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Title: Potential of Bioapatite Hydroxyls for Research on Archeological Burned Bone
Authors: Mamede, Adriana P. 
Vassalo, Ana R. 
Piga, Giampaolo 
Cunha, Eugénia 
Parker, Stewart F. 
Marques, M. Paula M. 
Carvalho, Luís A. E. Batista de 
Gonçalves, David 
Issue Date: 2-Oct-2018
Volume: 90
Issue: 19
Abstract: The estimation of the maximum temperature affecting skeletal remains was previously attempted via infrared techniques. However, fossilization may cause changes in the composition of bones that replicate those from burned bones. We presently investigated the potential of three OH/P indices (intensity ratios of characteristic infrared bands for OH and phosphate groups, respectively) to identify bones burned at high temperatures (>800 °C) and to discriminate between fossil and burned archeological bones, using vibrational spectroscopy: combined inelastic neutron scattering (INS) and FTIR-ATR. The INS analyses were performed on two unburned samples and 14 burned samples of human femur and humerus. FTIR-ATR focused on three different samples: (i) modern bones comprising 638 unburned and 623 experimentally burned (400-1000 °C) samples; (ii) archeological cremated human skeletal remains from the Bronze and Iron Ages comprising 25 samples; and (iii) fossil remains of the Reptilia class from the Middle Triassic to the Eocene. The OH/P indices investigated were 630 cm-1/603 cm-1, 3572 cm-1/603 cm-1, and 3572 cm-1/1035 cm-1. The OH signals became visible in the spectra of recent and archeological bones burned between 600 and 700 °C. Although they have episodically been reported in previous works, no such peaks were observed in our fossil samples thus suggesting that this may be a somewhat rare event. While high crystallinity index values should always correspond to clearly visible hydroxyl signals in burned bone samples, this is not always the case in fossils which may be used as a criterion to exclude burning as the agent responsible for high crystallinity ratios.
ISSN: 1520-6882
DOI: 10.1021/acs.analchem.8b02868
Rights: restrictedAccess
Appears in Collections:I&D CIAS - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais

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