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Multi-isotope analysis reveals that feasts in the Stonehenge environs and across Wessex drew people and animals from throughout Britain

Madgwick, R; Lamb, AL; Sloane, H; Nederbragt, AJ; Albarella, U; Pearson, MP; Evans, JA; (2019) Multi-isotope analysis reveals that feasts in the Stonehenge environs and across Wessex drew people and animals from throughout Britain. Science Advances , 5 (3) , Article eaau6078. 10.1126/sciadv.aau6078. Green open access

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Abstract

The great henge complexes of southern Britain are iconic monuments of the third millennium BCE, representing great feats of engineering and labor mobilization that hosted feasting events on a previously unparalleled scale. The scale of movement and the catchments that the complexes served, however, have thus far eluded understanding. Presenting the largest five-isotope system archeological dataset (87Sr/86Sr, δ34S, δ18O, δ13C, and δ15N) yet fully published, we analyze 131 pigs, the prime feasting animals, from four Late Neolithic (approximately 2800 to 2400 BCE) complexes to explore the networks that the feasts served. Because archeological evidence excludes continental contact, sources are considered only in the context of the British Isles. This analysis reveals wide-ranging origins across Britain, with few pigs raised locally. This finding demonstrates great investment of effort in transporting pigs raised elsewhere over vast distances to supply feasts and evidences the very first phase of pan-British connectivity.

Type: Article
Title: Multi-isotope analysis reveals that feasts in the Stonehenge environs and across Wessex drew people and animals from throughout Britain
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aau6078
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.aau6078
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: Science & Technology, Multidisciplinary Sciences, Science & Technology - Other Topics, IRON-AGE, CATTLE, HUSBANDRY, CONSUMPTION, DELTA-O-18, MANAGEMENT, ORIGINS, VALUES, PIGS, UK
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10075611
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