Document Type

Poster Presentation

Publication Date

Spring 4-19-2024

Date Assignment Submitted



Infrared spectroscopy (IR) is a powerful tool in archaeology to understand the chemical composition of artifacts. Bone digenesis is the chemical and physical process by which bones degrade over time. Archeologists discovered that archaeological bones from different excavation sites have different states of physical diagenesis, depending on site conditions. Methods are needed to quantify the chemical aspect bone digenesis. We are using fish scales, from South Inlet Park in Florida as a model to test IR spectroscopy as a new method to quantify bone digenesis. In this experiment, we used excavated fish scales and categorized them into three diagenetic categories: pristine, degraded, and very degraded. We cleaned each scale, measured the length and weight, photographed, and then measured each with IR. With data from the IR, we will test if the chemical composition of the scales correlates to the diagenetic categories. Additionally, the chemical composition of the archaeological scales will be compared to modern scales, which will show if there was significant difference in the chemical composition compared to archaeological scales, if they are degrading or fossilizing. If successful, this method can be applied to research on how other types of archaeological bone are impacted by diagenesis.


Lynn University


Lynn University Student Research Symposium


Poster Presentation: Natural Science category


Boca Raton, FL


College of Arts and Sciences



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