Isotopic evidence for landscape use and the role of causewayed enclosures during the earlier Neolithic in southern Britain
Neil, S.; Evans, J.; Montgomery, J.; Scarre, C.
Professor Janet Montgomery email@example.com
The nature of landscape use and residence patterns during the British earlier Neolithic has often been debated. Here we use strontium and oxygen isotope analysis of tooth enamel, from individuals buried at the Hambledon Hill causewayed enclosure monument complex in Dorset, England to evaluate patterns of landscape use during the earlier Neolithic. Previous analysis suggests that a significant proportion of the artefacts found at the site may originate from lithology of Eocene and Upper to Middle Jurassic age that the enclosures overlook to the immediate west and south. The excavators therefore argued that the sector of landscape visible from Hambledon Hill provides an approximate index for the catchment occupied by the communities that it served. Most of the burial population exhibit isotope ratios that could be consistent with this argument. Connections between Hambledon Hill and regions much further afield are also hypothesised, based on the presence of artefacts within the assemblage that could have been sourced from lithology in Somerset, Devon, and Cornwall in south-west England. However, few of the sampled individuals have strontium isotope ratios consistent with having obtained the majority of their diet from such areas during childhood. The individuals who exhibit the highest strontium isotope ratios are all adult males, whom the excavators suggest to have died during one or more episodes of conflict, following the burning and destruction of surrounding defensive outworks built during the 36th century bc. At least one of these individuals, who was found with an arrowhead amongst his ribs, did not obtain his childhood diet locally and has 87Sr/86Sr values that could be comparable to those bioavailable in the south-west peninsula.
Neil, S., Evans, J., Montgomery, J., & Scarre, C. (2018). Isotopic evidence for landscape use and the role of causewayed enclosures during the earlier Neolithic in southern Britain. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society, 84, 185-205. https://doi.org/10.1017/ppr.2018.6
|Journal Article Type||Article|
|Acceptance Date||Jun 29, 2018|
|Online Publication Date||Aug 6, 2018|
|Publication Date||Dec 1, 2018|
|Deposit Date||Oct 18, 2017|
|Publicly Available Date||Sep 20, 2018|
|Journal||Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society for ...|
|Peer Reviewed||Peer Reviewed|
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Advance online version © The Prehistoric Society 2018. This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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