Induced metal-ion exchange in excavated human bone

Joseph B. Lambert, Sharon Vlasak Simpson, Susan Gorell Weiner, Jane E. Buikstra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Excavated human bone was exposed to aqueous solutions containing high concentrations of a single added metal ion in order to examine the extent of introduction of contaminating materials during burial. Variables included pH, temperature, ion concentration, state of bone (whole or crushed), structure of buffer, and counterion. Calcium and sodium showed little increase, and even a decrease in some cases. Strontium, zinc, lead, and magnesium showed large increases probably through heteroionic replacement of calcium. Manganese, aluminum, and potassium showed increases, particularly under neutral conditions, probably through infiltration into voids and defects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-92
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1985
Externally publishedYes


  • ancient diet
  • atomic absorption
  • bone diagenesis
  • heteroionic exchange
  • hydroxyapatite
  • woodland sites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology


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