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Skeletal Evidence of Torture: How can the past help the present?

CollectionsANU Student Research Conference (2nd : 2016 : Canberra, ACT)
Title: Skeletal Evidence of Torture: How can the past help the present?
Author(s): Tasker, Victoria
Keywords: student research conference
biological anthropology
skeletal
torture
Date published: 14-Jul-2016
Publisher: Australian National University
Description: 
Isotopes identified in various materials and substances can reveal a great amount of information about the environment, peoples, cultures, and most appropriately here, biology. This paper will use 14C isotope values in human tissue to further understand tissue turnover. Atmospheric 14C values are reflected in human tissue due to the direct influence of humans eating plants that absorb atmospheric carbon and animals that eat said plants and are then eaten by humans. Nuclear testing in the early 1960s doubled the amount of atmospheric carbon and did so until testing ceased in1963 due to the implementation of the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Atmospheric carbon has been gradually declining ever since this peak. Due to this significant rise and resulting decrease in atmospheric carbon and its parallel in human 14C values, tissues can effectively be given an age and therefore a formation date. Tissue turnover will be examined in different types of brain tissue, adipose tissue and tendon tissue. Understanding tissue turnover could lead to advances in scientific research on specific pathologies and eventually lead to their prevention. The limitations of using 14C values from the nuclear testing 14C graph have their own implications and as such, are explored thoroughly. A tangible future of this method may be uncertain but it is clear that, while still possible, it should be utilized to its full extent.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1885/109099

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