Thesis abstract ‘Bones, Bones, Bones; What Secrets do they Keep? Examining the Feasibility of Using Trace Elements and Rare Earth Elements to Determine Geographical Differences of Archaeological Remains’

17th November 2013

Ian Scott

BA(Hons), School of Social Science, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, November 2004

The provenancing of unprovenanced human remains is an issue of increasing concern to anthropologists, archaeologists and indigenous communities. A range of techniques is currently employed to determine the origin of unprovenanced human remains. However, the techniques currently available are either too broad or too specific in the scale of data resolution. There is a need for a method that will help place the remains in a more specific geographical area than is already possible.

This pilot study examines the feasibility of using trace elements and rare earth elements to determine geographical difference of archaeological remains. Non-human bone material from two sites, Platypus Rockshelter in southeast Queensland and Grinding Groove Cave in central Queensland are used as case studies. As this is a pilot study limited by the availability of resources, it does not produce a set of elements that are unique to the sites. However, this study demonstrates that it is feasible to separate archaeological remains from sites in different geographical areas with the use of trace elements and rare earth elements.

Scott, I.
Thesis abstract 'Bones, Bones, Bones; What Secrets do they Keep? Examining the Feasibility of Using Trace Elements and Rare Earth Elements to Determine Geographical Differences of Archaeological Remains'
2005
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