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The role of the environment in uranium uptake by buried bone.

Millard, A.R.; Hedges, R.E.M.


R.E.M. Hedges


Previous studies by a number of workers have shown that uranium is inhomogeneously distributed in excavated bones. It has been suggested that the higher concentrations of uranium found towards the outside of some bones may indicate that the uranium has been taken up by a diffusion process. This paper briefly outlines a quantitative model of uranium uptake by diffusion and chemical reaction, and the measurement of uranium distributions in a number of samples. The relationship of these distributions to environmental factors and to other diagenetic changes is explored, and comparisons made between them and the model. Finally the implications of these results for the uranium series dating of bones are considered, and the way forward in modelling uranium uptake suggested.


Millard, A., & Hedges, R. (1995). The role of the environment in uranium uptake by buried bone. Journal of Archaeological Science, 22, 239-250.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 1995-07
Journal Journal of archaeological science, reports.
Print ISSN 0305-4403
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 22
Pages 239-250