Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Assessing pathological conditions in archaeological bone using portable X-ray fluorescence (pXRF)

Kilburn, Naomi N.; Gowland, Rebecca L.; Halldórsdóttir, Hrafnhildur H.; Williams, Rhys; Thompson, Tim J.U.

Assessing pathological conditions in archaeological bone using portable X-ray fluorescence (pXRF) Thumbnail


Authors

Naomi N. Kilburn

Hrafnhildur H. Halldórsdóttir

Rhys Williams

Tim J.U. Thompson



Abstract

This study aims to investigate the potential of portable X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (pXRF) for identifying pathological conditions in archaeological human skeletal remains. Bone element distribution in relation to known disease categories is analyzed using pXRF from the femora of 73 individuals (34 adult; 39 non-adult) from the post-Medieval Coach Lane skeletal collection (Durham University). There were no significant differences in the elemental ratios of individuals with scurvy, rickets, and cribra orbitalia. Potential alterations in elemental content were observed in relation to syphilis (Mn/S, Mn/Cl, and Ba/Cl) and neoplastic disease (Ba/Sr, S/Sr, Mn/Fe, and Zn/Cl). It is likely that post-depositional diagenetic changes, potentially exacerbated by the industrial location of the burial site, altered the elemental content of the individuals sampled and thereby effectively obscured any pathological changes detectable by pXRF.

Citation

Kilburn, N. N., Gowland, R. L., Halldórsdóttir, H. H., Williams, R., & Thompson, T. J. (2021). Assessing pathological conditions in archaeological bone using portable X-ray fluorescence (pXRF). Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, 37, Article 102980. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jasrep.2021.102980

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 5, 2021
Online Publication Date Apr 25, 2021
Publication Date 2021-06
Deposit Date Aug 9, 2021
Publicly Available Date Apr 25, 2023
Journal Journal of archaeological science, reports.
Print ISSN 2352-409X
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 37
Article Number 102980
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jasrep.2021.102980

Files





You might also like



Downloadable Citations