Fogel With National Science Foundation support Dr. Fogel will culture bone cells in media that has been formulated to answer specific questions regarding the incorporation of carbohydrates, proteins and lipids into collagen and hydroxylapatite. Compound-specific isotopic measurements of C and N of individual amino acids will be determined on each of the experimental cultures. This research will provide the basis of improved interpretation of isotopic ratios from fossil bone and assist in the reconstruction of prehistoric human diet. In a second part of the study, results will be applied to six suites of fossil bone to address questions of direct archaeological relevance. Archaeologists wish to reconstruct the diet of past populations because such data not only sheds light into ancient subsistence practices but also provides insight into other aspects of societies such as the degree of hierarchical social organization. Research has indicated that the carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios in bone are related to diet and that one can work backwards from skeletal remains to gain insight into what was eaten. However the process is far from straightforward and scientists do not understand how elements from different kinds of foods are differentially incorporated into the different phases of bone. Through her carefully controlled work at the cellular levels, Dr. Fogel should be able to unravel these interactions. This research will have widespread applicability not only in archaeology but in other areas of science as well.