• Blood Residues on Archaeological Objects - A Conservation Perspective

      Wilson, Andrew S.; Tuross, N.; Wachowiak, M.J. (1996)
    • Limits and possibilities in the geolocation of humans using multiple isotope ratios (H, O, N, C) of hair from east coast cities of the USA

      Reynard, L.M.; Burt, N.; Koon, Hannah E.C.; Tuross, N. (2016-07)
      We examined multiple natural abundance isotope ratios of human hair to assess biological variability within and between geographic locations and, further, to determine how well these isotope values predict location of origin. Sampling locations feature differing seasonality and mobile populations as a robust test of the method. Serially-sampled hair from Cambridge, MA, USA, shows lower δ2 H and δ18 O variability over a one-year time course than model-predicted precipitation isotope ratios, but exhibits considerable differences between individuals. Along a ∼13° northsouth transect in the eastern USA (Brookline, MA, 42.3 ° N, College Park, MD, 39.0 ° N, and Gainesville, FL, 29.7 ° N) δ18 O in human hair shows relatively greater differences and tracks changes in drinking water isotope ratios more sensitively than δ2 H. Determining the domicile of humans using isotope ratios of hair can be confounded by differing variability in hair δ18 O and δ2 H between locations, differential incorporation of H and O into this protein and, in some cases, by tap water δ18 O and δ2 H that differ significantly from predicted precipitation values. With these caveats, randomly chosen people in Florida are separated from those in the two more northerly sites on the basis of the natural abundance isotopes of carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen, and oxygen.
    • The Dutch whalers: a test of a human migration in the oxygen, carbon and nitrogen isotopes of cortical bone collagen

      Koon, Hannah E.C.; Tuross, N. (2013)
      Human migration is a hallmark of the species and there is significant interest in methods that can determine the past migrations of humans and associated fauna. We present a new method that utilizes collagen oxygen, carbon and nitrogen isotopes from histologically informed samples of cortical bone. The utility of this multi-isotopic, life history approach is demonstrated in migrating Dutch whalers, and both the possibilities and limitations of the method are described.