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My students are active in forensic geology and geoarchaeology. Because “you are what you eat” we can exploit the Sr isotopic composition of an individual’s teeth to understand migration history. We use this regularly in the study of ancient populations to explore, for example, slave trade. A new project in collaboration with Dr. Lee Boushell (UNC School of Dentistry) seeks to combine knowledge of tooth mineralization to expand the utility of isotope studies in forensic science. In addition to teeth, we use isotope geochemistry of stone tools, metal artifacts and pottery to unravel trade and exchange networks among ancient civilizations.


Recent Publications

Standen, V.G., Valenzuela, D., Monsalve, S., Santoro, C., Arriaza, B. and Coleman, D., 2018, Prehistoric polydactylism: Biological evidence and rock art representation from the Atacama Desert in northern Chile: submitted to International Journal of Paleopathology, v. 22, p. 54-65, doi:10.10163/j-ijpp-2018.05.005.

Standen, V.G., Arriaza, B., Santoro, C.M. and Coleman, D., 2017, Habitation and mobility patterns of Chinchorro populations of the Atacama Desert (9000-3000 BP): Geoarchaeology, doi 10.1002/gea.21594.

Perry, M.A., Coleman, D.S., Dettman, D.L. and al-Shiyab, A.H., 2009, An isotopic perspective on the transport of Byzantine mining camp laborers into southwestern Jordan: American Journal of Physical Anthropology, in press, 18 ms p., 7 figs., 6 tables.

Perry, M. A., Coleman, D. S. and Delhopital, N., 2008, Mobility and exile at 2nd century A.D. Khirbet Edh-Dharih: Strontium isotope analysis of human migration in western Jordan, Geoarchaeology, v. 23, no. 4, p. 524-549.

Goodman, A., Jones, J., Reid, J., Mack, M. Blakey, M., Amarasiriwardena, D., Burton P. and Coleman, D., 2004, Isotopic and elemental chemistry of teeth: Implications for places of birth, forced migration patterns, nutritional status and pollution: in Blakey, M. L. and Rankin-Hill, L. M. (eds.) New York African Burial Ground Skeletal Biology Report, Volume 1, Howard University, Washington, D.C., p. 217-268.

Drew Coleman
Subvolcanic magma accumulation rates and links between plutonic and volcanic rocks
Rates of zircon transport in the modern Amazon River
Cretaceous time scale geochronology