Dental Calculus as a Source of Dietary Isotopic Values

Sophia C. Dent, Dale L. Hutchinson, Mathew A. Fort, Kristin M. Hedman, Stanley H. Ambrose

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Diet reconstruction with stable isotopes is used to understand past foodways, identities, health and physiology. Traditional isotopic analyses are ethically problematic because they require destructive sampling of human skeletons. Dental calculus (calcified dental plaque) accumulates on the surfaces of teeth, and is bacterial – not human – in origin. We present new methodologies for calculus isotopic analysis, and discuss its advantages as an ethically-compliant alternative to skeletal analyses.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 75th Annual Meeting
StatePublished - 2018

Publication series



  • ISAS


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