Novel Deep Eutectic Solvent-Based Protein Extraction Method for Pottery Residues and Archeological Implications

Manasij Pal Chowdhury, Cheryl Makarewicz, Henny Piezonka, Michael Buckley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Proteomic analysis of absorbed residues is increasingly used to identify the foodstuffs processed in ancient ceramic vessels, but detailed methodological investigations in this field remain rare. Here, we present three interlinked methodological developments with important consequences in paleoproteomics: the comparative absorption and identification of various food proteins, the application of a deep eutectic solvent (DES) for extracting ceramic-bound proteins, and the role of database choice in taxonomic identification. Our experiments with modern and ethnoarcheological ceramics show that DES is generally more effective at extracting ceramic-bound proteins than guanidine hydrochloride (GuHCl), and cereal proteins are absorbed and subsequently extracted and identifiedat least as readily as meat proteins. We also highlight some of the challenges in cross-species proteomics, whereby species that are less well-represented in databases can be attributed an incorrect species-level taxonomic assignment due to interspecies similarities in protein sequence. This is particularly problematic in potentially mixed samples such as cooking-generated organic residues deposited in pottery. Our work demonstrates possible proteomic separation of fishes and birds, the latter of which have so far eluded detection through lipidomic analyses of organic residue deposits in pottery, which has important implications for tracking the exploitation of avian species in various ancient communities around the globe.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2619-2634
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Proteome Research
Issue number11
StatePublished - 4 Nov 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Authors. All rights reserved.


  • Archaeological pottery
  • Cross-species proteomics
  • Deep eutectic solvent
  • DES
  • Protein extraction
  • Residue analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Novel Deep Eutectic Solvent-Based Protein Extraction Method for Pottery Residues and Archeological Implications'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this