Presented in part at EGU 2010, held 2–8 April 2010 in Vienna.
2H stable isotope analysis of human tooth enamel: a new tool for forensic human provenancing?†
Article first published online: 14 MAR 2011
Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry
Volume 25, Issue 7, pages 910–916, 15 April 2011
How to Cite
Holobinko, A., Meier-Augenstein, W., Kemp, H. F., Prowse, T. and Ford, S. M. (2011), 2H stable isotope analysis of human tooth enamel: a new tool for forensic human provenancing?. Rapid Commun. Mass Spectrom., 25: 910–916. doi: 10.1002/rcm.4942
- Issue published online: 17 MAR 2011
- Article first published online: 14 MAR 2011
- Manuscript Revised: 14 JAN 2011
- Manuscript Accepted: 14 JAN 2011
- Manuscript Received: 29 NOV 2010
- Scottish Government Rural and Environment Research and Analysis Directorate. Grant Number: RERAD
Stable isotope analysis of biogenic tissues such as tooth enamel and bone mineral has become a well-recognised and increasingly important method for determining the provenance of human remains, and it has been used successfully in bio-archaeological studies as well as forensic investigations. In particular, 18O and 2H stable isotope signatures of bone and hair, respectively, are well-established proxies of climate (temperature) and source water and are therefore considered as indicators of geographic life trajectories of animals and humans. While the methodology for 2H analysis of human hair, fingernails, and bone collagen is currently used to determine human provenance, i.e. geographic origin and identify possible migration patterns, studies involving the analysis of 2H in tooth enamel appear to be nonexistent in the scientific literature. Ground tooth enamel was analysed by continuous-flow isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS) coupled on-line to a high-temperature conversion elemental analyser (TC/EA). An array of tooth enamel samples from archaeological and modern teeth has been analysed under different experimental conditions, and the results of this proof-of-concept study are presented. While no significant differences in 2H abundance were noted as a result of H exchange studies or different sample preparation protocols, no significant differences or trends in measured δ2H-values were observed either with regard to known differences in geographical provenance. We concluded that the δ2H-values obtained from tooth enamel could not be used as proxy for a person's geographical origin during adolescence. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.