Get access

‘THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME’—NO ISOTOPIC EVIDENCE FOR MOBILITY AT THE EARLY BRONZE AGE CEMETERY OF SINGEN, GERMANY

Authors

  • V. M. OELZE,

    Corresponding author
    1. Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Department of Human Evolution, Deutscher Platz 6, 04107 Leipzig, Germany
      email viktoria_oelze@eva.mpg.de
    Search for more papers by this author
  • O. NEHLICH,

    1. Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Department of Human Evolution, Deutscher Platz 6, 04107 Leipzig, Germany
    Search for more papers by this author
  • M. P. RICHARDS

    1. Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Department of Human Evolution, Deutscher Platz 6, 04107 Leipzig, Germany
    2. Department of Anthropology, University of British Columbia, 6303 NW Marine Drive, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V6T 1Z1
    Search for more papers by this author

  • [Correction to the value of the 87Sr/86Sr measurement of SRM 987 added on the 04th of June 2012 after first online publication on the 15th of December 2011.]

email viktoria_oelze@eva.mpg.de

Abstract

The Early Bronze Age necropolis of Singen (Hohentwiel), located near Lake Constance, represents a population from a period of technological transition in southwestern Germany. The site contains several graves with metal artefacts that originated in other parts of Central and Western Europe, and therefore these could be interpreted as being the graves of non-local individuals. The purpose of this study was to investigate this possibility through the application of isotopic analysis. The ratios of strontium and oxygen isotopes in human enamel reflect the geological origin of food and drinking water consumed during enamel formation in early life stages. Additionally, the ratio of sulphur isotopes from bone collagen reflects the origin of foods consumed during the last 10–20 years of life of an adult individual. We used these three isotope systems to attempt to identify local and non-local individuals at the site. We found that the isotope ratios of Sr, O and S of the humans were relatively homogeneous and generally correspond to the isotope signature of the local geology, climate and environment. We conclude that the sampled population is of local origin and does not show patterns of individual mobility, even though there is evidence for long-distance trade and exchange of the metal artefacts at this site.

Get access to the full text of this article

Ancillary