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Durham University

Department of Archaeology


Publication details for Professor Janet Montgomery

Richards, M.P., Montgomery, J., Nehlich, O. & Grimes, V. (2008). Isotopic analysis of humans and animals from Vedrovice. Anthropologie XLVI(2-3): 185-194.

Author(s) from Durham


We report here the results of our isotopic analysis of humans from the site of Vedrovice. We undertook carbon and nitrogen analysis to reconstruct human diets and strontium and sulphur isotope analysis to reconstruct human mobility. Our carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis of bone collagen from 57 humans indicated that their diet was largely homogenous, with an average ?13C value of –19.7±0.4‰ and an average ?15N value of 9.9±0.6‰. This indicates that the diet was largely C3 based, and that there was a large component of animal (meat or milk) protein in their diets. The sulphur and strontium isotope analysis showed that most of the humans at the site had values indicating that they spent their childhood (strontium isotope values) and adulthood (sulphur isotope values) at or near to Vedrovice. We did identify four individuals with different sulphur isotope values than the majority, who likely spent there adult lives in different locations, and similarly we found four adults who had different strontium isotope values than the others, indicating they spent at least a portion of their childhood elsewhere. Of these individuals, one had both different sulphur and strontium value than the majority, so they likely spent their childhood and adult lives at a different location and were probably recent immigrants to the site. Future work on establishing the isotopic baseline for this region will allow us to better pinpoint the diets of the Vedrovice humans, as well as better potentially indicate the regions of origin for the 'immigrants'.