Intra- and inter-individual variation in delta C-13 and delta N-15 in human dental calculus and comparison to bone collagen and apatite isotopes
Abbreviated Journal Title
J. Archaeol. Sci.
Stable isotope analysis; Nubia; Central California; Paleodiet; Dental; calculus; PREHISTORIC HUMAN DIET; NITROGEN ISOTOPES; STABLE CARBON; RATIOS; MODEL; RECONSTRUCTION; INDIVIDUALS; HISTORIES; DEPOSITS; EGYPT; Anthropology; Archaeology; Geosciences, Multidisciplinary
There are mixed opinions on the suitability of dental calculus for paleodietary reconstruction using stable isotope analysis. We examine delta C-13 and delta N-15 values of calculus samples from two regions, central California in the USA and Sal Island in the Sudan. When atomic C/N ratios are less than 12 in calculus, results show positive correlations at both the regional and individual level between stable isotopes of bone collagen and calculus, suggesting these materials track similar dietary behaviors. Correlations are still positive but lower between delta C-13 values of calculus and bone apatite. Stable isotope ratios of calculus show between 30% and 50% greater variation than bone, are typically enriched in N-15 (mean = 2.1 parts per thousand higher), and are depleted in C-13 relative to bone collagen (mean = 0.8 parts per thousand lower) and apatite (mean = 6.4 parts per thousand lower). Calculus from multiple teeth was analyzed separately for seven individuals to examine intra-individual variation. Results show that within an individual delta C-13 varies up to 1.8 parts per thousand, and delta N-15 up to 2.1 parts per thousand, which may explain some of the weak bone-calculus correlations previously reported in the literature. When atomic C/N ratios are greater than 12, calculus correlates more poorly with bone collagen, suggesting these samples should be treated with caution. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Journal of Archaeological Science
"Intra- and inter-individual variation in delta C-13 and delta N-15 in human dental calculus and comparison to bone collagen and apatite isotopes" (2014). Faculty Bibliography 2010s. 5290.