Ancient fermented food has been studied mainly based on residue analysis and recipes and reconstruction attempts were performed using modern domesticated yeast. Furthermore, microorganisms which participated in fermentation were studied using ancient-DNA techniques. In a recent paper, we presented a novel approach based on the hypothesis that enriched yeast populations in fermented beverages could have become the dominant species in storage vessels and their descendants could be isolated and studied today. Here we present a pipeline for isolation of yeast from clay vessels uncovered in archeological sites and transferred to the microbiology lab where they can be isolated and characterized. This method opens new avenues for experimental archeology and enables attempts to recreate ancient food and beverages using the original microorganisms.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This protocol was adapted from Aouizerat et al. (2019). Isolation and characterization of live yeast cells from ancient vessels as a tool in bio-archeology. mBio 10(2): e00388-19. We thank Prof. Christina Warinner from University of Jena for her helpful suggestions.
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- Ancient pottery vessels
- Experimental archaeology