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Subject: Bone


From: Niccolo Caldararo <caldararo>
Date: Tuesday, October 9, 2001
Suzanne Fitz <suzanne_fitz [at] hms__harvard__edu> writes

>We are currently surveying and identifying over 12,000 bones from a
>medical collection.  One of the priorities is to conserve some of
>the bones before packing them in storage.  Some of the skeletal
>remains are very dusty and some are very moldy.  My questions are:
>    1.  Once the dust is brushed off, what are some further methods
>        of cleaning bone?
>    2.  What are some methods of treating bone with mold?

As one who is working in retrieving and characterizing ancient DNA
from bone material, I would ask why?  Why do you want to clean the
bone, and why consolidate.  The student of tomorrow will perhaps
find that your cleaning may destroy or remove information that might
have told her about some important aspect of the individual or
disease.  Consolidants can have a variety of effects on dating,
testing, DNA stability, etc.  See my article with Steve Gabow,
"Mitochondrial DNA analysis and the place of Neanderthals in HOMO",
Ancient Biomolecules, v. 3, 2000:135-158 for many reasons why you
want to think about this very long and hard.  If you cannot find a
copy send me a letter with your address and an envelope and I will
send you a copy.

Niccolo Caldararo
Dept. of Anthropology
San Francisco State University
1600 Holloway Ave.
San Francisco, Ca. 94132

                  Conservation DistList Instance 15:30
                 Distributed: Tuesday, October 9, 2001
                       Message Id: cdl-15-30-003
Received on Tuesday, 9 October, 2001

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