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Do I have something in my teeth? The trouble with genetic analyses of diet from archaeological dental calculus

MPS-Authors
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Fellows Yates,  James A.
Archaeogenetics, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Max Planck Society;

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Fagernäs,  Zandra
Archaeogenetics, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Max Planck Society;

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Nelson,  Elizabeth A.
Archaeogenetics, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Mann, A. E., Fellows Yates, J. A., Fagernäs, Z., Austin, R. M., Nelson, E. A., & Hofman, C. A. (2020). Do I have something in my teeth? The trouble with genetic analyses of diet from archaeological dental calculus. Quaternary International. doi:10.1016/j.quaint.2020.11.019.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-73CB-3
Abstract
Dental calculus and other preserved microbiome substrates are an attractive target for dietary reconstruction in past populations through a variety of physical, chemical, and molecular means. Recently, studies have attempted to reconstruct diet from archaeological dental calculus using archaeogenetic techniques. While dental calculus may provide a relatively stable environment for DNA preservation, the detection of plants and animals possibly consumed by an individual through DNA analysis is primarily hindered by microbial richness and incomplete reference databases. Moreover, high genomic similarity within eukaryotic groups