Blood and Protein Residue Analysis

  • Mary E. Malainey
Part of the Manuals in Archaeological Method, Theory and Technique book series (MATT)


Proteins are giant molecules made up of subunits, called amino acids (Chapter 5). There are two major categories, fibrous and globular. Collagen is a fibrous protein and when extracted from archaeological bone is the material of choice for both radiocarbon dating (Chapter 8) and stable isotope analysis (Chapter 13). The rate at which amino acids transform from the L-form to a 50:50 mixture of both L-form and D-form enantiomers is the basis of amino acid racemization dating (Chapter 11). The techniques discussed in this section were originally only applied to residues believed to represent ancient blood. Protein residues from other sources are now examined, so the generic term “protein analysis” is used.


Immunological Method Archaeological Material Blind Test Hemoglobin Molecule Amino Acid Racemization 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mary E. Malainey
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyBrandon UniversityBrandonCanada

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