Study of Preservation Status and Dietary Reconstruction in Human Remains Recovered from Roopkund Lake through Chemical Analysis of Faunal Remains

Document Type : Research Article


Department of History and Archaeology, H. N. B Garhwal University, Uttarakhand , India


The Present study carried out on the bone samples collected from Roopkund Lake in Chamoli Garhwal, Uttarakhand, which is located 5029 meters from main sea level in between Nanda Ghunghti and Trishuli peak. This historical site belongs to the 9th century A.D.  All the samples selected for the study were dried in room temperature, as well as in hot air ovens at 32 degree Celsius. The Cleaning, pretreatment and digestion process of all faunal remains was done through established scientific methods.  Chemical analysis i.e. concentration of different elements such as  calcium, strontium, barium, magnesium and zinc as well as isotopic ratios of Carbon and Nitrogen was estimated with the help of Inductively Coupled Plasma Spectroscopy (ICP) and Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer (AAS).
The results obtained from the chemical analysis are significant. On the basis of concentration of different elements and ratios of Nitrogen and Carbon isotopes, the dietary habits of the peoples buried in the Roopkund Lake have been identified, although it differs from sample to sample and person to person. Besides this, the results are also significantly helpful for knowing the preservation status of faunal remains in Roopkund Lake. Finally this study also indicated the potentiality of chemical analysis for reconstructing the palaeodiet behaviour and preservation status of bone remains.


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