Skip to comments.Ancient bone fragments help describe diet, health of Saharan ancestors
Posted on 04/01/2014 3:46:43 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
To describe the ancient Saharan diets, the researchers are measuring the levels of chemical entities called isotopes in the remains. Biological tissues are reservoirs for elements such as carbon and oxygen, which arrive in the body through the food we eat and the environment we live in, and which have variants (isotopes) that can be measured.
"Tooth enamel is formed in the very early years of life and the chemical fingerprints within it don't change throughout life," explained O'Connell. "So whatever isotope signals the teeth contain are a result of the geographical area where individuals spent their childhood and the food and drink they consumed there."
One of the pre-Dynastic Egyptians analysed in the project. Credit: University of Cambridge Bone, on the other hand, is 'remodelled' throughout life most of a healthy adult's skeleton is made in the last ten years of their life. "Isotopes in bone therefore tell you where the person was living in the years leading up to their death."
Isotope 'signatures', together with the geographic distribution of the shape and size of skulls, can therefore be used to look for evidence of migration in ancient populations. "Discontinuities between what the teeth tell us and what the bones tell us may provide evidence that the individual migrated. This in turn opens up questions about the interconnectedness of peoples the movement of individuals, ideas, knowledge and material culture at very early stages of civilisation," said Power.
Their work has focused on a group of 120 individuals who lived in pre-Dynastic Egypt around 5,000 BC, two-and-a-half millennia before the pyramids of Giza were built. Tiny scrapings of tooth enamel have been taken from the remains and are currently being analysed for their isotopic content.
(Excerpt) Read more at phys.org ...
Fried scorpion legs - yum.
A Moochelle Obama diet, followed by Barry Obama healthcare, ending with a state funeral, which would explain the three conditions.............
Malnourished, diseased to an early death, and the shallow grave.
Forgot to add the government funded grant to find out what they ate, died from, where and when they were discarded. (Repeat Cycle)
“This guy must have been a lawyer.”
“How can you tell?”
“I scraped his teeth.”
“And what did you find?”
“It appears our subject subsisted on a diet of, well, feces.”
“Yes, and everyone knows that only lawyers walk around with a shit-eating grin.”