Caroline Solazzo

Physical Scientist


Phone: 301-238-1284
Fax: 301-238-3709
E-mail Address: SolazzoC [at]

Museum Conservation Institute
Smithsonian Institution
4210 Silver Hill Road
Suitland, MD 20746


PhD, Chemistry, Université des Sciences et Technologies de Lille (Lille 1), France (2007)
MS, Analytical Chemistry, Université d’Orsay (Paris XI), France (2002)

Research Specialties and Interests

My research interests are focused on the utilization of protein products in material culture and the development of proteomics methods (gel proteomics, shotgun proteomics, mass spectrometry, protein sequencing) for the analysis of ancient proteins in cultural heritage. I am specialized in the characterization of keratin-based tissues (species identification in textiles and hard keratinous tissues), and the identification of archaeological organic residues.
I also study the degradation of protein fibers and in particular how fiber processing and the environment induce chemical changes in ancient proteins (biodegradation, photo-oxidation, mineralization and protein preservation in association with corroded metals).

Recent Research Activities

Species identification in tortoiseshell and baleen
Species identification in membrane threads
Proteomics characterization of ancient human hair

Past Research Activities

Marie Curie International Outgoing post-doctoral fellowship (2009-2012): Textile and Hair proteomics: Re-examination of European Wool from Archaeological Deposits (THREADs)

Proteomics study and species identification of the Coast Salish blankets

Recent Publications

Molecular Markers in Keratins from Mysticeti Whales for Species Identification of Baleen in Museum and Archaeological Collections, Solazzo C., Fitzhugh W., Kaplan S., Potter C., Dyer J.M., 2017, PLoS ONE 12(8): e0183053.

Follow-up on the characterization of peptidic markers in hair and fur for the identification of common North American species, Solazzo C., 2017, Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry Vol 31(17), 1375-1384.

Identification of the earliest collagen- and plant-based coatings from Neolithic artefacts (Nahal Hemar cave, Israel), Solazzo C., Courel B., Connan J., van Dongen BE., Barden H., Penkman K., Taylor S., Demarchi B., Adam P., Schaeffer P., Nissenbaum A., Bar-Yosef O., Buckley M., 2016, Scientific Reports, 31053.

The composite braided hair armband or bracelet, Sheridan, A., Cameron E., Cartwright C., Davis M., Dunster J., Harris S., Hurcombe L., Inglis J., Mould Q., Solazzo C. and Williams H., 2016, Chapter 14, IN Andy M. Jones, Preserved in the Peat: an Extraordinary Bronze Age Burial on Whitehorse Hill, Dartmoor, and its Wider Context. Oxford: Oxbow Books, 328p, ISBN: 9781785702600

Des Caraïbes à la Métropole: Artisanat et Commerce des Peignes en Écaille de Tortue Marine a l’Epoque Coloniale, Soulat J. and Solazzo C., 2016, Journal of Caribbean Archaeology,
A mass spectrometry method for the determination of the species of origin of gelatine in foods and pharmaceutical products, Paul Reece, Mike Buckley, Caroline Solazzo, Adrian J Charlton, Adam A Dowle, David Ashford, Marc K Wadsley, Matthew J Collins, 2016, Food Chemistry Vol 190, 276-284.

Advances in identifying archaeological traces of horn and other keratinous hard tissues, O’Connor S., Collins M. J., and Solazzo C., 2015, Studies in Conservation, Vol 60(6), 393-417.

Application of redox proteomics to the study of oxidative degradation products in archaeological wool, Solazzo C., Clerens S., Plowman J., Wilson J., Peacock E. E., Dyer J. M., 2015, Journal of Cultural Heritage Vol 16(6), 896-903.

Modeling Deamidation in Sheep α-Keratin Peptides and Application to Archeological Wool Textiles, Solazzo C., Wilson, J., Dyer J. M., Clerens S., Plowman J., Von Holstein I., Walton Rogers P., Peacock E. E., Collins M. J., 2014, Analytical Chemistry Vol 86(1), 567-575.

Species identification by peptide mass fingerprinting (PMF) in fibre products preserved by association with copper-alloy artefacts, Solazzo C., Walton-Rogers P., Weber L., Beaubien H. F., and Wilson J., Collins M. J., 2014, Journal of Archaeological Science Vol 49, 524-535.

Characterisation of novel α-keratin peptide markers for species identification in keratinous tissues using mass spectrometry, Solazzo C., Wadsley M., Dyer J. M., Clerens S., Collins M. J., Plowman J., 2013, Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry Vol 27(23), 2685-2698.

Proteomic evaluation of the biodegradation of wool fabrics in experimental burials, Solazzo C., Dyer J. M., Clerens S., Plowman J., Peacock E.E., Collins M. J., 2013, International Biodeterioration & Biodegradation Vol 80, 48-59.

Proteomic Profiling of the Photo-oxidation of Silk Fibroin: Implications for Historic Tin-Weighted Silk, Solazzo C., Dyer J. M., Clerens S., Collins M. J., Wyeth P., 2012, Photochemistry and Photobiology Vol 88(5), 1217-1226.

Proteomics and Coast Salish blankets; a tale of shaggy dogs?, Solazzo C., Heald S., Ballard M. W., Ashford D. A., DePriest P. T., Koestler R. J., Collins M. J., 2011, Antiquity Vol 85(330), 1418-1432.