Stable Isotope Laboratories

These laboratories facilitate dedicated, state-of-the art stable isotope analysis of archaeological materials. The laboratories ConFlo IV Thermo® Scientific Isotope Mass Ratio Spectrometer (IRMS) coupled with a Thermo Scientific FLASH 2000 HT Elemental Analyzer for organic isotopic analysis, and a Gasbench II connected to a Thermo Scientific DELTA V IRMS for inorganic isotopic analysis. A Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometer (GC-MS) and an Isoprime® Gas Chromatography-Combustion-Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometer (GC-C-IRMS) enable analysis of leaf wax single compounds extracted from sediments and organic residues from archaeological ceramics.

We are also equipped for the isotopic analysis of water, Micromill sampling, and Fourier-Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR-ATR) on our Bruker® VERTEX 70v FTIR Spectrometer. Strontium isotope analysis is carried out as part of a close partnership with the University of Cape Town, meaning that this set of laboratories can coordinate all of the major forms of archaeological stable isotope analysis.

Click here to watch a demonstration of the sampling and pretreatment of tooth enamel for stable carbon and oxygen isotope analysis.

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