The copyright line for this article was changed on August 7, 2014 after original online publication.
An Investigation of Cattle Birth Seasonality using δ13C and δ18O Profiles within First Molar Enamel
Article first published online: 28 AUG 2013
© 2013 The Authors. Archaeometry published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of University of Oxford.
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Special Issue: Special Online-only Issue Supplement S1. University of Oxford and Wiley have published this supplement without financial support.
Volume 56, Issue Supplement S1, pages 208–236, July 2014
How to Cite
Towers, J., Gledhill, A., Bond, J. and Montgomery, J. (2014), An Investigation of Cattle Birth Seasonality using δ13C and δ18O Profiles within First Molar Enamel. Archaeometry, 56: 208–236. doi: 10.1111/arcm.12055
- Issue published online: 18 JUN 2014
- Article first published online: 28 AUG 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 18 JUL 2013
- Manuscript Received: 9 APR 2013
- an AHRC Studentship
- Tooth Enamel;
- Molar Formation;
- Birth Seasonality;
- Isotope Ratio Analysis
Cattle (Bos taurus) are biologically able to breed year-round, potentially giving farmers the freedom to choose a calving strategy to best meet their economic goals. Thus, an accurate method to determine cattle birth seasonality from archaeological remains would prove to be a valuable tool when investigating a prehistoric farming community. This paper presents the results of intra-tooth isotope ratio analysis (δ18O, δ13C) of first, second and third molars from 15 cattle. The principal outcome is a possible new approach to determining cattle birth seasonality utilizing both carbon and oxygen isotope ratio measurements of first molar enamel. Although this technique requires verification through more extensive testing, particularly of modern material, initial results suggest that it may produce more accurate predictions of birth seasonality than techniques based on intra-tooth δ18O measurements of second and third molars.