Advances in Isotope Ratio and related analyses for mapping migrations from Prehistory to the Viking Age

13 June 2022 09:00-18:00, London, United Kingdom

Joint Meeting of the Royal Society of Chemistry & Society of Antiquaries, Monday 13th June 2022

One day Discussion meeting to be held at the Royal Society of Chemistry, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London. Organised by Steve Harding (Universities of Nottingham, Oslo & FRSC), Mark Pearce (University of Nottingham & FSA) & Chas Jones (Fulford Battlefield Society & MRSC)
The meeting is in honour of J.D. Bu'Lock (1928–1996), founding Chairman of the RSC Biotechnology Group and distinguished Viking Age antiquarian.

Purpose: Recent advances in analytical methods - in particular solid state mass spectroscopic analysis - have increased the potential of stable isotope ratio of biological (using principally carbon, oxygen, nitrogen and strontium isotopes) and non-biological (glass/ metal) analysis, using principally strontium and lead isotopes. This will hopefully catalyse the establishment of international isotope ratio geo-databases of high resolution data (such as the lead isotope database GlobaLID and similar to the highly successful protein data bank in molecular biology) which when sufficiently populated will ultimately allow the resolution of important questions regarding diet, historical movements, trade routes - and the provenance or origins of people and objects.
There will be a poster session (please see details on the file attached) and the J.D. Bu'Lock poster prize will be awarded to the best poster

10.00-10.25     Registration, Coffee and Welcome
10.25-10.40     Opening remarks:  Martin Millett (President of the Council, Society of Antiquaries) & Steve Harding (Royal Society of Chemistry Biotechnology Group)

Session I: Advances in Instrumentation & the need to create extensive isotope databases
Chair: Mark Pearce
10.40-11.00     Jane Evans (British Geological Survey, Notts UK) All models are wrong, but some are useful”. Construction and use of spatially distributed multi isotope datasets
11.00-11.20     Till Sonnemann (Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg) Isotopes, Isoscapes, and the Search for Geographic Origins: unrealized potential or unrealistic expectations?
11.20-11.40     Yiu-Kang Hsu (Deutsches Bergbau-Museum Bochum) GlobaLID: a FAIR lead isotope database 
11.40-12.00     Mark Jobling (School of Genetics, University of Leicester) Past human population migrations: lessons from genomes, ancient and modern
12.00-12.10     Discussion

12.10-12.30  Poster introductions – 3 mins each Chair: Chas Jones

12.30-13.20  Lunch and poster viewing
13.20:  Award of the J.D. Bu'Lock poster prize

Session II: Geo-distribution data and databanks for stable isotopes
Chair: Gilberto Artioli
13.30-13.50     Liz Bailey (University of Nottingham) The merits of quadrupole-based mass spectrometers for isotope analysis
13.50-14.10     Janet Montgomery (University of Durham) Diet, migration and isotopes 
14.10-14.30     Julian Henderson (University of Nottingham) Neodymium, strontium and boron isotopes in ancient glasses: new information about raw material use and provenance
14.30-14.50     Stephen Merkel (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam & University of Oxford) Application of lead isotope and elemental modelling in reconstructing long-distance trade of Viking-period silver
14.50-15.00     Discussion

15.00-15.20     (Coffee/Tea)

Chair: Patrick Degryse
15.20-15.40     Gilberto Artioli (University of Padua) A geologically based database of lead isotopes: updates and applications
15.40-16.00     Daniel Berger (Curt-Engelhorn-Zentrum Archäometrie GmbH, Mannheim) Applications of stable isotopes in archaeometallurgical research with special reference to tin isotopes
16.00-16.20     Jean Milot (ENS de Lyon & Université de Toulouse) Provenance study of Roman iron artefacts using Fe isotopes
16.20-16.30     Discussion

Concluding Remarks & Overall Discussion
16.30-17.00     Patrick Degryse (KU Leuven/ Leiden University)

Location: The meeting will take place in the Library, Burlington House (Capacity 100) and Posters/ Buffet Lunch will be in the Hinshelwood Room.   On-line participation is also possible via Teams/Zoom.

REGISTRATION:  Please click the "BOOK NOW" button at the top of the page:  

1. Attendance at the RSC, Burlington House, London  (including lunch & tea/coffee):
RSC & Society of Antiquaries members £45
Non-members  £60
Students £30
Pensioners/ persons not in employment £30
U3A: please contact

2. Attendance via Teams/Zoom  £30
U3A: please contact
The Royal Society of Chemistry

Library and Council room, The Royal Society of Chemistry, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BA, United Kingdom

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