Khomutova T.E., Dushchanova K.S., Borisov A.V. Microbiological Approach to Reconstruction of the Original Content of Pots from the Burials

 
Тatiana E. Khomutova, Candidate of Sciences (Biology), Leading Scientist, Institute of Physicochemical and Biological Problems in Soil Science of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Institutskaya St., 2, 142290 Pushchino, Russian Federation
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Kamilla S. Dushchanova, Postgraduate Student, Pushchino Institute of Natural Sciences, Prosp. Nauki, 3, 142290 Pushchino, Russian Federation
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Alexandr V. Borisov, Candidate of Sciences (Biology), Leading Scientist, Institute of Physicochemical and Biological Problems in Soil Science of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Institutskaya St., 2, 142290 Pushchino, Russian Federation
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Abstract. In a model soil experiment, microbial decomposition nature and its rate applying to various organic substrates were studied. It is shown that the decomposition of various materials changes the functional features of microbial communities. These changes are assessed using multisubstrate testing of respiratory activity of microbial communities – this testing assumes application of low- molecular respiratory inducers (aminoacids and carboxylic acids) to the soil and registration the changes of the intensity of carbon dioxide release by microorganisms. Indicative compounds such as ascorbate, lactate, acetate (from the group of carboxylic acid salts) and cysteine (from the group of aminoacids) have been identified to be promising for use in reconstructing the original contents of ritual vessels. As an example, the article presents the results of reconstruction of one of bronze age burial pots original content, obtained by multisubstrate testing. High microbial biomass in the bottom layer of the vessel and the specific microbial communities’ respiratory responses to carboxylic acids salts (ascorbate, lactate and acetate) and aminoacid cysteine addition, indicate that the vessel originally contained a nutritional product, the decomposition of which led both to increase of microbial biomass and to changes in the functional structure of microbial community in the soil filling of the bottom layer. The results of statistical analysis of the reactions of soil microbial communities from the pot and from soils of the model experiment with known materials decomposed indicate that the vessel initially contained a protein product with a possible component of oil and starch.
Key words: burials, pots, funeral food, model soil experiment, soil microbial community.
Citation. Khomutova T.E., Dushchanova K.S., Borisov A.V., 2020. Microbiological Approach to Reconstruction of the Original Content of Pots from the Burials. The Lower Volga Archaeological Bulletin, vol. 19, no. 1, pp. 188-201. (in Russian). DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/nav.jvolsu.2020.1.10
 
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Microbiological Approach to Reconstruction of the Original Content of Pots from the Burials by Khomutova T.E., Dushchanova K.S., Borisov A.V. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
 





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