Constructing bioavailable strontium baselines from the local to the multi-national scale using new and legacy data – challenges and limitations

Activity: Talk or presentationTalk or presentation at a conference


As the use of strontium isotope analysis in archaeology to assess mobility and provenance of people, animals and objects expands, the need for robust baseline maps of bioavailable strontium to interpret these data increases. Isoscapes of varying scales, from archaeological site-specific, local, regional to national maps have been published. These isoscapes establish baselines from a variety of different archives; plants, soils, water, and archaeological and modern humans and fauna. The cost and effort to create these datasets is high, so previously published or legacy data is an important source to expand and increase the sampling density of baselines.
This research will present large scale bioavailable strontium datasets from across Europe, using the specific examples of published datasets from Portugal, France, and Ireland. We will discuss how combining datasets of different scales and archives can provide a robust baseline for tracing mobility and provenance in a variety of archaeological disciplines. The extent of other published datasets from Europe will be highlighted and sampling gaps identified. The importance of accessibility, that allows for comprehensive reuse of datasets, will also be discussed.
Reconstructing mobilities and provenances of archaeological materials can address important questions such as landscape use, trade networks or husbandry practices. By combining datasets researchers from across archaeological disciplines can interpret strontium isotope measurements on human, faunal or archaeological materials.
Period1 Sep 2022
Event title29th European Association of Archaeologists (EAA) Annual Meeting: Weaving Narratives
Event typeConference
Conference number29
LocationBelfast, United Kingdom
Degree of RecognitionInternational