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Archaeometric classification of ancient human fossil bones, with particular attention to their carbonate content, using chemometrics, thermogravimetry and ICP emission.

Tomassetti M, Marini F, Campanella L, Coppa A - Chem Cent J (2014)

Bottom Line: This allowed fossil bone samples to be differentiated, both by means of classical bidimensional and chemometric representations, namely Principal Component Analysis (PCA).In particular, two clusters were observed, attributable to samples of different antiquity.The experimental data obtained using thermogravimetry (TG-DTG) allows us to differentiate all the fossil bone samples analyzed into two separate clusters and to interpret this differentiation in terms of the observed transitions.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Chemistry, University of Rome "La Sapienza", P.le Aldo Moro, 5-00185 Rome, Italy.

ABSTRACT

Background: The potential of coupling chemometric data processing techniques to thermal analysis for formulating an "archaeometric" classification of fossil bones was investigated. Moreover, the possibility of integrating the outcomes of this approach with the results of inductively coupled plasma (ICP) emission spectroscopy for an anthropological interpretation of the observed patterns was also examined.

Results: Several fossil bone samples coming from the necropolis of El Geili, in the middle Nile, an important archaeological site, were first of all subjected to thermogravimetric (TG) and derivative thermogravimetric (DTG) analysis and the main steps of the curves were analyzed. This allowed fossil bone samples to be differentiated, both by means of classical bidimensional and chemometric representations, namely Principal Component Analysis (PCA). In particular, two clusters were observed, attributable to samples of different antiquity. In addition, inductively coupled plasma (ICP) emission spectroscopy showed that the samples in the cluster corresponding to more recent burials are characterized by a higher Zn content, suggesting a more varied diet.

Conclusions: The experimental data obtained using thermogravimetry (TG-DTG) allows us to differentiate all the fossil bone samples analyzed into two separate clusters and to interpret this differentiation in terms of the observed transitions.

No MeSH data available.


Graphical representation of thermal data according to the two parameters proposed by Szoor [[13]].
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Figure 2: Graphical representation of thermal data according to the two parameters proposed by Szoor [[13]].

Mentions: G. Szoor [13] actually carried out an interesting investigation in which it was attempted, with some success, to identify thermogravimetric parameters that could be correlated with the antiquity of the sample. His principal observation was essentially that, with increasing bone sample age, the percentage of carbonate contained in it increased while the percentage of collagen decreased. Accordingly he introduced two parameters: a coefficient (A + B) calculated on the basis of the mass loss referring to the sum of the two first thermogravimetric processes (related respectively, (A) to moisture loss and (B) to all collagen decomposition) and a fossilization coefficient (denoted as Fk), essentially obtained from the quotient between (A + B) and (C), where (C) is the mass loss linked to all carbonate decomposition. These two parameters (see Table 2) were computed using data from Table 1 and represent two parameters suggested by Szoor and represented in a binary diagram (Figure 2).


Archaeometric classification of ancient human fossil bones, with particular attention to their carbonate content, using chemometrics, thermogravimetry and ICP emission.

Tomassetti M, Marini F, Campanella L, Coppa A - Chem Cent J (2014)

Graphical representation of thermal data according to the two parameters proposed by Szoor [[13]].
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4008433&req=5

Figure 2: Graphical representation of thermal data according to the two parameters proposed by Szoor [[13]].
Mentions: G. Szoor [13] actually carried out an interesting investigation in which it was attempted, with some success, to identify thermogravimetric parameters that could be correlated with the antiquity of the sample. His principal observation was essentially that, with increasing bone sample age, the percentage of carbonate contained in it increased while the percentage of collagen decreased. Accordingly he introduced two parameters: a coefficient (A + B) calculated on the basis of the mass loss referring to the sum of the two first thermogravimetric processes (related respectively, (A) to moisture loss and (B) to all collagen decomposition) and a fossilization coefficient (denoted as Fk), essentially obtained from the quotient between (A + B) and (C), where (C) is the mass loss linked to all carbonate decomposition. These two parameters (see Table 2) were computed using data from Table 1 and represent two parameters suggested by Szoor and represented in a binary diagram (Figure 2).

Bottom Line: This allowed fossil bone samples to be differentiated, both by means of classical bidimensional and chemometric representations, namely Principal Component Analysis (PCA).In particular, two clusters were observed, attributable to samples of different antiquity.The experimental data obtained using thermogravimetry (TG-DTG) allows us to differentiate all the fossil bone samples analyzed into two separate clusters and to interpret this differentiation in terms of the observed transitions.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Chemistry, University of Rome "La Sapienza", P.le Aldo Moro, 5-00185 Rome, Italy.

ABSTRACT

Background: The potential of coupling chemometric data processing techniques to thermal analysis for formulating an "archaeometric" classification of fossil bones was investigated. Moreover, the possibility of integrating the outcomes of this approach with the results of inductively coupled plasma (ICP) emission spectroscopy for an anthropological interpretation of the observed patterns was also examined.

Results: Several fossil bone samples coming from the necropolis of El Geili, in the middle Nile, an important archaeological site, were first of all subjected to thermogravimetric (TG) and derivative thermogravimetric (DTG) analysis and the main steps of the curves were analyzed. This allowed fossil bone samples to be differentiated, both by means of classical bidimensional and chemometric representations, namely Principal Component Analysis (PCA). In particular, two clusters were observed, attributable to samples of different antiquity. In addition, inductively coupled plasma (ICP) emission spectroscopy showed that the samples in the cluster corresponding to more recent burials are characterized by a higher Zn content, suggesting a more varied diet.

Conclusions: The experimental data obtained using thermogravimetry (TG-DTG) allows us to differentiate all the fossil bone samples analyzed into two separate clusters and to interpret this differentiation in terms of the observed transitions.

No MeSH data available.