In a novel use of EarthChem data, Giovas et al., compile results from lithological studies of Pb isotope ratios to provide a framework for assessing bioavailable lead. The underlying lithology of a region contributes directly to bioavailable Sr and Pb. These isotopes are taken up during skeletal tissue formation with very little fractionation, thus the bioavialable fractions of Sr and Pb isotopes provide a means to assess movement of introduced animals between areas. In general, values indicate that the Greater Antilles have less radiogenic Pb ratios compared to the Lesser Antilles, and these data can help narrow the identification of potential catchments and clarify non-local signatures where Sr isotope variation is insufficient and Sr fields overlap. The study contributes to the understanding of the economic and social significance of introduced Neotropical animals in the pre-Columbian Caribbean.
Figure 6. Sr and Pb ratios contextualized with published data for geologic Pb ratios in the Lesser Antilles, including the Grenadines and St. Kitts (proximate to Nevis) (http://www.earthchem.org/petdb)
Giovas, et al., 2016 Journal of Archaeological Science, 69 39-53. doi:10.1016/j.jas.2016.03.006