UCL logo

UCL Discovery

UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Use of micro-computed tomography imaging and porosity measurements as indicators of collagen preservation in archaeological bone

Tripp, JA; Squire, ME; Hedges, REM; Stevens, RE; (2018) Use of micro-computed tomography imaging and porosity measurements as indicators of collagen preservation in archaeological bone. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology , 511 pp. 462-471. 10.1016/j.palaeo.2018.09.012.

[img] Text
Tripp_etal_2018_microCT_manuscript.pdf - ["content_typename_Accepted version" not defined]
Access restricted to UCL open access staff until 14 September 2019.

Download (2MB)

Abstract

Collagen isolated from archaeological bone is a common material for radiocarbon dating, stable isotope analysis, and zooarchaeology by mass spectrometry (ZooMS). However, not all bones contain extant collagen, leading to unnecessary destruction of unproductive bones and wasted laboratory time and resources. An aim of this research is to study bone diagenesis, particularly collagen destruction, in an effort to develop a minimally destructive method for identifying bones with high collagen content. In a multi-method study of variably preserved bones from Etton, Cambridgeshire, UK, we examined material properties of Neolithic cattle and sheep bones including porosity, surface area, and elemental composition. Micro-computed tomography (microCT) is an imaging technique that furnishes three-dimensional images of mineralized materials such as bone. Cortical bone porosity, the percentage of total bone volume consisting of empty space as calculated using microCT, can act as a proxy for bone collagen preservation. In general, bones with high cortical porosity are unlikely to contain sufficient collagen for further analysis. Bones with apparently low cortical porosity have a more varied range of collagen preservation. Bone samples with low porosity and no extant collagen often contain micropores with a diameter of 10 nm or less that cannot be seen in microCT images but are apparent in pore size distributions measured by mercury porosimetry, and indicated by high surface areas measured by nitrogen adsorption. Furthermore, a re-evaluation of light-induced breakdown spectroscopy data from this same assemblage confirms that ratios of calcium to fluorine may likewise indicate the state of diagenesis.

Type: Article
Title: Use of micro-computed tomography imaging and porosity measurements as indicators of collagen preservation in archaeological bone
DOI: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2018.09.012
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2018.09.012
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Micro-computed tomography, Light-induced breakdown spectroscopy, BET nitrogen adsorption, Mercury porosimetry, Bone diagenesis, Cortical porosity, Bone collagen, Radiocarbon dating, Stable isotope analysis
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10060171
Downloads since deposit
0Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item