Eradication of Contaminant Starch Granules from Synthetic Calculus: A Decontamination Protocol for Ancient Starch Research

María Soto, Jamie Inwood, Siobhan Clarke, Alison Crowther, Patrick Lee, Julien Favreau, Robert Patalano, Makarius Itambu, Aloyce Mwambwiga & Julio Mercader
Dental calculus provides ancient starch research a niche where granules may be adsorbed to minerals, coated, overgrown, entrapped or protected from chemical degradation. While encapsulation offers protection from degradation, it does not shield the sample’s surface from contamination. The most common approach to retrieving microbotanical particles from archaeological calculus has been the direct decalcification of the sample, after a cleaning stage variously consisting of immersion in water, acids, and mechanical dislodgment via gas, sonication, and/or...
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