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A Geochemical Investigation of Sociopolitical Structure among Holocene Hunter-Gatherers in the Cis-Baikal’s Little Sea Micro-Region

Author(s): Ben A. Shepard ; Vladimir Bazaliiskii ; Olga Goriunova ; Michael Richards ; Andrzej Weber

Year: 2017

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Summary

We present the results of a large-scale comparative study of individual life histories among hunter-gatherer groups inhabiting the western coast of Lake Baikal (Russian Federation) during the Late Neolithic (5700-4900 cal BP) and Early Bronze Age (4900-3700 cal BP). More specifically, we employ data on stable strontium isotope (87Sr/86Sr) values from tooth enamel collected from human molars (M1-M3), along with associated data on variation in isotopes of carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) to provide a glimpse into individuals’ long-term mobility practices and subsistence activities. Using these data in conjunction with archaeological data on grave goods and the placement of interments at cemeteries (single/multiple interments, grave rows, grave clusters), we suggest that the Late Neolithic-Early Bronze Age transition featured changes in group structure that are broadly consistent with a hypothesized decline in corporate political economic strategies during the Early Bronze Age.


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A Geochemical Investigation of Sociopolitical Structure among Holocene Hunter-Gatherers in the Cis-Baikal’s Little Sea Micro-Region. Ben A. Shepard, Vladimir Bazaliiskii, Olga Goriunova, Michael Richards, Andrzej Weber. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430747)


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Abstract Id(s): 16743

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