Supervisor/s: Jessica Hendy, Matthew Collins
Funding: European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement ChemArch No 956351.
Summary of research project:
This PhD project is part of the ChemArch network and its focus is to study the proteins from Danish Mesolithic and Neolithic food crusts preserved on the surface of ceramic vessels. Proteins from food crusts are a direct way to investigate the diet of peoples in the past. They have the potential to provide both species- and tissue-level identification, allowing us not only to study which species were exploited, but also what parts of the animal were used.
One of the aims of this project is to optimise an extraction protocol for food crust proteins and to investigate the formation of food crusts by performing cooking experiments. The knowledge gained from these experiments will be used to inform the interpretation of our analysis of food crusts from the Danish Mesolithic - Neolithic transition. Revealing the resources exploited throughout this period will shed light on culinary practices during the important switch in human subsistence from hunter-gathering to farming.
I obtained both my BA and RMSc in Archaeology degrees from Leiden University, the Netherlands. My degrees focused mainly on human evolution and palaeoproteomics and provided me with hands-on experience with the most common palaeoproteomic methods as well as ample Palaeolithic excavation experience. For my BA I performed ZooMS analysis on a small collection of barbed points from Mesolithic Doggerland, while for my RMSc I combined LC-MS/MS and MSI to investigate the potential of the protein osteocalcin as a non-specific stress marker.
Now with my PhD project I aim to further increase my expertise in palaeoproteomics and to develop new methods, expanding the applications of palaeoproteomics.