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Dental Discoveries

1916

Excavations at Barrow Clump may have come to an end, but there is still plenty that we can learn about the Saxons who were laid to rest there. 
 
One of the things we would like to know is whether these people, buried here throughout the 6th century, originated in this area or whether they migrated here during their lives. We hope to ascertain this through isotope analysis – assessment of the isotopic composition of the tooth enamel from several individuals. Oxygen and strontium isotopes in particular will indicate geographic origin, whilst analysis of carbon and nitrogen isotopes may shed light on the diet of the people buried at Barrow Clump. 
 
This assessment is being very kindly facilitated by Cranfield University as part of a research project, and the work is being conducted at laboratories in Oxford (pictured) and Leuven in Belgium. Keep an eye on the News Blog for the exciting results of this analysis. 
 
Written by Laura Joyner
 
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