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Title: Human provenancing : combined isotopic and genetic profiling of limited bone and teeth material of ancient human remains
Author: Hoogewerff-Gergelj, Ana
ISNI:       0000 0004 5346 6285
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2014
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The ability to identify and to trace the origin and movement of individuals is of major interest in forensics, archaeology and anthropology. To date, DNA profiling is still the most effective approach for human identification. Despite the success story of DNA profiling, there is a constant search for additional methods to aid in the identification of human remains. In recent years increasingly strontium and lead isotopes analysis have proved particularly useful as tracers for individual residency and migration. The re-occurring problem of limited sample material in archaeological and forensic investigations led to the second objective to investigate where sample material could be saved. The development of a new method for the simultaneous extraction of both strontium and lead from bone and teeth on a single Pbspecific resin proved to be successful. Both elements could be purified in sufficient amounts for successive isotope analysis. This work also investigated for the first time the feasibility of using the remaining bone residues after DNA extraction for further Sr and Pb isotope analysis. The first isotope results were promising and did not show any significant differences between fresh bone and bone residues. However, a more extensive trial is required to validate these exciting preliminary findings. To maximize the evidence for individual identification an interdisciplinary approach was chosen for this study. DNA profiling and strontium/lead analysis were employed in two case studies on human remains from a) the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) and b) from a Late Anglo-Saxon burial in Norfolk, UK. DNA analysis proved not to be achievable due to the degraded nature of the skeletal tissues in both case studies. Strontium and lead isotope analysis could identify two possible migrants among the Spanish burial population. In the Norfolk case, isotopic evidence implied that the group was unlikely to be of local (Norfolk) origin.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available