The sample material was contributed by the Archaeology Section of the city of Eindhoven (NL), the Archaeology Section of Noord-Holland, National Corporation for Antiquities and Museums, Khartoum (Sudan) and Le Historial de la Vendee (France). The following persons are acknowledged for facilitating sampling: Nico Arts (Eindhoven Archaeology section), Rob van Eerden (Noord-Holland Archaeology section), Vincent Francigny, Alex de Voogt (American Museum of Natural History, New York), Eveline Altena (Leiden University), Lisette Kootker (VU University Amsterdam), Marie Soressi (Centre Archéologique d'Orléans), Roger Joussaume, Sophie Corson (Le Historial de la Vendee) and Frederick Feulner (University of York). The authors also wish to thank Wynanda Koot (VU University, Amsterdam) for sample preparation and Ineke Joosten (National Cultural Heritage Agency, Amsterdam) for carrying out the SEM analyses.

The research was conducted within the framework of a Marie Curie Training Network, LECHE (7th Framework Programme, project number 215362) and mostly carried out during a PhD studentship at the Institute of Geo- and Bioarchaeology, the VU University, Amsterdam (NL).