The Genetic Speciation of Archaeological Fish Bone: A Feasibility Study from Southeast Queensland

Authors

  • Vojtech Hlinka Institute for Molecular Bioscience, University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4072 and School of Social Science, University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4072
  • Sean Ulm Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit, University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4072
  • Tom Loy Institute for Molecular Bioscience, University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4072 and School of Social Science, University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4072
  • Jay Hall School of Social Science, University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4072

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.25120/qar.13.2002.69

Abstract

Current genetic methods enable highly specific identification of DNA from modern fish bone. The applicability of these methods to the identification of archaeological fish bone was investigated through a study of a sample from late Holocene southeast Queensland sites. The resultant overall success rate of 2% indicates that DNA analysis is, as yet, not feasible for identifying fish bone from any given site. Taphonomic issues influencing the potential of genetic identification methods are raised and discussed in light of this result.

Author Biography

Sean Ulm, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit, University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4072

Sean is a Lecturer in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies at the University of Queensland. Sean specialises in the coastal archaeology of Queensland, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, and his work has been published widely both in Australia and overseas. His current research focuses on southeast Queensland, the Gulf of Carpentaria and Torres Strait. Sean is currently Editor of Australian Archaeology and on the Council of the World Archaeological Congress. He is a past national President of the Australian Archaeological Association Inc.

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Published

2002-12-01

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Section

Articles