Understanding the Neolithic Transition: Stable Carbon and Nitrogen Isotope Analysis of Subneolithic and Neolithic Animals and Inhabitants of the SE Baltic Coast (3200-2500 cal BC)
The Neolithic transition in the boreal zone of the Baltic region deviated significantly from the “classic” European model, and in 2014-2015 a multidisciplinary research project targeting why this occurred was undertaken. Twenty-one 14C AMS dates were obtained for 11 Late Mesolithic– Early Bronze Age (7000-1000 cal B.C.) graves and for 6 human bones found in settlements or refuse layers. Stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes analyses of bone collagen were conducted for 40 human bones and teeth from Subneolithic Šventoji coastal sites and the inland Neolithic Benaičiai site. Forty-two contemporaneous animals were also analyzed, and previous published data from 18 Lithuanian Stone and Bronze Age graves and 42 animals are also included. Stable isotope values confirm fresh/brackish water fish as the main source of protein for coastal Subneolithic people, while marine resources were of much less importance (δ13C from –21 to –18.8‰; δ15N from 14.4 to 15.6‰). Intra-individual stable isotope variation indicates limited changes in diet throughout life. A clear shift towards terrestrial foods is demonstrated for individuals from the Neolithic Benaičiai site. This dietary shift is roughly contemporaneous with the drainage of lagoonal lakes at Šventoji, as well as with a spread of Corded Ware Culture in 2700-2500 cal BC.
This Resource is Part of the Following Collections
- Society for American Archaeology 81st Annual Meeting, Orlando, FL (2016) •
- Applications of Isotope Research in Zooarchaeology
Cite this Record
Understanding the Neolithic Transition: Stable Carbon and Nitrogen Isotope Analysis of Subneolithic and Neolithic Animals and Inhabitants of the SE Baltic Coast (3200-2500 cal BC). Tosha Dupras, Gytis Piliciauskas, Rimantas Jankauskas, Giedre Piliciauskiene. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403093)
min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;