Plekhanova L.N., Kashirskaya N.N., Syrovatko A.S. Cellulosolitic Microorganisms Activity as an Indicator of Details Funeral Ceremony

 
Liudmila N. Plekhanova, Candidate of Sciences (Biology), Associate Professor, Senior Researcher at the Archaeological Soil Science Laboratory, Institute of Physico-Chemical and Biological Problems of Soil Science of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Institutskaya St., 2, 142290 Pushchino, Russian Federation
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Natalya N. Kashirskaya, Candidate of Sciences (Biology), Senior Researcher of the Archaeological Laboratory of Soil Science, Institute of Physico-Chemical and Biological Problems of Soil Science of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Institutskaya St., 2, 142290 Pushchino, Russian Federation
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Alexander S. Syrovatko, Candidate of Sciences (History), Head, Kolomna Archeological Research Center, Kremlevskaya St., 5, 140400 Kolomna , Russian Federation
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Abstract. The article describes the results and the methodology for determining the initial presence of wares containing cellulose in the Vyatichi funeral ceremony in the Middle Ages in the natural zone of the southern taiga, Moscow region. Cellulose is a high molecular weight polymer. Cellulose (in other words – fiber) contains up to half of all the organic carbon of the biosphere, therefore, the prevalence of various microorganisms utilizing cellulose is quite high. In addition, the prevalence of this trophic group of microorganisms significantly complicates the diagnosis in archaeological contexts, since it’s necessary to understand the total number of these microorganisms on different depths in certain soil types and certain climatic zones. To overcome this difficulty, we conducted a two-month experiment to determine the rates of decomposition of the added cellulose substrate by soils from the adjacent structures of cremated burials using method, providing results comparable with published data. For the first time, there was made an attempt to identify soils of cremated burials with an increased content of cellulose, by analogy to microbiological methods of identifying keratin-containing substrates of ancient burials. The presence of cellulolytic microorganisms was identified by counting of colony forming units after planting on a solid nutrient environment – soil agar enriched in carboxymethyl cellulose. The object of the experiments was soil samples from medieval burials with cremations. Comparisons were made with the background soil of the same age as cremations (XII century), which have been developing according to the zonal type on the kurgan mound nearby to cremated burials. Three sites with maxima activity were revealed, according to the archaeological context. The article continues the cycle of experimental planting of trophic groups of microorganisms for the purpose of indicating substances that entered the soil at different periods of time, from antiquity to the Middle Ages, and have been utilized by microorganisms up to nowadays.
Key words: paleosol, cellulose, cellulase, microorganisms, funeral soil, cremation, burial.
Citation. Plekhanova L.N., Kashirskaya N.N., Syrovatko A.S., 2020. Cellulosolitic Microorganisms Activity as an Indicator of Details Funeral Ceremony. The Lower Volga Archaeological Bulletin, vol. 19, no. 1, pp. 116-129. (in Russian). DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/nav.jvolsu.2020.1.6
 
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Cellulosolitic Microorganisms Activity as an Indicator of Details Funeral Ceremony by Plekhanova L.N., Kashirskaya N.N., Syrovatko A.S. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.





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