Gaschen, A. A-M., Döbeli, M., Markwitz, A., Barry, B., Ulrich-Bochsler, S. and Krähenbühl, U. (2008). Restrictions on fluorine depth profiling for exposure age dating in archaeological bones. J Archaeol Sci 35 (3). Vol 35(3), pp. 535-552.

Title
Title
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Title:
Restrictions on fluorine depth profiling for exposure age dating in archaeological bones
Issue
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Issue:
J Archaeol Sci 35 (3)
Series
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Series:
Journal of Archaeological Science
Volume
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Volume:
35 (3)
Page Start/End
Page Start/End
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Page Start/End:
535 - 552
Biblio Note
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Publication Type:
Journal
Abstract
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Abstract:
Archaeological fragments of bone and teeth that are exposed to a humid environment take up fluorine from the surrounding soil. The fluorine ion replaces the hydroxyl group in the mineral phase of the bone, forming chemically more stable fluorapatite. In cortical parts of the long bone diaphysis a fluorine concentration profile can be observed, which decreases from the outer surface and the marrow cavity towards the inner parts of the bone matrix. Geological time spans are needed for this process to reach equilibrium and for the distribution to become uniform. As the shape of the profile, which can be described by a diffusion model, contains information on the exposure duration of the fossil object, several attempts to use fluorine profiling as a dating method have been undertaken. The distribution of fluorine in an archaeological sample however is strongly influenced by environmentally induced processes of bone diagenesis, i.e. alteration in the structure and composition of the mineral phase and degradation of organic components that may make the time information indistinct. The primary chemical composition of bones can thus be obscured by diagenesis within tens, hundreds or thousands of years. This depends more on the diagenetic environment than on the geological age. To observe the impact of environmental influence on the profile shape, samples from several burial sites featuring various soil conditions have been analyzed for their fluorine distribution and preservation state. The paper provides an overview on the restrictions that have to be considered when attempts are undertaken to relate a fluorine diffusion pattern to the archaeological age of a bone specimen.
Author
Author
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Author:
A A-M Gaschen
M Döbeli
A Markwitz
B Barry
S Ulrich-Bochsler
U Krähenbühl
Year of Publication
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Year of Publication:
2008
Locations
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Subjects / Periods:
Bone (Auto Detected Subject))
Burial (Auto Detected Subject))
Teeth (Auto Detected Subject))
Source
Source
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Source:
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BIAB (The British & Irish Archaeological Bibliography (BIAB))
Relations
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URI: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/03054403
Created Date
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Created Date:
21 Jul 2008