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Title: Testing LA-ICP-MS analysis of archaeological bones with different diagenetic histories for paleodiet prospect
Authors: Maurer, Anne-France
Barrulas, Pedro
Person, Alain
Mirão, José
Barrocas Dias, Cristina
Boudouma, Omar
Segalen, Loïc
Keywords: Trace elements
Issue Date: Nov-2019
Publisher: Elsevier
Abstract: LA-ICP-MS is a powerful technique requiring minimal sample preparation and providing high spatial resolution which may offer the possibility of analysing trace elements in targeted pristine areas of archaeological bone sections. This would provide invaluable information about an individual's life if combined with the geochemical composition of the teeth from the same individual. However, there is no consensus regarding the calibration to be used for LA-ICP-MS analysis of bone, which is a highly complex organo-mineral tissue. In this study, we tested different calibration approaches (NIST and USGS glass series, synthetic phosphate glass and synthetic phosphate pellet from USGS) on a modern bone. The best method was applied to three Precolumbian skeletons (Lerma Valley, Mexico). These individuals show different degrees of preservation (crystallinity, calcite, F and organic matter content) which have been previously explored at the intra-skeletal level. A bone sample with exceptional preservation from the Dogon Country (Mali) was analysed for comparison. Based on BSE SEM images and element distribution of the bone sections obtained via LA-ICP-MS mapping, quantification of Ca, P, Li, Zn, V, U, Na, Mg, Sr and Ba was performed using LA-ICP-MS spot analysis on areas displaying varying concentration profiles and histological preservation. Although avoiding sampling at the external margin of the bone sections may minimize diagenetic Li, Zn, V, U, Sr and Ba, it was not possible to discriminate biological from diagenetic Sr adsorbed onto the bone crystallites of the best preserved Precolumbian skeleton, whose low crystallinity favored adsorption efficiency. In contrast, the well preserved Dogon sample, as well as the most altered Precolumbian skeletons provided Sr and Ba content roughly similar to concentrations obtained using bulk analysis. LA-ICP-MS can therefore not substitute solution analysis for paleodiet prospect, especially for bones in relatively early state of diagenetic transformations.
Type: article
Appears in Collections:HERCULES - Publicações - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais Com Arbitragem Científica

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