Academic report by Michael P. Richard in Institute of Archaeology: Tracing Past human and animal migrations using strontium isotope analysis
On the morning of 13th, June of 2012 Professor Michael P. Richard from the Department of Anthropology, UBC in Canada gave an academic report about Tracing Past human and animal migrations using strontium isotope analysis. The symposium was presided over by Professor Yuan Jing from the Center of Scientific Archaeology, Institute of Archaeology, CASS, who first gave an introduction.
Professor Richard graduated from the department of anthropology and Geography of Oxford University in UK and received the PhD degree in 1998. His main research field focuses on tracing the diet of ancient human population using isotope analysis. He has published more than 100 articles in Archaeometry and Journal of Archaeological Science etc. Recently Professor Richard transfers his research to tracing ancient human and animal migrations using strontium isotope analysis.
In this symposium Professor Richard firstly introduced the principle of Strontium isotope analysis and then presented the research of the migration of Reindeer and Bison in North America using the Strontium isotope analysis which approve the technology effective. The research team led by Professor Richard also applies such technology to the analysis of teeth from the Neanderthal and they can greatly diminish the damage to the sample with the technology of Laser ablation+MS. Another case study introduced by Professor Richard was the analysis of the sample from the enamel of the Australopithecines found in the Sterkfontein Cave Site using Strontium isotope analysis and Oxygen isotope analysis, which indicates most of the female individuals from this cave site is not local and suggests the australopithecines population lives a lifestyle close to the Chimpanzee.
Professor Richard’s presentation aroused the interest of the audience. Many scholars and graduate students had a hot discussion and comprehensive communication with Professor Richard. After the symposium Professor Richard visited the SEM lab, the lab of Environmental Archaeology, the Dating lab and the lab of chemical analysis of Center of Scientific Archaeology and had a good communication with the research staff from these labs. (Translator: Li Zhipeng)