Stable Isotope Mapping

Stable Isotope analysis has established itself as a standard tool in the archaeological sciences to trace the geographic movement of people, and improve our understanding of historic migration patterns. Currently, isotope variation maps for different isotopes (strontium, oxygen, and lead) are being created for many regions of the world. The maps vary from one type of isotope to another, being depended e.g. on different attributes from geology, distance to the sea. Together with Colleagues from Leiden and Konstanz University we’ve therefore correlated a Caribbean strontium map with an oxygen counterpart of the region (Laffoon et al. 2016, Laffoon, Sonnemann & Shafie et al. 2016), with the intention to narrow down the area of potential origin of archaeological samples, providing results based on the likelihood where they could have come from.

While the isotope information on regions are being extended, we are working on the development of  an online media platform to provide isotope specialists the opportunity entering their georeferenced stable isotope measurements into a database and compare them with existing maps, to narrow down the location of potential origin of the samples.