Alteration of Chemical Composition of Fossil Bones by Soil Processes and Groundwater

  • C. T. Williams
Part of the Proceedings in Life Sciences book series (LIFE SCIENCES)


Anthropologists have at their disposal several tools to enable the reconstruction of dietary or nutritional habits of ancient populations. One such tool is preserved organic tissue in the form of fossil bone. There are several biological processes that can accumulate some trace elements into living bone, and many studies have attempted to reconstruct the dietary habits or health of ancient populations from an analysis of trace elements in fossil bone. Elements considered to be useful in palaeonutritional studies of this kind include Sr, Zn, Ba (e.g. Sillen and Kavanagh 1982, Klepinger, 1984) and Pb (e.g. Patterson et al. 1987).


Clay Porosity Cage Uranium Sandstone 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. T. Williams
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of MineralogyBritish Museum (Natural History)LondonUK

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