Posted on 4 August 2011
Equipment purchased by the Dept in 2003 have yielded exciting results... The first major investment by the Archaeology Dept in Science Based Archaeology was two HPLC instruments to analyse amino acids. Kirsty Penkman (now in Chemistry) and Matthew Collins of BioArCh report on one of the largest dating projects undertaken in the UK, assessing the age of 71 sites using a modified version of an old technique first developed 40 years ago. The research is published in the latest issue of Nature.
Perhaps the method amino acid geochronology is undergoing a resurgence. Kirsty along with Darrell Kaufman (Northern Arizona University) held the first ever full conference session related to amino acid geochronology at the INQUA congress last month, and at a breakout workshop held at the meeting the community agreed to work together on issues such as data management and archiving as well as inter-laboratory comparisons.
For further details see the University Press Release