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Approaches to Sample Selection for Strontium Isotope Testing Within Historic Cemetery Contexts: An Illustrative Example from the Milwaukee County Poor Farm Cemetery Project

Author(s): Shannon Freire

Year: 2017

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Summary

Strontium isotope analyses have become a vibrant frontier for historic cemetery research in the United States. Isotopic analyses can make vital contributions to our understanding of the past, particularly in the categories of demographics, temporal refinements, and individual identifications. This analytical method can be understood as a catalyst for research- similar to a catalyst in a chemical reaction. When utilized in combination with multiple lines of evidence, strontium analyses become a powerful, albeit expensive, tool. Thus, one of the most important components of strontium isotope research is sample selection. How a sample set is developed depends on the proposed research questions and what additional types of evidence are available for a given historic cemetery context. An illustrative example of how to negotiate the process of sample selection is provided within the framework of a major ongoing research project based on the Milwaukee County Poor Farm Cemetery (MCPFC) Collection.


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Approaches to Sample Selection for Strontium Isotope Testing Within Historic Cemetery Contexts: An Illustrative Example from the Milwaukee County Poor Farm Cemetery Project. Shannon Freire. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Fort Worth, TX. 2017 ( tDAR id: 435188)


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Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 224

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America