Acta Anthropologica Sinica ›› 2022, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (03): 535-550.doi: 10.16359/j.1000-3193/AAS.2021.0053

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Discussion on several issues of Sr isotopic archaeology

WU Xiaotong(), ZHANG Xingxiang()   

  1. USTC Archaeometry Laboratory, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei 230026
  • Received:2020-12-08 Revised:2021-04-12 Online:2022-06-15 Published:2022-06-16
  • Contact: ZHANG Xingxiang;


This paper introduces several important theoretical and methodological issues involved with the strontium isotope archaeological research. The first is the variation pattern of strontium isotope ratios in the lithosphere and its influence on the study about human migration. Secondly, four restrictions of the strontium isotope method are addressed, the diagenetic contamination of bone and dentin samples, the overlapping effect of strontium isotope in different regions, the mixed effect of strontium isotope in teeth and bones, and the inability to identify migrant descendants. Finally, two major difficulties in the application of strontium isotope to the study of human migration are investigated. One is how to distinguish the migrant population in a site or cemetery, and the other is how to find the origin of the migrant population.

Key words: Strontium isotope, Human migration, Limitation, Multi-isotope analysis

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