Movement and diet in early Irish prehistory: First evidence from multi-isotope analysis

Thomas Kador, Linda Fibiger, Gabriel Cooney, Paul Fullagar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper presents the results of a pilot study utilising a multi-isotope approach to studying population mobility and diet in early prehistoric Ireland. In particular it combines the use of strontium, carbon and nitrogen analysis as well as AMS radiocarbon dating on human remains from later Mesolithic and early to middle Neolithic contexts. The results demonstrate significant variation in the strontium signatures, suggesting a degree of mobility among both the Mesolithic and Neolithic individuals. They also highlight, however, the importance of providing a model for biologically available strontium across the Irish landscape so that a more refined interpretation of datasets like this is possible. The results from stable isotope analysis demonstrate that all Neolithic individuals did subsist on a heavily terrestrially based diet. Although this was also the case for the Mesolithic individuals, one showed possible indicators for the consumption of freshwater fish.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-96
JournalJournal of Irish Archaeology
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015

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