Microbial composition analyses by 16S rRNA sequencing: A proof of concept approach to provenance determination of archaeological ochre
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Many archaeological science studies use the concept of “provenance”, where the origins of cultural material can be determined through physical or chemical properties that relate back to the origins of the material. Recent studies using DNA profiling of bacteria have been used for the forensic determination of soils, towards determination of geographic origin. This manuscript presents a novel approach to the provenance of archaeological minerals and related materials through the use of 16S rRNA sequencing analysis of microbial DNA. Through the microbial DNA characterization from ochre and multivariate statistics, we have demonstrated the clear discrimination between four distinct Australian cultural ochre sites.
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