peresani, Marco; Elena Spinapolice, Enza; Benazzi, Stefano
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11392/2497036
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