• Isotopic Evidence for Dietary Variability in the Early Hominin Paranthropus robustus

      Lee-Thorp, Julia A.; De Ruiter, D.; Passey, B.; Sponheimer, M.B. (2006)
      Traditional methods of dietary reconstruction do not allow the investigation of dietary variability within the lifetimes of individual hominins. However, laser ablation stable isotope analysis reveals that the ¿13C values of Paranthropus robustus individuals often changed seasonally and interannually. These data suggest that Paranthropus was not a dietary specialist and that by about 1.8 million years ago, savanna-based foods such as grasses or sedges or animals eating these foods made up an important but highly variable part of its diet.
    • Molecular and isotopic demonstration of the processing of aquatic products in northern European prehistoric pottery

      Craig, O.E.; Forster, M.; Andersen, S.H.; Koch, E.; Crombé, P.; Milner, N.J.; Stern, Ben; Bailey, G.N.; Heron, Carl P. (2007)
      A number of charred surface residues, adhering to ceramic containers, were obtained from various coastal and inland sites in north-west Europe dating from the sixth to the fourth millennium cal bc. In order to investigate the use of these vessels and in particular to identify any marine products, the residues were subjected to carbon and nitrogen stable isotope analysis. Variation in carbon isotope ratios between different samples indicated that some vessels may have been used to process marine products. This analysis was corroborated by specific identification of aquatic products following structural and isotopic characterization of lipids extracted from selected samples.