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What did you have for dinner last night? Revealing diet, mobility, and movement of people within Middle Iron Age British society through multi-isotopic analysis

Author(s): Derek Hamilton ; Kerry Sayle ; Colin Haselgrove ; Gordon Cook

Year: 2016

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Summary

The Middle Iron Age in southern central Britain (c. 300–150 cal BC) is a period that is often seen as becoming regionally inward-looking. A primary focus of the mixed agriculturalists is on building and maintaining massive hillforts. There is very little long-distance exchange or trade noted in the archaeological record, and the metalwork at the time takes on insular forms (e.g. involuted brooches) that separate it from the Continental connections observable in both the Early and Late Iron Age.

This paper will present the results of recent multi-isotopic work (δ13C, δ15N, and δ34S) on human and animal bone collagen undertaken at the Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre (SUERC) that have produced results that alter this narrative. We argue that the variability observed within the animal populations may likely be the result of the movement of animals across large distances, in this case a minimum of 20 km, but potentially much further. Also, this research has identified incomers to the human population that were interred within the Middle Iron Age burial ground, spawning questions pertaining to identity, community, mobility, and trade.


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What did you have for dinner last night? Revealing diet, mobility, and movement of people within Middle Iron Age British society through multi-isotopic analysis. Derek Hamilton, Kerry Sayle, Colin Haselgrove, Gordon Cook. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404598)


Keywords


Spatial Coverage

min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America