Strontium isotope baseline mapping

The IRHUM (Isotopic Reconstruction of Human Migration) database is a web platform to access, explore and map isotope data to investigate migration. It is maintained at the Research School of Earth Sciences, ANU.

Citation: M. Willmes, L. McMorrow, L. Kinsley, R. Armstrong, M. Aubert, S. Eggins, C. Falguères, B. Maureille, I. Moffat, R. Grün (2014), The IRHUM (Isotopic Reconstruction of Human Migration) database – bioavailable strontium isotope ratios for geochemical fingerprinting in France. Earth System Science Data 6, 117–122. doi: doi:10.5194/essd-6-117-2014

Archaeological provenance studies in France are currently limited due to the lack of baseline strontium isotope maps. This online database allows the user to explore and map isotopic datasets and exchange data in a variety of formats. It is based on the open source software GeoNode (Boundless) and all modifications are tracked in GitHub, to allow future developments. To ensure the longevity of the dataset it is deposited in the Pangaea data repository (doi:10.1594/PANGAEA.819142). Since strontium isotope ratios are used as a geochemical tracer in a wide range of fields outside of archaeology, including ecology, soil, food and forensic sciences, the IRHUM database will hopefully prove to be a useful tool for the wider science community and encourage collaboration between the different fields of science for geochemical fingerprinting. The data found in the IRHUM database can be used to create bioavailable 87Sr/86Sr isotope maps of France for archaeological provenance studies. A manuscript outlining this mapping is currently is preparation.

Funding was provided by ARC DP110101415 (Grün, Spriggs, Armstrong, Maureille and Falguères) Understanding the migrations of prehistoric populations through direct dating and isotopic tracking of their mobility patterns. Part of this research was supported by the Australian French Association for Science & Technology through the ACT Science Fellowship program (2013).