Background: The possibility of estimating the age of fossil bones using only classic
thermogravimetry, on the basis of proper % mass loss ratio values, has been widely considered in
the past years.
Objective: Our research has brought some innovations to the previous background, by using
chemometric methods and by processing the numerical files of whole thermogravimetric curves.
The objective of this paper is the selection, among the main thermal analysis methods available,
i.e., thermogravimetry (TG), derivative thermogravimetry (DTG), differential thermal analysis
(DTA) and thermal dilatometry analysis (TDA), of the most suitable one, in order to evaluate the
age of fossil bones.
Methods: Fossil bone samples from two ancient cemeteries in Sudan were analyzed using different
thermal methods (TG, DTG, DTA, and TDA). Data of whole recorded thermal curves have
been processed by PCA analysis.
Results: A systematic comparison of several thermal analytical techniques allowed to conclude
that TG or DTG curves can provide more appropriate information to determine how old fossil
bones of different ages are, as evidenced by PCA processing of the entire file set of TG or DTG
Conclusion: It can be concluded that the chemometric processing of TG or DTG curves data files
is the best method; however, discussing other thermal analytical curves (DTA and TDA) can
complete the information found by means of chemometric processing of whole TG and DTG