Isotopes and teeth: human movement in two medieval Danish cemetery populations
MetadataShow full item record
The mobility patterns of two medieval Danish populations were investigated using oxygen isotopic analysis. Oxygen isotopic data were collected from the dental enamel of 26 individuals, 13 from the urban cemetery, Ole Worms Gade, and 13 from rural Sejet, both located in Central Denmark. Phosphate was chemically isolated as an oxygen analyte and analyzed using Thermal Combustion Elemental – Mass Spectrometry (TC/EA-MS) in order to minimize the effects of diagenesis on the oxygen isotopic composition of enamel. Diagenesis of the dental tissues was also investigated using spectroscopic and microscopic techniques. Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS) was explored as an alternate method of obtaining isotope data for these materials. Isotope data revealed three possible migrants. Results are interpreted in the context of the shifting socioeconomic climate in medieval Europe.