The content of chemical elements in archaeological human bones as a source of nutrition research


  • Raili Allmäe Department of Archeobiology and Ancient Technology, Institute of History, Tallinn University
  • Jana Limbo-Simovart Institute of History, Tallinn University, Estonia
  • Leiu Heapost Institute of History, Tallinn University, Estonia
  • Evelin Verš Institute of Geology, Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia



palaeodiet, trace elements, Estonia, the Late Iron Age, the Middle Ages, the Modern Times


The aim of the present research was to determine chemical elements using the inductive plasma mass spectrometer (ICP-MS) in Estonian archaeological human bones to establish the possible content of the menu in different communities. Among the studied material clear differentiation can be made between the Pärnu cemetery of St John’s church (the cemetery of the Pärnu garrison) from the 16–18th cc. and the Tääksi village cemetery from the 14–18th century. The material from the 12–13th cc. Pada cemetery remains between the two above-mentioned cemeteries concerning the content of the observed elements. The initial data show only the differences of the general trends of the content of chemical elements between the inland and the coastal areas, the village and the town, the higher and the lower social status communities. The contents of chemical elements in the Estonian archaeological bones were similar to the respective contents in Latvia.


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