Reaction kinetics of protein hydrolysis, amino acid decomposition, and isoleucine epimerization in eggshell of the African Ostrich, Struthio camelus
AuthorErnst, Richard David, 1964-
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractEggshell of the African Ostrich, Struthio camelus, frequently occurs in African archaeological sites, some of which are beyond the limit of radiocarbon dating. In order to date those sites beyond the range of ¹⁴C dating using amino acid geochemistry, an understanding of the reaction kinetics governing amino acid chemistry must be achieved. The integrity of the eggshell matrix provides an excellent medium to investigate the kinetics of protein hydrolysis, amino acid decomposition, and isoleucine epimerization. Mathematical equations are derived from high temperature simulations of time and well-dated sites at ambient temperatures to determine rate constants for the reactions to a D/L ratio of 1.0. The reactions studied are Free and Total isoleucine epimerization, "classical" and "extended" hydrolysis, and the change in concentrations of free, bound, and total amino acids. Arrhenius plots aided in deriving the equations for each method which are then applied to predict kinetic parameters. Temperatures can be predicted within a 2°C range and time within 15% of its actual value if the appropriate method is used.
Degree ProgramGraduate College