IPERION HSIntegrating Platforms for the European Research Infrastructure ON Heritage Science

Amino acid racemization analysis (AAR)

Amino acid dating, which depends on the predictable breakdown of proteins within fossil biominerals, spans the whole of the Quaternary time period. As the integrity of the original organic fraction is of vital importance, in recent years significant advances have been made in analysing closed-system protein by isolating protein trapped within the biomineral crystals, circumventing problems due to contamination, leaching and environmental effects. The chiral amino acid analysis possible in our facility allows age estimation in fossil samples through amino acid racemization (AAR) alongside other measures of protein breakdown, giving a measure of intra-crystalline protein degradation (IcPD). NEaar provides world-leading expertise in sample preparation and analysis of protein within the complex matrices encountered in earth and archaeological science

Fields of application

  • Cultural heritage

    archaeological object and site

  • Natural heritage

    animal product, botanic collection, Coral, fossil, shell, skeleton


  • organic

    animal parts, binding media, glues, textiles


NEaar Facility

NEaar Facility

Contact person
Kirsty Penkman