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What can Strontium isotope analysis tell about Tollund Man?

Der udtages nogle hårstrå til Strontium analyse.

Hair strands are extracted for strontium isotope analysis. Photo Museum Silkeborg.

Strontium is a trace element that is present in our surrounding environment. The amount of strontium varies from region to region, and a region’s level of strontium, so to say, leaves an imprint in human’s bones and hair. The strontium level in the inner centimetre of our hair, for example, will show where we have been for the past month. If the sample is taken from the part of the skeleton that was formed in early childhood, the sample may say something about where a person grew up.

In January 2016, Museum Silkeborg extracted a small sample of hair in the hopes that a strontium analysis will be able to reveal his whereabouts two months prior to his death. Samples were also extracted from his femur, which will be able to tell us of his whereabouts for the last decade of his life. We are still anxiously awaiting the results.