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Grundämnes-distribuering och bendensitet: En XRF-undersökning av vikingatida och medeltida lårben från fyra arkeologiska lokaler
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, Archaeology.
2014 (Swedish)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Elemental Distribution and Bone Density : an Analysis with μXRF-spectroscopy of Femur from four Archaeological Sites in Sweden dated Viking Age – Middle Ages (English)
Abstract [en]

This essay focuses on developing non-destructive methods to investigate the relationship between elemental distribution and bone porosity in archaeological bone. The skeletal material, which was analyzed, came from the archaeological sites of Skara (county of Västergötland), Varnhem (county of Västergötland), Sigtuna (county of Uppland) and Kopparsvik (county of Gotland). The essay is based on the results of a previous project, Osteoporosis och osteoarthritis, då och nu (Sten 2012). That project aimed at establishing whether medieval people, buried on the above mentioned archaeological sites, were suffersing from osteoporosis and/or osteoarthritis. This knowledge might help the medical research of today to solve the problem of possibly preventing those bone diseases. The method used was DXA-scanning, which was developed for examine osteoporosis in bone from living people. The result showed that the skeletons from the Skara site had an increased bone mineral density (BMD) compared to the skeletons from the other three sites.

This essay investigates why these skeletal remains have a higher BMD and how this affects the results of methods like DXA. In this bachelor project various X-ray instruments were used to analyze the BMD of the skeletal remains. The X-ray pictures were then modified to exhibit high and low density areas in the bone. The elemental distribution of the surface area of the neck of the femur was examined with a μXRF-spectrometer. As a complement to the μXRF-spectrometer a SEM (scanning electron microscope) was used to analyze the elemental distribution of a cross section of the femur neck. Soil samples were collected from Skara and Varnhem and analyzed by using μXRF-spectrometry to find out if there was a correlation between the elemental content of the bone and surrounding soil. The skeletal remains from Skara exhibited increased values of iron and manganese combined with higher bone density. The soil from Skara showed a high level of particularly iron. This could be the reason for the increased BMD of the individuals from Skara when using the DXA-analysis. It is likely that, in each archaeological site, iron and manganese ions have diffused from both ground water and soil into the bones and thus increased the BMD. This is especially notified of the skeletal remains of Skara.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 115 p.
Keyword [en]
Elemental distribution, bone density, μXRF-spectroscopy, X-RAY, osteoporosis
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-294164OAI: diva2:929101
External cooperation
Available from: 2016-05-18 Created: 2016-05-17 Last updated: 2016-05-18Bibliographically approved

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