The stable carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios of human bone collagen have been used to determine the diet of a sample of United States soldiers who died during the siege of Fort Erie in the War of 1812. Controls were enacted during the analysis to discriminate between well-preserved and contaminated bone. Results from a sample of 15 individuals, recruited from diverse regions of the northeastern United States, indicate that the diet of this population was quite varied. Statistical analysis was used to explore the relationship between diet and skeletal pathologies. There were no significant differences in means between the individuals exhibiting skeletal pathologies and those not exhibiting skeletal pathologies, suggesting the pathologies are more likely tied to the physical hardships endured in these men's civilian or military lives as opposed to their civilian or military diets.
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