Geochemical Analysis of Cremated Bone from River Styx


This is an abstract from the "SAA 2019: General Sessions" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

River Styx, a Middle Woodland (ca. AD 100-300) ceremonial center located in North Central Florida, is currently the only known site in prehistoric Florida where cremation was the sole form of deposition of human remains. Previous analysis of material remains from the site indicate extra-local connections up into the Ohio Hopewell and Great Lakes regions. To explore these connections further, we utilize tools of geochemistry on well preserved fragments of recovered cremated bone. Recent advancements in strontium isotope studies have demonstrated that calcined bone retains in vivo signatures and therefore allows for potential analysis of residential mobility. We use a new approach, based on trace element data, to assess postmortem diagenesis in the bone samples. Using multi-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (MC-ICP-MS) we determined an average 87Sr/86Sr value of 0.70981 (± 0.0005) in cremated bones from multiple individuals (n=22). At present, these data are consistent with 87Sr/86Sr values determined for contemporary sites in the region using non-cremated bone, and our results suggest largely local status of the study individuals buried at River Styx.

Cite this Record

Geochemical Analysis of Cremated Bone from River Styx. Kylie Williamson, George Kamenov, Neill Wallis, John Krigbaum. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 449894)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -93.735; min lat: 24.847 ; max long: -73.389; max lat: 39.572 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 24988