At the UK Archaeological Science conference in Aberdeen, Dr Magdalena Blanz and colleagues won the runner-up poster prize for early career researchers.
The poster, entitled Ratios of strontium and barium to calcium as complementary palaeodietary indicators of seaweed consumption, outlines research carried out by Magdalena and colleagues during her doctoral studies at the Archaeology Institute UHI.
The study chemically analysed tooth enamel from modern sheep that had consumed known diets containing varying amounts of terrestrial grasses and seaweeds.
In addition, to investigate how decay affected the chemical composition of archaeological enamel, the teeth of 22 sheep from seven archaeological sites in Orkney were also analysed.
The results showed that the enamel from seaweed-eating sheep had significantly different chemical signatures compared to terrestrial-feeding sheep – with specific elements appearing to be a useful indicator of the consumption of marine food.
In June 2021, Magdalena led an Archaeology Institute UHI seminar on the research, which is available to view here.