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

Vojtech Hlinka, Sean Ulm, Tom Loy, Jay Hall


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.

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© 2014 The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia ABN 63 942 912 684

ISSN 1839-339X (online) ISSN 0814-3021 (print)