Tracking Neolithic Cattle by Multiple Light Stable Isotope Analysis

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  • Tracking Neolithic Cattle by Multiple Light Stable Isotope Analysis

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Title


Tracking Neolithic Cattle by Multiple Light Stable Isotope Analysis

Subject

S5-1, The biogeochemical study of animal remains:
integrating isotopic and trace elements analyses to zooarchaeology

Description

Abstract:

The Neolithic period is marked by the advent of the so called “Neolithic Package” in which agriculture and dairying had a strong impact on social and economic life. Another feature appeared in the wake of the “wave of advance”: causewayed enclosures. The function of these is not entirely confirmed but the use as camps, meeting points, market places, centres of worship, cattle keeps or just fortified strongholds is under discussion. The causewayed enclosure of Champ-Durand situated above the Marais Poitevin marsh land in western France was excavated between the late 1970s and 1980s. The camp was surrounded by a complex triple wall and ditch system from which many well-preserved human and animal bones were recovered. Radiocarbon dating puts these burials into the Neolithic period of between 3300-3100 calBC. Using strontium, sulphur and oxygen isotope analysis on cattle teeth and bones offers an insight into whether the cattle was bred locally or acquired from further afield. By comparing the values of Sr acquired from the teeth and comparing them with values derived from the underlying distinctive geology in this region and combining the results delivered by O and S, it is possible to reconstruct spatial movement of cattle during their adolescence. Financed by the EU founded FP-7 “LeCHE-group” it is possible to do extensive combined scientific research to enhance the results of the archaeological excavations.

Authors:

FEULNER Frederick, CRAIG Oliver and EDMONDS Mark

Affiliations

Department of Archaeology/BioArCh, The University of York, PO Box 373, York, YO10 5YW, UK, freder@palaeome.org; ol@@palaeome.org ; mre500@york.ac.uk

Creator

Feulner, Frederick
Craig, Oliver
Edmonds, Mark

Date

August 2010

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Document Item Type Metadata

Citation

Feulner, Frederick, Craig, Oliver and Edmonds, Mark. " Tracking Neolithic Cattle by Multiple Light Stable Isotope Analysis ," in BoneCommons, Item #1134, http://alexandriaarchive.org/bonecommons/items/show/1134 (accessed August 9, 2020).