Accessibility statement

What can palaeoproteomics do for you?

Posted on 21 January 2021

Dr Jessica Hendy publishes important overview of archaeological applications of ancient protein analysis

Equipment used in proteomic samplin, extraction and analysis

Dr Jessica Hendy has just published an important paper in Science Advances, reviewing and offering perpsectives on recent work on ancient protein analysis. The article provides a useful overview of the kinds of ancient protein analyses that have been undertaken, and some of the key archaeological applications. It also discusses the need for integration with other techniques and for non-destructive sampling.

The article is published open access in Science Advances, available on the doi below. Essential reading for all bioarchaeologists!



The analysis of ancient proteins from paleontological, archeological, and historic materials is revealing insights into past subsistence practices, patterns of health and disease, evolution and phylogeny, and past environments. This review tracks the development of this field, discusses some of the major methodological strategies used, and synthesizes recent developments in archeological applications of ancient protein analysis. Moreover, this review highlights some of the challenges faced by the field and potential future directions, arguing that the development of minimally invasive or nondestructive techniques, strategies for protein authentication, and the integration of ancient protein analysis with other biomolecular techniques are important research strategies as this field grows.


Hendy, J. 2021. Ancient protein analysis in archaeology. Science Advances 7. DOI: