Fiona Brock

Fiona Brock
Cranfield University · Cranfield Forensic Institute

BSc, PhD

About

195
Publications
54,551
Reads
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6,274
Citations
Additional affiliations
October 2014 - February 2016
University of Oxford
Position
  • Post-doctoral research
January 2005 - October 2014
University of Oxford
Position
  • Radiocarbon laboratory chemist

Publications

Publications (195)
Article
Wood-boring insects such as the deathwatch beetle can cause significant damage to historical artefacts and timbers, but the extent of internal damage (and tunnelling activity in general) can be difficult to understand and quantify without the use of destructive sampling techniques. This study explored the potential of high-resolution photography an...
Article
Full-text available
The Promontory caves (Utah) and Franktown Cave (Colorado) contain high-fidelity records of short-term occupations by groups with material culture connections to the Subarctic/Northern Plains. This research uses Promontory and Franktown bison dung, hair, hide, and bone collagen to establish local baseline carbon isotopic variability and identify lea...
Article
The limestone islands of the Bahamian archipelago provide a challenging environment for human settlement, one that was not taken up until after AD 700. The analysis of human skeletal remains offers new insights into how this challenge was met. A substantial program of AMS ¹⁴C dating on pre-Columbian humans (n = 66) provides a robust chronological f...
Article
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Strontium isotope ratios (87 Sr/ 86 Sr) are commonly used in archeological and forensic studies to assess if humans and fauna are local to the place they were found or not. This approach is largely unexplored for wooden artifacts recovered in archeological contexts, as wood-in the rare instances it does survive-is often poorly preserved. One of the...
Chapter
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A materials science approach can illuminate our understanding of the life history of medieval stained glass windows; however, chemical analysis has been inhibited by their architectural context, preventing the removal of samples. Non-invasive techniques that can be used in situ, such as handheld/portable X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (pXRF), are...
Article
A small number of pre-Columbian black lithic carvings have been found at archaeological sites across the Caribbean, as well as in parts of neighbouring mainland South America. The identity of the material used to create these artefacts is often unknown, but suggestions include lignite, wood, petrified wood, manja(c)k, jet (or ‘jet-like’ materials)...
Article
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Physical models are required to generate the underlying algorithms that populate computer simulations of the effects of explosive fragmenting devices. These models and simulations are used for understanding weapon performance, designing buildings and optimising personal protective equipment. Previous experimental work has investigated the performan...
Article
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Pyrogenic Carbon (PyC) is ubiquitous in global environments, and is now known to form a significant, and dynamic component of the global carbon cycle, with at least some forms of PyC persisting in their depositional environment for many millennia. Despite this, the factors that determine the turnover of PyC remain poorly understood, as do the physi...
Article
Coloured enamels from the materials used in Modernist workshops from Barcelona were produced and compared to those found in the buildings to explore the reason for the reduced stability of the blue and green enamels. They were made of a lead-zinc borosilicate glass with a low softening point, reasonable stability to corrosion and matching thermal e...
Article
Laser ablation‐inductively coupled plasma‐mass spectrometry (LA‐ICP‐MS) analysis was undertaken on 37 blue glass beads excavated from a tomb in the southern Faiyum region of northern Egypt. The tomb was undisturbed, contained the remains of seven females and two children, and dated between the reigns of Amenhotep I (1525–1504 bce) and Tuthmosis III...
Article
Laser ablation‐inductively coupled plasma‐mass spectrometry (LA‐ICP‐MS) analysis was undertaken on 37 blue glass beads excavated from a tomb in the southern Faiyum region of northern Egypt. The tomb was undisturbed, contained the remains of seven females and two children, and dated between the reigns of Amenhotep I (1525–1504 bce) and Tuthmosis III...
Article
Stained glass is a fragile component of our Cultural Heritage. In particular, the stained glass produced during the last decades of the 19th century and first decades of the 20th century is characterised by the use of a new type ready‐to‐use enamels. Stained glass was used for the windows of buildings, and a large part of it is exposed to weatherin...
Article
Radiocarbon ( ¹⁴ C) dating has previously been applied to modern paintings on canvas from the 20th century to identify potential modern forgeries, and dates indicate a time lag of several years between the harvesting of plant fibers for making canvas, and completion of a painting. This study investigated both the length of this time lag and the pot...
Article
Introduction The aim of this paper was to examine any injuries from posterior behind armour blunt trauma ballistic impacts directly over the spine onto typical hard body armours. Due to the spine being close to the surface of the skin and a lack of any previous specific research into this topic, this study was designed to gain preliminary insight i...
Article
The UK Home Office test method for ballistic protective police body armours considers anterior torso impacts to be the worst-case scenario and tests rear armour panels to the same standards as front panels. The aim of this paper was to examine the injuries from spinal behind armour blunt trauma (BABT) impacts. This study used a cadaveric 65 kg, fem...
Article
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Lime lumps and bulk mortars show different ¹⁴ C contamination when analyzed in several CO 2 fractions isolated from the effervescence of an ongoing hydrolysis reaction. Age profiles of both materials are therefore highly complementary and together they can provide a reliable date. Furthermore, they can also reveal the complexity of the radiocarbon...
Article
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This paper focuses on the material study (radiocarbon dating, wood identification and strontium isotope analyses) of four large ‘India occidentali’ clubs, part of the founding collections of the Ashmolean Museum, in Oxford, and originally part of John Tradescant’s ‘Ark’, in Lambeth (1656). During the seventeenth century, the term ‘India occidentali...
Article
We report on the results of a multi-disciplinary project (including wood identification, radiocarbon dating and strontium isotope analysis) focused on a collection of pre-Columbian wooden carvings and human remains from Pitch Lake, Trinidad. While the lake's unusual conditions are conducive to the survival of organic artefacts, they also present pa...
Article
The Pigorini cemí is an icon of Caribbean colonial history, reflecting early trans-Atlantic cross-cultural exchanges. Although well documented, the piece has received surprisingly little systematic study. We present the first structural analysis and radiocarbon dating of the sculpture (modelled at AD 1492-1524), and a brief discussion of the materi...
Article
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Recognition of palaeoclimatic instability in the Greenland ice cores has spurred researchers to identify corresponding evidence in other terrestrial records from the last glacial stage. Such evidence is critical for establishing how much environmental stress precipitated Neanderthal and Late Pleistocene megafaunal extinctions, although a need for i...
Article
Since the mid-19th century, rare prehistoric wooden carvings and human skeletal remains have been dredged from Pitch Lake, Trinidad, during commercial asphalt mining. Establishing a chronology for these objects is challenging, due to both a lack of stratigraphic and contextual information and the necessity to completely remove any pitch to ensure a...
Article
To achieve a reliable radiocarbon ( ¹⁴ C) date for an object, any contamination that may be of a different age must be removed prior to dating. Samples that have been conserved with treatments such as adhesives, varnishes or consolidants can pose a particular challenge to ¹⁴ C dating. At the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit (ORAU), common exampl...
Article
Since its invention in the late 1940s, radiocarbon (14C) dating has become an important tool for absolute dating. A prerequisite for the acceptance of this method is consistency between, and compatibility of, 14C dates from different laboratories. To meet these requirements, international laboratory intercomparison studies with different sample mat...
Article
Highlights •14C results for four east-central Florida carvings (Hontoon Island; Tomoka State Park) range ca. AD 1300-1600, spanning the proto-historic/historic periods •87Sr/86Sr results for two of the three Hontoon carvings are consistent with the immediate locale, while the third suggests a different provenance •Pinus sp. was used at Hontoon, whi...
Article
Rock art worldwide has proved extremely difficult to date directly. Here, the first radiocarbon dates for rock paintings in Botswana and Lesotho are presented, along with additional dates for Later Stone Age rock art in South Africa. The samples selected for dating were identified as carbon-blacks from short-lived organic materials, meaning that th...
Article
Radiocarbon dating is a valuable tool for the forensic examination of human remains in answering questions as to whether the remains are of forensic or medico-legal interest or archaeological in date. The technique is also potentially capable of providing the year of birth and/or death of an individual. Atmospheric radiocarbon levels are currently...
Article
Full-text available
Worldwide, dating rock art is difficult to achieve because of the frequent lack of datable material and the difficulty of removing contamination from samples. Our research aimed to select the paints that would be the most likely to be successfully radiocarbon dated and to estimate the quantity of paint needed depending on the nature of the paint an...
Poster
Full-text available
A radiocarbon intercomparison study between the Leibniz-Laboratory in Kiel (Germany), the Centre for Isotope Research (CIO) in Groningen (The Netherlands), and the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit (ORAU; United Kingdom) was performed on three Pleistocene (MIS3) mammal bone samples from the Brick Quarry site Coenen (BQC) in Germany. Observed diff...
Article
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DNA sequencing has revolutionised our understanding of archaic humans during the Middle and Upper Palaeolithic. Unfortunately, while many Palaeolithic sites contain large numbers of bones, the majority of these lack the diagnostic features necessary for traditional morphological identification. As a result the recovery of Pleistocene-age human rema...
Article
In the late 1990s, it was demonstrated that reliable radiocarbon dates could be obtained directly from cremated bone. Many 14 C laboratories have since used a protocol for pretreating cremated (calcined) bones that consists of consecutive treatments with bleach and acetic acid to remove organic matter and extraneous or diagenetic carbonate, respect...
Article
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Characterizing genetic diversity in Africa is a crucial step for most analyses reconstructing the evolutionary history of anatomically modern humans. However, historic migrations from Eurasia into Africa have affected many contemporary populations, confounding inferences. Here, we present a 12.5x coverage ancient genome of an Ethiopian male (‘Mota’...
Article
Full-text available
Characterizing genetic diversity in Africa is a crucial step for most analyses reconstructing the evolutionary history of anatomically modern humans. However, historic migrations from Eurasia into Africa have affected many contemporary populations, confounding inferences. Here, we present a 12.5× coverage ancient genome of an Ethiopian male (“Mota”...
Article
Full-text available
A new radiocarbon dating program, conceived at the outset within a Bayesian statistical framework, has recently been applied to the earliest levels of occupation on the Neolithic East Mound at Çatalhöyük in central Turkey. Çatalhöyük was excavated by James Mellaart from 1961 to 1965 and new excavations directed by Ian Hodder started in 1993. In 201...
Article
This is the 35th list of AMS radiocarbon determinations measured at the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit (ORAU). Amongst some of the sites included here are the latest series of determinations from the key sites of Abydos, El Mirón, Ban Chiang, Grotte de Pigeons (Taforalt), Alepotrypa and Oberkassel, as well as others dating to the Palaeolithic,...
Article
Existing radiocarbon (14 C) dates on American mastodon (Mammut americanum) fossils from eastern Beringia (Alaska and Yukon) have been interpreted as evidence they inhabited the Arctic and Subarctic during Pleistocene full-glacial times (∼18,000 14 C years B.P.). However, this chronology is inconsistent with inferred habitat preferences of mastodons...
Article
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Despite the rich array of perishables Julian Steward (1937) recovered during his 1930s excavations, the Promontory Cave assemblages were dated in relative terms with just a handful of radiocarbon assays until recently. Yet Promontory Caves 1 and 2 are the type sites from which the Promontory Culture was defined, and these assemblages have a critica...
Article
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The Grenfell bone rod resembles other instances of Clovis-era organic or osseous technology and has on a number of occasions been considered with other Clovis bone, antler, and ivory rods or beveled artifacts. It had been suspected of being constructed from proboscidean long bone. As an early discovery (made in 1883), the Grenfell artifact had some...
Article
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The timing of Neanderthal disappearance and the extent to which they overlapped with the earliest incoming anatomically modern humans (AMHs) in Eurasia are key questions in palaeoanthropology. Determining the spatiotemporal relationship between the two populations is crucial if we are to understand the processes, timing and reasons leading to the d...
Article
The Naqada relative chronology provides the main cultural framework for the Predynastic period of ancient Egypt. It was devised in the late nineteenth century by Flinders Petrie to improve understanding of the prehistoric origins of the Egyptian state. Petrie's approach became widely known and formed the basis for the development of seriation. In t...
Article
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Event layers in lake sediments are indicators of past extreme events, mostly the results of floods or earthquakes. Detailed characterisation of the layers allows the discrimination of the sedimentation processes involved, such as surface runoff, landslides or subaqueous slope failures. These processes can then be interpreted in terms of their trigg...
Article
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The Chauvet-Pont d'Arc Cave is one of the most important sites for the study of the earliest manifestations and development of prehistoric art at the beginning of the Upper Paleolithic. Different dating techniques have been performed thus far (AMS C-14, U/Th TIMS, Cl-36 dating) to model the chronological framework of this decorated cave. The cave y...
Article
An important advance in the radiocarbon dating of archaeological material appeared in the late 1990s, with direct dating of cremated human remains. A crucial part of the argument was the demonstration that comparable results could be obtained from paired dates of charcoal and calcined bone from the same contexts. Recent studies, however, have noted...
Article
Full-text available
This article presents the pretreatment protocols for wood samples processed at the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit (ORAU), including recent implementation of a purification method to α-cellulose for non-routine samples. We examine the long-term reproducibility of measurement on wood samples at ORAU through the >1000 14C determinations made on k...
Article
This article presents the pretreatment protocols for wood samples processed at the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit (ORAU), including recent implementation of a purification method to α-cellulose for non-routine samples. We examine the long-term reproducibility of measurement on wood samples at ORAU through the >1000 14 C determinations made on...
Article
Full-text available
The Chauvet-Pont d'Arc Cave is one of the most important sites for the study of the earliest manifestations and development of prehistoric art at the beginning of the Upper Paleolithic. Different dating techniques have been performed thus far (AMS 14 C, U/Th TIMS, 36 Cl dating) to model the chronological framework of this decorated cave. The cave y...
Article
An important advance in the radiocarbon dating of archaeological material occurred in the late 1990s, with direct dating of cremated human remains. A crucial part of the argument was the demonstration that comparable results could be obtained from paired dates of charcoal and calcined bone from the same contexts. Recent studies, however, have noted...
Article
Full-text available
"This paper presents 19 AMS radiocarbon dates from nine pre-Hispanic Caribbean (Taíno/Lucayan) wooden sculptures in the British Museum collections, provenanced to Jamaica, Hispaniola and the Bahamas. Together with strontium isotope results and wood and resin identifications, these data build a material and chronological context for some of the m...
Article
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The Egyptian state was formed prior to the existence of verifiable historical records. Conventional dates for its formation are based on the relative ordering of artefacts. This approach is no longer considered sufficient for cogent historical analysis. Here, we produce an absolute chronology for Early Egypt by combining radiocarbon and archaeologi...
Article
Full-text available
The varved sediment profile of Lake Suigetsu, central Japan, offers an ideal opportunity from which to derive a terrestrial record of atmospheric radiocarbon across the entire range of the 14C dating method. Previous work by Kitagawa and van der Plicht (1998a,b, 2000) provided such a data set; however, problems with the varve-based age scale of the...
Article
Full-text available
Zooarcheological evidence suggests that pigs were domesticated in Southwest Asia ∼8,500 BC. They then spread across the Middle and Near East and westward into Europe alongside early agriculturalists. European pigs were either domesticated independently or appeared so as a result of admixture between introduced pigs and European wild boar. These pig...
Article
Radiocarbon (14C) accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) dating has played a significant role towards improving our understanding of the timing of events and rates of change in archaeological and environmental records over the last 50 000 years. Although it is not always possible to find suitable macrofossils for 14C dating, microfossils, notably plan...
Article
We report variations in age of recent batches of ultrafilter humectant, and also clarify the pore size of Ezee-filters (TM) used at the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit (ORAU).