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Tooth enamel oxygen "isoscapes" show a high degree of human mobility in prehistoric Britain

Pellegrini, M; Pouncett, J; Jay, M; Pearson, MP; Richards, MP; (2016) Tooth enamel oxygen "isoscapes" show a high degree of human mobility in prehistoric Britain. Scientific Reports , 6 , Article 34986. 10.1038/srep34986. Green open access

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Abstract

A geostatistical model to predict human skeletal oxygen isotope values (δ18Op) in Britain is presented here based on a new dataset of Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age human teeth. The spatial statistics which underpin this model allow the identification of individuals interpreted as ‘non-local’ to the areas where they were buried (spatial outliers). A marked variation in δ18Op is observed in several areas, including the Stonehenge region, the Peak District, and the Yorkshire Wolds, suggesting a high degree of human mobility. These areas, rich in funerary and ceremonial monuments, may have formed focal points for people, some of whom would have travelled long distances, ultimately being buried there. The dataset and model represent a baseline for future archaeological studies, avoiding the complex conversions from skeletal to water δ18O values–a process known to be problematic.

Type: Article
Title: Tooth enamel oxygen "isoscapes" show a high degree of human mobility in prehistoric Britain
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/srep34986
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep34986
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: Element cycles, Environmental impact, Population dynamics, Stable isotope analysis
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1524717
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