Species identification of materials used in cultural heritage objects from Alaska in the British Museum's collection using 'ZooMS' methodology

The British Museum’s collection contains a vast number of objects fabricated from animal derived materials where the species of animal used is unidentified. Revealing the animal species of worked materials provides archaeologists and curators with insights into the past including species availability, trading networks and technologies utilised. The information is important to descendants of the makers who wish to understand their history and traditions. Initial speciation work at the British Museum via MALDI-ToF mass spectrometry is focused on identification of species used in the items collected from Alaska by Captain James Cook and other explorers in the 18th and 19th centuries, including harpoons and cordage used for hunting and fishing. 'ZooMS' (Zooarchaeology by Mass Spectrometry)1-5 approach and published marker ion libraries have been explored to facilitate species identification.

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Mass Spectrometry, Life Science Lab Instruments, MALDI-TOF Mass Spectrometry
animal, Hydrocarbon Processing Industry (Petrochemical, Chemical), MALDI-8020
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