On the use of trace elements in ancient necropolis studies: Overview and ICP-MS application to the case study of Valdaro site, Italy

Corti, Cristina, Rampazzi, Laura, Ravedoni, Cristina and Giussani, Barbara (2013) On the use of trace elements in ancient necropolis studies: Overview and ICP-MS application to the case study of Valdaro site, Italy. Microchemical Journal (110). pp. 614-623. ISSN 0026-265X [Article]

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Abstract (in English)

The cross-cutting study of archaeological human remains is an important tool for improving the knowledge of the past civilities. Bones are actually bio-archives, storing information about the lifestyles of the individuals, the place where they lived, the migration habits. In particular, some peculiar trace elements (such as strontium and zinc) are considered indicators of the so-called paleodiet, i.e. whether characterized by vegetables, cereals or meat. A complete overview of the concerning literature is the starting point of this work. A straightforward optimized methodology for the study of ancient bones is proposed coupling for the first time trace element determination by ICP-MS (Mg, Mn, Cu, Zn, Sr and Pb were investigated) and statistical data analysis. The protocol was applied to samples coming from a necropolis (dated from Neolithic to Bronze Age) found in Northern Italy including ‘The Valdaro Lovers’, a rare double burial where the two skeletons were facing each other with their arms wrapped around in an enduring embrace. Principal Component Analysis and Discriminant Analysis permitted to correctly classify individuals by the historical period in which they lived according to the archaeological and anthropological information. The results were compared with those found in the literature and a critical discussion on the use of trace metals in this case study is given.

Item Type: Article
Authors:
AuthorsEmail
Corti, CristinaUNSPECIFIED
Rampazzi, Lauralaura.rampazzi@uninsubria.it
Ravedoni, CristinaUNSPECIFIED
Giussani, BarbaraUNSPECIFIED
Languages: English
Keywords: Prehistoric bones; ICP-MS; Trace elements; Ancient remains; Principal Component Analysis; Linear Discriminant Analysis; Archaeological heritage; archaeological remains; necropoles; italy
Subjects: A. THEORETICAL AND GENERAL ASPECTS > 05. History of archaeology
B. ARCHAEOLOGY > 04. Archaeological finds
B. ARCHAEOLOGY > 05. Archaeological research
B. ARCHAEOLOGY > 10. Prehistoric site
F.SCIENTIFIC TECHNIQUES AND METHODOLOGIES OF CONSERVATION > 06. Analysis of materials
F.SCIENTIFIC TECHNIQUES AND METHODOLOGIES OF CONSERVATION > 09. Archaeometry
F.SCIENTIFIC TECHNIQUES AND METHODOLOGIES OF CONSERVATION > 50. Statistical analysis
P. GEOGRAPHIC AREAS > 05. Europe
Name of monument, town, site, museum: S. Giorgio Valdaro (Mantua, Italy)
Number: 110
ISSN: 0026-265X
Depositing User: dr Laura Rampazzi
Date Deposited: 02 Feb 2018 09:53
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2018 09:53
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