A multi-method approach to evaluate the presence of non-local individuals at the prehistoric Schild site in western Illinois

Andrew R. Thompson, Kristin M. Hedman, Mathew A. Fort, Sophia C. Dent, Della C. Cook

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstractpeer-review


Identification of non-local individuals in a prehistoric context is challenging. Previous studies
have utilized a variety of methods to investigate
this topic, but typically only a single approach is used, which limits interpretation. This study aimed to overcome this issue by incorporating multiple sources of evidence, including dental metric, strontium isotope, and burial records, to evaluate the presence of non-local individuals at the prehistoric Schild site located in western Illinois. Isotopic data were collected from both
M1 and M3 teeth and interpreted using published Sr ranges for the region. Dental metric data from Schild and one additional contemporaneous regional site (Yokem) were analyzed using discriminant function analysis. Discriminant scores
were plotted with confidence ellipses and those results were overlaid with the isotopic data. While dental metric or isotopic data were available for a large portion of the skeletal sample, a subset of 28 individuals with both isotopic and dental metric data could be directly compared. Isotopic results
indicate that 14/28 individuals fall outside of the local Sr range established for the region. When the dental metric and isotopic data were integrated, 9/14 of individuals identified as non-local based on isotopic signatures also fell outside of a
75\% range of the dental metric data. In contrast, only 2/14 individuals identified as local based on isotopes fell outside of this range. These results were further explored using burial records and AMS dating. This study highlights the utility and
challenges of using multiple sources of data to answer complex archaeological questions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)246-246
JournalAmerican journal of physical anthropology
StatePublished - Mar 2019

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