Megaliths and mobility in south-western Sweden. Investigating relationships between a local society and its neighbours using strontium isotopes

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Investigation of human movement in the past has been a confounding issue in archaeology. Direct measurement of past mobility has recently become feasible, however, through the application of strontium isotope analysis to human skeletal remains. In this study, we examine the question of changes in residence and place of origin among the inhabitants of the landscape of south-central Sweden. We focus specifically on the area known as Falbygden where an extraordinary concentration of megalithic tombs from
the Neolithic preserves the skeletal remains of many individuals. Falbygden is also an unusual area in terms of its geology and stands as an island of sedimentary rocks in the midst of a larger region of igneous
and metamorphic formations. This unusual geology is also reflected in the strontium isotope values of Falbygden and its inhabitants. We compare the isotopic ratios in human and faunal samples from Falbygden
and the surrounding area and identify non-local individuals. Our study concludes with a discussion of the possible places of origin of non-local individuals and the social mechanisms that may be responsible
for their change of residence.


Enheter & grupper

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Historia och arkeologi


Sidor (från-till)85-101
TidskriftJournal of Anthropological Archaeology
StatusPublished - 2009
Peer review utfördJa