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Intra- and inter-tooth variation in strontium isotope ratios from prehistoric seals by laser ablation multi-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry
Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Geology.
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2018 (English)In: Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, ISSN 0951-4198, E-ISSN 1097-0231, Vol. 32, p. 1215-1224Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Rationale

Strontium isotope ratios (87Sr/86Sr) in modern‐day marine environments are considered to be homogeneous (~0.7092). However, in the Baltic Sea, the Sr ratios are controlled by mixing seawater and continental drainage from major rivers discharging into the Baltic. This pilot study explores if variations in Sr can be detected in marine mammals from archaeological sites in the Baltic Sea.               

Methods

87Sr/86Sr ratios were measured in tooth enamel from three seal species by laser ablation multi‐collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA‐MC‐ICP‐MS). The method enables micro‐sampling of solid materials. This is the first time that the method has been applied to marine samples from archaeological collections.               

Results

The analyses showed inter‐tooth 87Sr/86Sr variation suggesting that different ratios can be detected in different regions of the Baltic Sea. Furthermore, the intra‐tooth variation suggests possible different geographic origin or seasonal movement of seals within different regions in the Baltic Sea through their lifetime.               

Conclusions

The method was successfully applied to archaeological marine samples showing that: (1) the 87Sr/86Sr ratio in marine environments is not uniform, (2) 87Sr/86Sr differences might reflect differences in ecology and life history of different seal species, and (3) archaeological mobility studies based on 87Sr/86Sr ratios in humans should therefore be evaluated together with diet reconstruction.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 32, p. 1215-1224
National Category
Geochemistry Archaeology
Research subject
Man and the environment; The changing Earth
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:nrm:diva-2981DOI: 10.1002/rcm.8158OAI: oai:DiVA.org:nrm-2981DiVA, id: diva2:1267068
Available from: 2018-11-30 Created: 2018-11-30 Last updated: 2018-11-30Bibliographically approved

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Publisher's full texthttps://doi.org/10.1002/rcm.8158

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1718192021222320 of 24
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