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Strontium and oxygen isotope evidence for the origin and movement of cattle at Late Neolithic Durrington Walls, UK

Evans, J; Parker Pearson, M; Madgwick, R; Sloane, H; Albarella, U; (2019) Strontium and oxygen isotope evidence for the origin and movement of cattle at Late Neolithic Durrington Walls, UK. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences , 11 (10) pp. 5181-5197. 10.1007/s12520-019-00849-w. Green open access

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Abstract

The geographic origins of livestock found at the Late Neolithic site of Durrington Walls (Wiltshire, UK) is explored using strontium (87Sr/86Sr) and oxygen (δ18OcarbVSMOW) isotope analysis of tooth enamel as an archive of lifetime movement. The analysis of 49 cattle is augmented with data for small numbers of animals from the contemporaneous monumental centres of West Kennet Palisade Enclosures (4), Stonehenge (1), and Marden (1). Unburnt human remains are scarce at these sites and the suite of biomolecular analyses that can be undertaken on cremated remains is limited. Therefore, these animals provide the best proxy for the origins of the people who raised them and give key information on livestock management. This builds on the Sr isotope analysis of 12 animals previously published from Durrington Walls and complements recent research on pig remains from the same sites, providing further evidence for the scale of human and animal movement and the catchment of these sites. The strontium isotope signatures from the animals’ teeth range between values that are consistent with local chalkland grazing to radiogenic values typical of granites and older rock types. The oxygen isotope data, coupled with the strontium results, provide new geographic resolution and indicate that the majority of the animals come from southern and western areas of Britain.

Type: Article
Title: Strontium and oxygen isotope evidence for the origin and movement of cattle at Late Neolithic Durrington Walls, UK
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s12520-019-00849-w
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12520-019-00849-w
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author(s) 2019. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Keywords: Bos taurus, Strontium, Oxygen, Isotopes, Durrington Walls, Mobility, Neolithic
UCL classification: UCL
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UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology
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URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10088649
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