More X-rays & More Science!!
It was a little over a year ago that Jerry Conlogue and his students from Quinnipiac University and University College Dublin, visited the Arch Street Lab in New Jersey. Jerry is an Emeritus Professor of Diagnostic Imaging and Co-Director of the Bioanthropology Research Institute at Quinnipiac University. On that visit, Jerry primarily x-rayed the coffins that we hadn’t yet excavated. We were interested in noting the position of the body and the location of any hardware (nails, handles, etc.) on or in the coffins.
This week, Jerry was back with his students. This time he also brought along Bill Hennessy, Clinical Professor of Diagnostic Imaging at Quinnipiac University and Ronald Beckett Ph.D., Professor Emeritus Biomedical Sciences and Co-Director of the Bioanthropology Research Institute at Quinnipiac University. Now that all of the individuals have been excavated from the coffins, we were interested in getting images of some of the remains, especially the jaws of our juveniles. (Figure 1) Looking at the dental development of the teeth inside the mandibles, as well as the teeth that have already erupted, can help us narrow down the age of the individuals. (Figure 2 and Figure 3 and Figure 4).
We not only had access to x-ray imaging for our individuals, but also XRF. This stands for X-ray fluorescence, and is a non-destructive method of determining the elemental composition of an object. Ron arranged for a portable XRF “gun” from Bruker Elemental to be shipped to the Mütter for this project. We had questions about some mystery materials on our remains. One individual (G-322) had some metallic stains on their vertebrae (Figure 5A and 5B). The XRF analysis indicated the presence of iron and a small amount of sulphur (Figure 6). This could indicate that our stains may actually by pyrite, or Fool’s Gold. (FeS²).
We were able to obtain wonderful x-rays of some of our objects and individuals that will help inform us about this population. The XRF data will also help us as we move forward with further analysis. We are so grateful to Quinnipiac University and the University of Dublin in providing us with these talented professionals and dedicated students. We are also grateful to Bruker Elemental and to Kubtec Medical Imaging, who provided the x-ray equipment for this project as well as last year’s work.
Layne Cassidy, Radiologic Sciences Student, Quinnipiac University
Nicole Modell, Radiologic Sciences Student, Quinnipiac University
Eileen O’Connor, Radiologic Sciences Student, Quinnipiac University
Alexis Theodorakis, Radiologic Sciences Student, Quinnipiac University
Chelsea Werner, Radiologic Sciences Student, Quinnipiac University
Nicole Zaleski, Radiologic Sciences Student, Quinnipiac University
John Leach, Kubtec