2022 got off to a very good start for PTP, with all of our Irish human and animal samples finally hand delivered to Cardiff University for isotope analysis. Rich and Katie will be undertaking a variety of isotope analyses: carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis on the bulk bone collagen as well as some incremental analysis of dentine, to match the analysis already undertaken on our Orkney samples. We’ve also decided to undertake targeted sulphur isotope analyses on the Irish samples for its provenancing potential – not much has been done before on Irish archaeological material. Sulphur isotope values can be complicated by the effect of sea spray, so for that reason we are not doing the same for our Orkney samples. Tooth enamel from both Irish and Orcadian sample sets will also undergo strontium analysis. It will be a busy few months for the lab!

February 2022 also saw the publication of our first paper, on the amazing Middle Neolithic cattle assemblage from Kilshane enclosure, just north of Dublin. The paper is fully open access through the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports and can be downloaded here. Congratulations to Fabienne for leading this important piece of research!