Silver Linings at the Dawn of a ‘Golden Age'

Kate Britton* (Corresponding Author), Brooke E Crowley, Clément P Bataille, Joshua H Miller, Matthew J Wooller

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
8 Downloads (Pure)


Nearly four decades after the first applications of strontium isotope analyses in
archaeology and paleoecology research, it could be said that we are entering a
“Golden Age”. Here, we reflect on major past developments and current strengths in strontium isotope research, as well as speculate on future directions. We review (1) the currently limited number of (but much needed) controlled feeding experiments, (2) recent advances in isoscape mapping and spatial assignment, and (3) the strength of multiproxy approaches (including both the integration of strontium isotopes with other isotope systems and complementary techniques such as ancient DNA analyses). We also explore the integration of strontium isotope research with other types of paleoecological
or archaeology data, as well as with evidence and interpretative frameworks from
other fields (such as conservation ecology, conservation paleobiology or history). This blending is critical as we seek to advance the field beyond simply distinguishing local or relatively sedentary individuals from those that were non-local or highly mobile. We finish with a call for future research centered on balancing methodological developments and novel applications with critical self-reflection, deeper theoretical considerations and cross-disciplinarity.
Original languageEnglish
Article number748938
Number of pages6
JournalFrontiers in Ecology and Evolution
Early online date15 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

We would like to thank the editors at Frontiers for their support and patience, and the careful consideration two reviewers gave to this manuscript. MJW would like to acknowledge that, at Fairbanks, he is working on the ancestral land of Troth Yeddha’, home of the Lower Tanana people. He would also like to acknowledge that the lands on which he does his work are the ancestral lands of the Dené people who stewarded those lands for thousands of years and continue to steward those lands,
further he would like to thank them and respect their enduring relationship to their homelands.


  • mobility
  • provenance
  • migrations
  • landscape use
  • 87Sr/86Sr


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