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PROJECTS

Find collaborators. Share your ongoing work related to art, cultural history, scientific analysis, and art conservation. If you have a project to post, please email info@artbiomatters.org.

Provenance determination of archaeological ochre by 16S rRNA sequencing microbial composition

Rachel S. Popelka-Filcoff [1], Claire E. Lenehan [2], Shanan S. Tobe [3]

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Data from 16S rRNA sequencing studies provide profiles of ochre sources that are both independent of and complementary to elemental and mineralogical analyses. We have demonstrated the clear discrimination between four geographically and mineralogically distinct Australian cultural ochre sites. This work demonstrates that trace microbial content in archaeological samples provide a yet unexploited source of information for provenance studies and outlines the possibilities towards the application to other culturally important geological materials.

Non-proximate Ambient Mass Spectrometry Sampling of Large, Intact Cultural Heritage Objects

G. Asher Newsome [1], Kathleen Martin [2]

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Ambient mass spectrometry ion sources can sample from an intact object at atmospheric pressure, but they require the analyte to be close to an MS inlet and therefore cannot accommodate large objects. We constructed a non-proximate sampling system to thermally desorb analyte molecules from large, intact objects using a heated gas jet. Material is transferred 2 m to a custom-mounted direct analysis in real time (DART) ion source.

Decolonizing Crocodylian Collections: Developing a model system for bridging indigenous and Eurocentric perspectives on culturally and economically important species in museum holdings

Evon Hekkala

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The project focuses on using archival research on cultural heritage collections containing crocodiles as a model to resurface and to integrate Indigenous historical archival narratives and to re-attribute knowledge from source and descendent communities.

Human bone points from Mesolithic Doggerland

Joannes Dekker [1]; Virginie Sinet-Mathiot [2]; Merel Spithoven [3]; Bjorn Smit [4]; Arndt Wilcke [5]; Frido Welker [6,2]; Alexander Verpoorte [1]; and Marie Soressi [1,2] 

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Raw material selection is the first step of an object’s use life and provides us valuable information on an artefact’s place in the larger toolkit. However, the species of osseous artefacts is often difficult to identify. By applying ZooMS we found evidence for the selection of human bone for the production of Mesolithic barbed points from Doggerland and hypothesise that this represents a deliberate and meaningful choice by the Mesolithic inhabitants of Doggerland.

Overlooked Organics in Decorative Arts: Cataloguing Winterthur’s Hard Matrices and Collagen-Based Organics

Rosie Grayburn, Lara Kaplan, Katie Lagarde, Catherine Matsen, and Ann Wagner

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Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library was awarded an NEH grant to catalogue “overlooked organic” objects in the collection through physical identification and analytical research. This project focuses on cataloguing a group of objects with a high standard of accuracy, acquiring information through visual and scientific analysis, research, and expert consultation. The work is a collaboration between curatorial, conservation, and scientific staff to understand findings within the craft context for each object.

Beasts to Craft: Biocodicology as a new approach to the study of parchment manuscripts

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