Bioarchaeology - Behind the Scenes of Multiproxy Analyses

Research output: Unpublished contribution to conferencePoster


In archaeology, the study of bone and teeth is key to the understanding of the past as they represent direct evidence of life on
Earth. The mineral present in bone and teeth (bioapatite – a highly substituted hexagonal calcium phosphate apatite) contains
several elements that can be used to reconstruct palaeoenvironments, palaeodiets, mobility patterns, etc.
However, when looking at bioapatite of bone and teeth, diagenesis remains a problem that is often overlooked. Recent
developments in high resolution infrared and X-ray analyses allow for a better assessment of the preservation of archaeological
skeletal remains. Once optimal samples are selected, it is possible to go into the isotopic study of archaeological bone and teeth.
In this poster we present the structural and chemical compositions of hundreds of bone and teeth with ages ranging from
the Mesolithic to the present day using μXRF, FTIR microscopy and ICP-MS. Several alteration patterns can be observed such
as fossilization, burning, leaching of elements within the sample, etc. It is also possible to evaluate the presence/preservation of
organic matter in these samples. A selection of optimal samples are then analysed isotopically ( 13Cap, 18Op, 18Oc, 87Sr/86Sr)
and the results discussed in terms of diet, climate and mobility.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2016
Event22nd Annual Meeting of the EAA - Vilnius University, Vilnius, Lithuania
Duration: 31 Aug 20164 Sep 2016


Conference22nd Annual Meeting of the EAA
Abbreviated titleEAA 2016 Vilnius
Internet address


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