The Use of Isotopes by Forensic Anthropologists and Archaeologists for the Analysis of Human Remains: An Exploratory Study

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Lloyd, Emma
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Stable isotope analysis, a common tool in ecology, was applied to bioarchaeology shortly after its inception. In more recent years, stable isotope analysis has been used by forensic anthropologists to help aid in missing persons cases by providing additional leads. With more researchers utilizing this technique, the lack of consistency and standards between the two fields as well as different laboratories have become prevalent. This anonymous survey was designed to help determine those differences in practices to aid in creating a set of standards. It was sent out to many types of researchers, seven of whom responded, who were conducting stable isotope analysis in either archaeology or forensic anthropology. Even with the small number of participants, there were clear similarities and differences between each researcher. These differences help to highlight the growing need for standards among practices in stable isotope analysis.