Year of Award


Document Type

Professional Paper

Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name


Department or School/College

Department of Anthropology

Committee Chair

Kelly J. Dixon

Commitee Members

David B. Bolstad


Alfred Lucas, artifacts, Bone conservation, chicken bones, conservation, conservation experiment, isotopic analysis, paraffin, pig bones, preservation


University of Montana


Fragile bone materials are ubiquitous in archaeological museum and forensic settings. Although there are many chemical and industrial options for conservation, these may adversely affect the bone objects undergoing preservative treatment. Here, paraffin is explored as a biologically friendly alternative to bone material conservation. Modern domestic pig ribs were subjected to paraffin treatment and then to isotopic analysis to quantify and investigate the chemical effects of paraffin. Although the results showed that paraffin had a limited impact, the sample size proved too small to display the definitive parameters of paraffin’s effects. The results were nevertheless compelling enough to warrant more research with a greater sample size.



© Copyright 2011 Victoria E. Luksha