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International Journal of Spectroscopy
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 4810149, 9 pages
Research Article

Understanding the Crystallinity Indices Behavior of Burned Bones and Teeth by ATR-IR and XRD in the Presence of Bioapatite Mixed with Other Phosphate and Carbonate Phases

1Department of Political Science, Communication, Engineering and Information Technologies, University of Sassari, Viale Mancini 5, 07100 Sassari, Italy
2Research Centre for Anthropology and Health (CIAS) and Department of Life Sciences, Universidade de Coimbra, Calçada Martim Freitas, 3000-456 Coimbra, Portugal
3Laboratory of Forensic Anthropology, Department of Life Sciences, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade de Coimbra, Calçada Martim Freitas, 3000-456 Coimbra, Portugal
4Laboratório de Arqueocièncias, Direcção General do Património Cultural and LARC/CIBIO/InBIO, Rua da Bica do Marquês 2, 1300-087 Lisbon, Portugal
5School of Science & Engineering, Teesside University, Borough Road, Middlesbrough TS1 3BA, UK
6Unitat d’Antropologia Biologica, Department de Biologia Animal, Biologia Vegetal i Ecologia, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Edifici C, Bellaterra, 08193 Barcelona, Spain
7Department of Chemistry and Pharmacy, University of Sassari, Via Vienna 2, 07100 Sassari, Italy

Received 4 November 2015; Accepted 3 January 2016

Academic Editor: Jozef Kaiser

Copyright © 2016 Giampaolo Piga et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We have critically investigated the ATR-IR spectroscopy data behavior of burned human teeth as opposed to the generally observed behavior in human bones that were subjected to heat treatment, whether deliberate or accidental. It is shown that the deterioration of the crystallinity index (CI) behavior sometimes observed in bones subjected to high temperature appears to be of higher frequency in the case of bioapatite from teeth. This occurs because the formation of the β-tricalcium phosphate (β-TCP) phase, otherwise known as whitlockite, clearly ascertained by the X-ray diffraction (XRD) patterns collected on the same powdered specimens investigated by ATR-IR. These results point to the need of combining more than one physicochemical technique even if apparently well suitable, in order to verify whether the assumed conditions assessed by spectroscopy are fully maintained in the specimens after temperature and/or mechanical processing.