Carbon and nitrogen isotope data from Early Neolithic individuals of the Whitwell Long Cairn, UK

by Ostrum B., Gröcke D., Montgomery J.
doi:10.48530/isoarch.2022.001
Created on 2022-08-24
Keywords Neolithic Britain; Pulp stones; Incremental dentine; Carbon; Nitrogen; Palaeodiet

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Abstract

This dataset contains carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) values from incremental dentine and pulp stones for three Early Neolithic individuals from the Whitwell Long Cairn (Derbyshire, UK). All three individuals were interred within a linear mortuary feature within the cairn, and are from the same period of mortuary activity at the site (c. 3720–3650 cal BC). Two tooth samples were selected for each individual to investigate diet from early childhood through to early adulthood. During sample preparation, four of the six tooth samples were found to contain pulp stones. Tooth samples were demineralized and sectioned horizontally into approximately one-millimetre increments from crown to root apex. When present, pulp stones were removed after demineralization and before dentine sectioning. Collagen was extracted and stable isotope analysis conducted on dentine increments and a segment of each pulp stone. The mean δ13C value of all dentine increments was –21.5 ± 0.2‰ and the mean δ15N value was 9.9 ± 0.5‰, indicating that these individuals had predominately terrestrial-based diets. The four pulp stones had δ13C values between –21.6 to –21.4‰ and δ15N values between 9.1 to 9.8‰.

Citation

Ostrum, B., Gröcke, D., & Montgomery, J. (2022). Carbon and nitrogen isotope data from Early Neolithic individuals of the Whitwell Long Cairn, UK [Data set]. IsoArcH. https://doi.org/10.48530/ISOARCH.2022.001

Publication

Ostrum, B., Gröcke, D.R., Montgomery, J., 2022. A comparison of dietary isotopes in pulp stones and incremental dentine from Early Neolithic individuals of the Whitwell Long Cairn, England, American Journal of Biological Anthropology 177, 769-783