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Oral Histories: a simple method of assigning chronological age to isotopic values from human dentine collagen

Beaumont, J.; Montgomery, J.

Oral Histories: a simple method of assigning chronological age to isotopic values from human dentine collagen Thumbnail


Authors

J. Beaumont



Abstract

Background: Stable isotope ratios of carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) in bone and dentine collagen have been used for over 30 years to estimate palaeodiet, subsistence strategy, breastfeeding duration and migration within burial populations. Recent developments in dentine microsampling allow improved temporal resolution for dietary patterns. Aim: A simple method is proposed which could be applied to human teeth to estimate chronological age represented by dentine microsamples in the direction of tooth growth, allowing comparison of dietary patterns between individuals and populations. The method is tested using profiles from permanent and deciduous teeth of two individuals. Subjects and methods: Using a diagrammatic representation of dentine development by approximate age for each human tooth (based on the Queen Mary University of London Atlas), this study estimated the age represented by each dentine section. Two case studies are shown: comparison of M1 and M2 from a 19th century individual from London, England, and identification of an unknown tooth from an Iron Age female adult from Scotland. Results and conclusions: The isotopic profiles demonstrate that variations in consecutively-forming teeth can be aligned using this method to extend the dietary history of an individual or identify an unknown tooth by matching the profiles.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 20, 2015
Publication Date Jul 30, 2015
Deposit Date May 11, 2015
Publicly Available Date Jul 30, 2016
Journal Annals of Human Biology
Print ISSN 0301-4460
Electronic ISSN 1464-5033
Publisher Taylor and Francis Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 42
Issue 4
Pages 407-414
DOI https://doi.org/10.3109/03014460.2015.1045027
Keywords Age assignment, Carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios, Incremental analysis, Palaeodiet.
Public URL https://durham-repository.worktribe.com/output/1405852
Related Public URLs https://bradscholars.brad.ac.uk/handle/10454/7172

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