Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Master of Arts

Program

Anthropology

Supervisor

Dr. Eldon Molto

Abstract

Previous work, by this and other authors, noted several elements in bones and teeth are distributed non-uniformly. It was theorized that elemental distributions may be accentuated in the case of bacterial infections. Regions of bone surrounding Dental Abscess and Tuberculosis lesions were identified from, Varden (AdHa-1) and LeVesconte, Ontario; San Pedro, Belize and Kellis II Cemetery, Egypt. The abscess cavities were excised intact and cross-sectioned through the identified lesion.

Elemental distributions in the bones were obtained using Synchrotron X-ray Fluorescence mapping. Maps of Zinc, Copper, Iron and Bromine were collected from the samples. The elements included in this study displayed no correlation between distribution patterns and the presence of a dental abscess. This conclusion is limited to the elements studied. Other elements or possible effects on bone structure, crystallinity or elemental chemistry will need to be addressed in future work. However, it was found that Zinc concentration correlates with active bone formation areas.


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