PROTEIOS will redefine research in ancient proteins by describing the fundamentals of biomolecular survival and exploring ancient proteomes, fossil sequences and material culture. Collins’ research into patterns of protein diagenesis (collaboration Wuif, MATH, Willerslev and Orlando) will improve targeting of samples, while the approach to noninvasive analysis opens the possibility for a suite of studies of material culture. Replicating experience in establishing ‘BioArCh’ at York, and exploiting the extraordinary material culture preserved in Denmark, Collins and his team will bridge the divide between the sciences and humanities. Greenland’s sediments and Denmark’s bogs are world recognised as some of the riches sources of protein artefacts in the world (skins, leather, textiles and tools).  In PROTEIOS, a method developed for rapid identification of archaeological bone, called ZooMS, will be used to enhance the interpretation of these finds.

Structure of the quires comprising a 1000 year old gospel book and species identification of the bifolia using proteomics fingerprinting.

A few key publications:

Demarchi, B., Hall, S., Roncal-Herrero, T., Freeman, C. L., Woolley, J., Crisp, M. K., … Collins, M. J. (2016). Protein sequences bound to mineral surfaces persist into deep time. eLife, 5, e17092.

Teasdale, M. D., Fiddyment, S., Vnouček, J., Mattiangeli, V., Speller, C., Binois, A., … Collins, M. J. (2017). The York Gospels: a 1000-year biological palimpsest. Open Science, 4(10), 170988.

Velsko, I. M., Overmyer, K. A., Speller, C., Collins, M., Loe, L., Frantz, L. A. F., … Warinner, C. (2017, May 9). The dental calculus metabolome in modern and historic samples. bioRxiv.