Great news!

Ian Scharlotta, Gwenaelle Goude, Estelle Herrscher, Vladimir Bazaliiskii, and Andrzej Weber recently had 2 articles published! Info below.

First paper published in the American Journal of Human Biology.

Title: “Mind the gap”-Assessing methods for aligning age determination and growth rate in multi-molar sequences of dietary isotopic data.

Abstract: Objectives: Creating multi‐tooth sequences of micro‐sampled stable isotope (SI) analytical data can help track 20+ years of individual dietary history. Inferences about individual and population level behavioral patterns require cross‐calibration of the timing of dietary changes recorded by each tooth. Dentin sections from contemporaneous tissues (eg, in M1 and M2) reflect dietary signature for the time of growth. Contemporary sections should produce similar values, allowing alignment of temporally overlapping portions of teeth into multi‐tooth sequences. Published methods for determining the ages of incremental sections do not provide guidance for adjustment when poor alignment between individual tooth sequences is encountered. The primary objective is to address this problem; examine cause(s), assess the effects of the standard growth‐model on available age‐assessment techniques, and provide a viable solution.

Methods: Investigating difficulty in aligning a 3‐molar sequence at Shamanka II, an Early Neolithic (7000‐5700 BP) Kitoi hunter‐gatherer cemetery in Cis‐Baikal, Siberia, we employed 10 age assessment models and 13 variants of 2 published growth rate methods on 3 individuals of different age and sex.

Results: At Shamanka II, dentin initiation and/or growth rates were different from the mostly European, reference populations used to create published age‐estimation/growth rate models. Initiation ages for M2 and M3 were delayed. Root formation rates were on the rapid end of known development parameters.

Conclusions: Age‐assessment methods customized to dentin initiation ages and growth parameters of Siberian populations produced a hybrid growth rate model for dentin section ages and improved alignment for multi‐tooth SI sequences over published models.

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Second paper published in the International Journal of Osteoarchaeology.

Title: Shifting weaning practices in Early Neolithic Cis-Baikal, Siberia: New insights from stable isotope analysis of molar micro-samples.

Abstract: Reconstructing individual dietary histories at Shamanka II, an Early Neolithic (7000-5700 cal. BP) Kitoi hunter‐gatherer cemetery in Cis‐Baikal, Siberia, revealed surprising intra‐population variability in childhood diets. Stable isotope (SI) analytical data produced by micro‐sampled first molars identified changes in both the timing and rate of weaning for different individuals. Further examination within the framework of a high‐resolution radiocarbon chronology identified shifting practices between two phases of cemetery use, and additional links with mortuary treatment that indicates differences relating to group and/or family structure. The differential treatment of infants, correlated with the complex hunter‐gatherer social structure, and subsequent burial treatment evident at this cemetery are investigated in light of regional dietary trends.

Congratulations to Ian and co-authors!

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