Origins of inhabitants from the 16th century Sala (Sweden) silver mine cemetery – A lead isotope perspective

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift


Historical documents record the operation of a silver mine from the 16th century AD located near the former village of Salberget in central Sweden. The historical record describes several categories of inhabitants, including local families, workers and miners, foreign engineers and mining specialists, as well as war captives and criminals used as forced labor in the mines. A church yard in the vicinity of the village served as a burial ground. Archaeological evidence indicates two distinct grave types (coffin and earthen) and physical anthropology documents differences in age and sex between these grave types, as well as harsh conditions of life. Strontium and oxygen isotopes have been used previously to investigate the place of origin of the cemetery inhabitants and clear differences among the types of graves were seen in the isotope results. Place of origin was more difficult to ascertain however. Here we utilize lead isotopes as an additional isotopic tracer to identify origins. The lead isotope investigations pinpoint several areas outside of the Sala region where some of the inhabitants originated. In addition, the study documents the benefits of using lead isotopes in human proveniencing studies.


  • Douglas T. Price
  • Robert Frei
  • Ylva Bäckström
  • Karin Margarita Frei
  • Anne Ingvarsson-Sundstrom
Enheter & grupper
Externa organisationer
  • University of Wisconsin
  • University of Copenhagen
  • National Museum of Denmark
  • Uppsala universitet

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Arkeologi


Sidor (från-till)1-13
Antal sidor13
TidskriftJournal of Archaeological Science
StatusPublished - 2017 apr 1
Peer review utfördJa

Relaterad forskningsoutput

Ylva Bäckström, Jan Mispelaere, Anne Ingvarsson-Sundström, Markus Fjellström & Kate Britton, 2018 dec, I : Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences. 10, 8, s. 2075-2094

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift

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