Nitrogen isotope dating
Strontium (Sr) is a pure metal with many stable and unstable isotopes.
It may not identify the person per se, but it may lead the investigation and thus the human and financial resources in that direction.
This is important when resources are scares and there is no money to explore every single lead the investigation opens.
An organism takes in isotopes throughout its lifetime, replacing them as the tissues (e.g., skin, hair, bone) are replaced.
Different tissues are replaced at different rates, but at death, the tissues stop integrating isotopes because they stop growing altogether.
For further information on our isotope analyses for archaeological science please Email us or use our quote form.
Isotopes are different forms of an element that share the same chemical properties, but that differ in mass and the number of neutrons they contain.
For this reason, carbon can be used to determine the kind of environment an individual came from and their likely diet.
Nitrogen (N) is also present in the atmosphere, but is incorporated into the tissues of plants through nitrogen fixation, a process that converts nitrogen into ammonia, an essential part of synthesis.
For both elements, the ratio of their isotopes varies with temperature and climate and comparisons can be used to determine if an individual moved to different geographic areas during their lifetime or if two or more people are from the same area (and drank the same water).