By creating a map of strontium isotope ratios across a geographical area and comparing that with those found in a bone fragment, scientists can determine a human or animal’s place of origin — or at least where they spent the majority of the last 10 years before they died.
In this study, the researchers identified bone fragments belonging to 25 distinct individuals that had been buried at Stonehenge. The strontium isotope analysis revealed that the bones of 15 of these people exhibited the same strontium isotope ratio that existed in the area around the monument.
The results from the other 10, however, showed that these people did not consume food grown in the local area alone.
…The researchers can’t be totally sure where these 10 people came from, but the strontium isotope ratios in their bones are consistent with a region in west Wales that is known to be the source of some of the stones in the monument.
Further analysis also suggested that the wood fuel that was used to cremate some of these people did not come from the area around the monument either.