Stable isotopes are useful for studying past environments and diets in the archaeological record. For understanding past diet, the ratio of carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes are particularly informative. In this video, MPI-SHH isotope laboratory technician Mary Lucas explains how to analyze these isotopes found in collagen extracted from bones and tooth dentine. She describes the process of extracting collagen from bone samples, the measurement and analysis on an EA-IRMS, and provides examples on how this analysis is utilised in archaeological research.
To learn more about the MPI-SHH Stable Isotope Laboratories please visit our Facilities page on our Department website for more information.