Bacterial Endospores as an Additional Source of Archaeological Knowledge in the Analysis of a Burial Cemetery of the Tarnobrzeg Lusatian Culture in Dębina (SE Poland)

Obrazek miniatury
Trybała-Zawiślak, Katarzyna
Potocki, Leszek
Czopek, Sylwester
Ząbek, Tomasz
Tytuł czasopisma
Tytuł tomu
the Authors
The University of Rzeszów Publishing House
Archaeological studies need to use laboratory techniques, including analytical methods like Atomic Absorption Spectrometry, gas chromatography – mass spectrometry, and high-performance liquid chromatography, as well as genetic methods to resolve and verify scientific hypotheses. However, additional tools are still needed in the case of the cultural practices and traditions of ancient societies. Archaeological examinations of cultural practices have made significant progress in recent years, but additional tools are still needed to fully understand the complexity and diversity of these practices. In this work, we demonstrate how the genotyping of soil bacteria that can produce endospores is a potentially additional method for discovering past funeral rituals in various human populations who used food during their ceremonies. Endospores were isolated from soil samples taken from inside earthenware cup and pot-type vessels from a burial ground identified with the Tarnobrzeg Lusatian culture (SE Poland). The detected species of spore-forming bacteria strains were mostly environmental (originating from soil and / or water). However, the presence of some of the taxa i.e. (Peanibacillus, Bacillus) may provide a valuable source of archaeological information. We found that a combination of molecular and microbiological analysis can support archaeological studies of burial grounds and – in particular – individual graves, especially when they are characterized by a complete lack of bones.
Słowa kluczowe
archaeology studies , microbiological analyses , Tarnobrzeg Lusatian culture , endospores
Ana­lecta Archa­eolo­gica Res­so­viensia, vol. 18 (2023), s. 117-129