Topic ID #32700 - posted 5/21/2014 1:36 AM

Microbes from 1,500-year-old feces support archeological theories



Jennifer Palmer

Webmaster
PUBLIC RELEASE DATE: 20-May-2014
American Society for Microbiology
Microbes from 1,500-year-old feces support archeological theories        

By evaluating the bacteria and fungi found in fossilized feces, microbiologists are providing evidence to help support archeologists' hypotheses regarding cultures living in the Caribbean over 1,500 years ago. They report their findings today at the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology.

"Although fossilized feces (coprolites) have frequently been studied, they had never been used as tools to determine ethnicity and distinguish between two extinct cultures. By examining the DNA preserved in coprolites from two ancient indigenous cultures, our group was able to determine the bacterial and fungal populations present in each culture as well as their possible diets," says Jessica Rivera-Perez of the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras, who presented the study.

Various indigenous cultures inhabited the Greater Antilles thousands of years ago. The Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico have thousands of pre-Columbian indigenous settlements belonging to extinct cultures that migrated to the Caribbean at some point in history.


Read the full article here.





(c)1996-2014, archaeologyfieldwork.com

Visit our Employment Network websites: archaeologyfieldwork.com - museumjobsonline.com - For information on advertising on this website, contact webmaster@archaeologyfieldwork.com