Bone diagenesis and dietary analysis

Joseph B. Lambert, Sharon Vlasak, Simpson, Carole B. Szpunar, Jane Buikstra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

51 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Alteration of buried bone through natural diagenesis can vitiate any analysis of ancient diet based on concentrations of inorganic elements. Consequently, several methods have been developed to assess the presence and extent of diagenetic effects. These include comparison of modern with excavated bone, comparison of different skeletal components such as rib with femur, examination of elemental content as a function of the age of the individual at death, elemental distribution across the bone cross section, analysis opf archeological soils, comparison of herbivores and carnivores, and analysis of isotope ratios. Strontium and zinc appear to be the least sensitive elements to diagenesis. Calcium and sodium may be lost through leaching but may still be useful in the dietary context. Magnesium and lead give mixed results by these tests and might be useful under certain circumstances. Iron, manganese, aluminium, potassium, copper, barium, vanadium, and uranium are particularly sensitive to diagnetic effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)477-482
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Human Evolution
Volume14
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 1985
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

diagenesis
bone
bones
vanadium
barium
uranium
strontium
carnivore
femur
ribs
carnivores
manganese
aluminum
herbivore
isotopes
magnesium
leaching
herbivores
potassium
cross section

Keywords

  • ancient diet
  • diagenesis
  • heteroionic exchange
  • isotope effects
  • soil analysis
  • strontium
  • Woodland sites
  • zinc

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Cite this

Bone diagenesis and dietary analysis. / Lambert, Joseph B.; Vlasak, Sharon; Simpson; Szpunar, Carole B.; Buikstra, Jane.

In: Journal of Human Evolution, Vol. 14, No. 5, 1985, p. 477-482.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Lambert, JB, Vlasak, S, Simpson, Szpunar, CB & Buikstra, J 1985, 'Bone diagenesis and dietary analysis', Journal of Human Evolution, vol. 14, no. 5, pp. 477-482. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0047-2484(85)80026-9
Lambert, Joseph B. ; Vlasak, Sharon ; Simpson ; Szpunar, Carole B. ; Buikstra, Jane. / Bone diagenesis and dietary analysis. In: Journal of Human Evolution. 1985 ; Vol. 14, No. 5. pp. 477-482.
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