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The potential of carbonized grain to preserve biogenic (Sr)-S-87/(Sr)-S-86 signatures within the burial environment

Heier, A.; Evans, Jane; Montgomery, J.. 2009 The potential of carbonized grain to preserve biogenic (Sr)-S-87/(Sr)-S-86 signatures within the burial environment. Archaeometry, 51 (2). 277-291. 10.1111/j.1475-4754.2008.00409.x

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Abstract/Summary

Carbonized grains survive for millennia in many archaeological contexts. Their stable structure raises the possibility that they preserve biogenic strontium isotope signatures. This hypothesis was investigated using short-term, laboratory experiments with modern grain immersed in Chalk solution. HCl leaching removed > 95% of secondary alteration from charred grain, and isotope ratios close to the starting value were recovered. This could not be achieved with uncharred grains. HCl leaching of archaeological carbonized grains produced comparable levels of decontamination. Although preliminary, these results suggest that strontium isotope analysis of archaeological carbonized grains from calcareous burial contexts could be used to investigate ancient trade and agriculture.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1111/j.1475-4754.2008.00409.x
Programmes: BGS Programmes 2009 > NERC Isotope Geoscience Laboratory
ISSN: 0003-813X
Additional Keywords: Strontium isotopes
NORA Subject Terms: Earth Sciences
Date made live: 11 May 2009 10:37
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/7142

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