Examination of similar subsamples from sample C demonstrated a mixture of
different man-made fibres and fine-grained relatively structureless material (Figure
21). Some suspected plant material was confirmed by the presence of vascular
xylem (Figure 22) and a very few human hairs (Figure 23) were also found.
Examination of a stained subsample of the very fine-grained suspended sediment
in the retained liquid portion of this sample showed it to be very different from the
other two samples. It revealed a relatively high level of rod-shaped bacteria and a
large number of squamous epithelial-type cells (Figure 24) that were considered to
be skin cells. These would naturally slough off from the skin and accumulate as dust.
Scanning Electron Microscopy and X-ray Microanalysis
Examination of subsamples from the three samples by SEM did not reveal any
new information but it did provide slightly different images of material already
Sample A Feather barbules (Figure 25) and hair (Figure 26).
Sample B Hair (Figure 27)
X-ray microanalysis demonstrated that the fine-grained sediment in sample A
contained high levels of carbon (C) and oxygen (O), moderate levels of sodium
(Na), silicon (Si), phosphorous (P), sulphur (S), chlorine (Cl), potassium (K) and
calcium (Ca), low levels of magnesium (Mg) and aluminium (Al) and traces of titanium
(Ti) and iron (Fe) see Figure 29. It was considered possible that the oxygen,
sodium and phosphorous were present as sodium phosphate. The high level of
carbon was considered to indicate a relatively high organic content.
Similar analysis demonstrated the mud-like sediment from Sample B to contain a
high level of carbon (C), moderate levels of oxygen (O), aluminium (Al), silicon (Si),
phosphorous (P) and calcium (Ca), low levels of sodium (Na), magnesium (Mg),
sulphur (S), chlorine (Cl) and potassium (K) and traces of titanium (Ti) and iron (Fe)
see Figure 30. This result was considered consistent with the earlier observations,
i.e. that the sediment contained silicate and carbonate (possibly calcium carbonate)
minerals. Also, the high carbon content indicates a relatively high organic content.