Application of Multi-Isotopic Analysis (δ13C, δ15N, and δ34S) to Examine Mobility and Movement of People and Animals within an Iron Age British Society
The middle of the Iron Age in southern central Britain (c. 400–200 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 from the Wessex sites of Suddern Farm and Danebury hillfort, which alter this narrative. We suggest that the high variability in δ34S observed within the horses is directly related to these animals being used to cover large distances, while these same numbers in cattle are indicative of them being moved potentially upwards of 100–300 km prior to their death and deposition. The scale of the mobility within the animal populations leads us to question the broader economy and social connections at this time.
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Application of Multi-Isotopic Analysis (δ13C, δ15N, and δ34S) to Examine Mobility and Movement of People and Animals within an Iron Age British Society. Derek Hamilton, Kerry Sayle, Colin Haselgrove, Gordon Cook. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 443503)
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min long: -13.711; min lat: 35.747 ; max long: 8.965; max lat: 59.086 ;
Abstract Id(s): 22007