In an article called “New Technique Could Identify Markers of Starvation in Teeth”, archaeologists and scientists teamed up to find out that it is possible to analyze the amounts of stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes in teeth to indicate evidence of starvation. This method is similar to what we saw in the video “The Hearth (Out of the Past)”, where the archaeologists and scientists noticed certain similarities between the physicality of skulls buried under the homes of ancient people.
The article also mentions how the person’s diet during their childhood (when their teeth were growing) can be detected by the composition of denten collagen in the teeth. Those with smaller amounts of collagen had poorer nutrition. This is also similar to what we learned in one of our lectures during week 4. One tooth from 20 adults and children who lived in Kilkenny, Ireland during the Great Famine were tested. Bone collagen from the skeletons’ ribs were also detected for collagen levels, which would give an idea of what the person’s diet was like closer to their time of death rather than during their early developing years. It was evidential that there was a trend of corn in the peoples’ diets near the time of their death, which lines up with the fact that corn was imported from America for them to eat during this time.
A Publication of the Archaeological Institute of America: Archaeology Magazine. (2016). Retrieved from: