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Durham University

Department of Archaeology


Publication details for Professor Janet Montgomery

Beaumont, J., Gledhill, A., Lee-Thorp, J. & Montgomery, J. (2013). Childhood diet: a closer examination of the evidence from dental tissues using stable isotope analysis of incremental human dentine. Archaeometry 55(2): 277-295.

Author(s) from Durham


Incremental dentine analysis utilizes tissue that does not remodel and that permits comparison, at the same age, of those who survived infancy with those who did not at high temporal resolution. Here, we present a pilot study of teeth from a 19th-century cemetery in London, comparing the merits of two methods of obtaining dentine increments for subsequent isotope determination. Covariation in d13C and d15N values suggests that even small variations have a physiological basis. We show that high-resolution intra-dentine isotope profiles can pinpoint short-duration events such as dietary change or nutritional deprivation in the juvenile years
of life.