Strontium Isotope Investigation of Human Mobility based on Teeth from Cave T1

Ian Moffat, Renaud Joannes-Boyau, Les Kinsley, Malte Willmes, Rainer Grün

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Seven adult human teeth from Cave T1 were analysed for trace element concentrations using Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass
Spectronomy (LA-ICPMS) and strontium isotope compositions using Laser Ablation Multi-Collector Inductively Cou8pled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (LA-MC-ICPMS). The aim of this study was to examine whether the people buried in Cave T1 were of local or foreign origin, given the known connection of Philistine Tell es-Safi/Gath with the Aegean, Cyprus and Anatolia (e.g., Maeir 2012). The results for the burial cave specimens were compared to bioavailable 87Sr/86 Sr values obtained from soil and rock samples from key geological units throughout Israel. This comparison shows that at least four of the individuals have 87Sr/86 Sr  values that correspond to the area immediately surrounding the site. The remaining samples analysed in this study have 87Sr/86 Sr values that do not correspond to any mapped samples from Israel. This result is explained not by mobility, but as an artifact of the very low strontium concentration in these teeth, which precludes and effective correction for isobaric interferences during laser ablation analysis.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTell es-Safi/Gath II
Subtitle of host publicationExcavations and Studies
EditorsAren M. Maeir, Joe Uziel
Place of PublicationGermany
PublisherÄgypten und Altes Testament
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)9783963271281
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2020

Publication series

NameTell es-Safi/Gath II
PublisherZaphon, Münster
ISSN (Electronic)0720-9061


  • Archaeology
  • Geochemistry
  • Israel


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