Bone dating

Bone is one of the most complicated materials to date reliably.

Excavations at Teouma, Vanuatu (Photo courtesy Dr. Stuart Bedford, Australian National University)

Associate Professor Fiona Petchey's research into this material has highlighted the importance of ensuring all bone is sufficiently well-preserved prior to dating. At Waikato we use a range of quality assurance data and the latest ultrafiltration pretreatment methodology to ensure our bone dates are highly accurate. We also assess every bone for dietary uptake as marine, reef and/or terrestrial foods influence the final calendar age interpretation.

Selected publications:

  • Oliveira, S., K. Nägele, S. Carlhoff, I. Pugach, T. Koesbardiati, A. Hübner, M. Meyer, A.A. Oktaviana, M. Takenaka, C. Katagiri, D.B. Murti, R.S. Putri, Mahirta, F. Petchey, T. Higham, C.F.W. Higham, S. O’Connor, S. Hawkins, R. Kinaston, P. Bellwood, R. Ono, A. Powell, J. Krause, C. Posth and M. Stoneking, 2022. Ancient genomes from the last three millennia support multiple human dispersals into Wallacea. Nature Ecology & Evolution,
  • Lipson, M., Spriggs, M., Valentin, F., Bedford, S., Shing, R., Zinger, W., Buckley, H., Petchey, F. Matanic, R., Cheronet, O., Rohland, N., Pinhasi, R., Reich, D., 2020. Three phases of ancient migration shaped the ancestry of human populations in Vanuatu. Current Biology,
  • Littleton J, F Petchey, K Walshe, FD Pate, 2017. A preliminary re-dating of the Holocene Roonka burials, south-eastern Australia. Archaeology in Oceania, 52(2):98-107.
  • Petchey, F, M Spriggs, S Bedford, F Valentin, 2015. The chronology of occupation at Teouma, Vanuatu: Use of a modified chronometric hygiene protocol and Bayesian modeling to evaluate midden remains. Journal of Archaeological Science-Reports, 4:95-105.
  • Petchey, F, M Spriggs, S Bedford, F Valentin, H Buckley, 2014. Radiocarbon dating of burials from the Teouma Lapita cemetery, Efate, Vanuatu. Journal of Archaeological Science, 50:227-242.
  • Petchey F, M Spriggs, F Leach, M Seed, C Sand, M Pietrusewsky, K Anderson, 2011. Testing the human factor: Radiocarbon dating the first peoples of the South Pacific. Journal of Archaeological Science, 38:29-44.