Tuesday 28 September 2010

Communication over 3,550 years

If I can trust the science here (I do wonder how many assumptions are built in to the analysis), this is wonderful, isn't it? The information communicated over 3,550 years.

Amplify’d from www.bbc.co.uk

Stonehenge boy 'came from south'

Chemical tests on teeth from an ancient burial near Stonehenge indicate that the person in the grave grew up around the Mediterranean Sea.

The bones belong to a teenager who died 3,550 years ago and was buried with a distinctive amber necklace.

The conclusions come from analysis of different forms of the elements oxygen and strontium in his tooth enamel.

Most oxygen in teeth and bone comes from drinking water - which is itself derived from rain or snow.

In warm climates, drinking water contains a higher ratio of heavy oxygen (O-18) to light oxygen (O-16) than in cold climates. So comparing the oxygen isotope ratio in teeth with that of drinking water from different regions can provide information about the climate in which a person was raised.

Most rocks carry a small amount of the element strontium (Sr), and the ratio of strontium 87 and strontium 86 isotopes varies according to local geology.

Read more at www.bbc.co.uk

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