Cattle on the hoof: Strontium isotope analysis of cattle teeth from Late Neolithic Durrington Walls (Sarah Viner, Jane Evans, Umberto Albarella, Mike Parker Pearson)

All Titles

  • Cattle on the hoof: Strontium isotope analysis of cattle teeth from Late Neolithic Durrington Walls (Sarah Viner, Jane Evans, Umberto Albarella, Mike Parker Pearson)

Dublin Core

Title

Cattle on the hoof: Strontium isotope analysis of cattle teeth from Late Neolithic Durrington Walls (Sarah Viner, Jane Evans, Umberto Albarella, Mike Parker Pearson)

Description

Cattle are a common component in zooarchaeological assemblages from the Late Neolithic in Britain and were undoubtedly important in both the economic and ritual spheres of Neolithic life. At present relatively little is known about the role of mobility in the husbandry regimes that characterised the time, as the movement of animals can be difficult to detect in the archaeological record. The application of strontium isotope analysis can provide insights into the movement of animals and humans in the past. In the case of cattle, tooth enamel provides 87Sr/86Sr values that are set during the period of tooth development and that will reflect the geology of the grazing area. By comparing these early grazing signatures with values from archaeological sites it can be established whether individuals were of autochthonous or allochthonous origin. This paper will present the results of Sr isotope analysis of 12 cattle teeth from Late Neolithic contexts at Durrington Walls, Wiltshire, a site located on chalkland. The findings suggest that while some animals were raised under conditions similar to those that are found at Durrington Walls, a number could not have been raised on chalkland. Not only were a large proportion of the cattle analysed raised in non-chalk areas, but a number of possible areas of origin could be identified for the allochthonous specimens. These results have implications for the long distance movement of cattle, and for the interaction between people in different parts of the British Isles during the Late Neolithic.

Creator

Sarah Viner, University of Sheffield
Jane Evans, NIGL, Keyworth
Umberto Albarella, University of Sheffield
Mike Parker Pearson, University of Sheffield

Contribution Form

Online Submission

No

Citation

Sarah Viner, University of Sheffield
Jane Evans, NIGL, Keyworth
Umberto Albarella, University of Sheffield
Mike Parker Pearson, University of Sheffield. "Cattle on the hoof: Strontium isotope analysis of cattle teeth from Late Neolithic Durrington Walls (Sarah Viner, Jane Evans, Umberto Albarella, Mike Parker Pearson)," in BoneCommons, Item #862, http://alexandriaarchive.org/bonecommons/items/show/862 (accessed November 25, 2020).

License

Creative Commons License