Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Different preparation techniques – similar results? On the quality of thin-ground sections of archaeological bone
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Osteoarchaeological Research Laboratory.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Osteoarchaeological Research Laboratory.
2015 (English)In: International journal of osteoarchaeology, ISSN 1047-482X, E-ISSN 1099-1212, Vol. 25, no 6, 935-945 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Palaeohistology as a valuable diagnostic instrument is dependent on the production of high-quality thin-ground sections from dry bone. The objective of this study was to consider technical differences and assess the qualitative outcomes of five techniques for preparing thin-ground sections from dry archaeological bone. Established techniques with long follow-up times and excellently documented results were compared with simpler and cheaper time-saving techniques. Evaluations were made of the quality of thin sections obtained by one classical machine-based embedding technique, two revised versions of the same technique, one manual moulding technique based on Frost's rapid technique and one manual hybrid technique. Five osteological specimens of differing quality were prepared following the manuals for these five techniques and examined microscopically with respect to a list of standardised histological and diagenetic parameters. Alterations in the specimens attributable to preparation effects were recorded, and observations were scored with reference to three criteria: section quality, technical quality and staining. The results show that embedding techniques are to prefer. Superglue should not be used as a mounting or embedding medium. Manual grinding comes with several limitations, and machine cutting and grinding are preferred. Haematoxylin staining can be successfully applied to embedded specimens, giving more information on microscopic diagenetic processes. A stepwise manual for a revision of the classical embedding technique is presented. The time required for producing sections using classical embedding techniques is shortened from 6 weeks to 3.7 days by refining the preparation/polymerization processes involved with no loss of osteological data.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 25, no 6, 935-945 p.
Keyword [en]
dry bone, histology, microscopy, moulding, embedding, manual/machine technique
National Category
History and Archaeology
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-112725DOI: 10.1002/oa.2382ISI: 000368455400014OAI: diva2:780195
Available from: 2015-01-14 Created: 2015-01-14 Last updated: 2016-02-16Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Other links

Publisher's full text

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Haas, KurtStorå, Jan
By organisation
Osteoarchaeological Research Laboratory
In the same journal
International journal of osteoarchaeology
History and Archaeology

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Altmetric score

Total: 22 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link