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Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences
Journal Prestige (SJR): 1.052
Citation Impact (citeScore): 2
Number of Followers: 23  
 
  Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
ISSN (Print) 1866-9565 - ISSN (Online) 1866-9557
Published by Springer-Verlag Homepage  [2467 journals]
  • Mitogenomic diversity and stable isotopes provide insights into the
           maternal genetic history, mobility patterns, and diet of early medieval
           individuals from the Eastern Italian Alps

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      Abstract: Abstract The Eastern Italian Alps (South Tyrol) is a connection area between continental Italy and the northern Alps. Various local factors, such as the heterogeneous environment, complex historical events, and different mobility patterns, may have influenced the genetic makeup of early medieval alpine groups. However, no ancient genetic data from these groups are currently available. This study provides a first picture of the ancient mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) diversity of alpine groups from four locations in South Tyrol (Adige, Isarco, Venosta, and Merano). In total, 94 ancient mitogenomes of individuals (dated from 400 to 1100AD) were reconstructed by shotgun sequencing and a mtDNA capture approach. Moreover, stable isotope ratios (δ13C, δ15N, δ34S) were analyzed in a subset of 32 individuals. The results indicate different mtDNA haplogroup distributions among the alpine locations and the presence of rare lineages besides a possible maternal relatedness between individuals buried in the same and in diverse archaeological contexts. The study also shows differences in the genetic and mobility patterns (δ34S) between individuals from the central and north-eastern parts (Adige, Merano, Isarco) and those from the north-western part of South Tyrol (Venosta). These results suggest genetic exchanges with allochthonous people in the first group probably linked to high mobility and to geomorphological, historical, and socio-cultural factors. Comparisons extended to present-day alpine populations also suggested maternal genetic continuity in this alpine area. Finally, stable isotope (δ13C, δ15N, δ34S) data provided further support for regional differences in the diet of past alpine groups possibly linked to altitude and/or social status.
      PubDate: 2022-12-02
       
  • The emergence of a nomadic desert polity: an archaeozoological perspective

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      Abstract: Abstract Recent research has provided valuable insights into the identity and social structure of the local nomadic tribes operating the two main copper production centers in Wadi Arabah, Timna, and Faynan, between the thirteenth and the ninth century BCE. This was a time of major changes in the political and economic settings of Wadi Arabah and the entire southern Levant. Our study adds the archaeozoological perspective. It focuses on animal remains, specifically access to animals and their products, as a proxy for social processes. We analyze materials from four smelting camps in Timna, dated to the twelfth to tenth century BCE, and discuss the results in the context of previous studies. Our results show that there is continuity in the ways livestock animals were exploited. However, a shift in the economic basis occurred in the late eleventh century, when cattle and sheep, which are expensive, especially in desert conditions, became part of the local economy. We argue that this change is regional and that it implies an economic flourishing of the entire region during the late eleventh to ninth century BCE. Our observations corroborate others that point to the rise of an early nomadic state—the early Edomite kingdom—during this period. They also contribute to our understanding of nomadic societies, including their ability to achieve a greater level of social complexity than the one typically attributed to them in research on the region under study.
      PubDate: 2022-12-01
       
  • Wood charcoal macroremains from the Heraion on Samos: firewood and tree
           management during the Early-Middle Bronze and Roman periods

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      Abstract: Abstract This research presents the anthracological results from the recently excavated sectors to the north of the Sacred Road of the Heraion Sanctuary on Samos Island. The current study suggests that during the Bronze period, the inhabitants of the site took full advantage of both the alluvial and the mixed Mediterranean woodland formations growing in proximity to the site in order to gain firewood. The presence of Olea europaea already in the Chalcolithic and its high percentages during the Bronze Age indicates management of the species, at the same time that the carpological evidence suggests olive oil production on a small scale. By the Roman period, the vegetation had been altered significantly, mainly due to human pressure and most probably due to the utilization of the woody vegetation and the land it occupied by the Sanctuary of Hera. At this phase, the reduction of the variety of the riparian taxa and the predominance of maquis vegetation is to be noticed.
      PubDate: 2022-11-30
       
  • Facing the palimpsest conundrum: an archaeo-stratigraphic approach to the
           intra-site analysis of SHK Extension (Bed II, Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania)

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      Abstract: Abstract In recent years, a “high-resolution” archaeological approach is being successfully applied in a number of Paleolithic intra-site spatial analyses. This perspective encompasses the integration of data provided by a number of sources (such as soil micro-morphology, archaeo-stratigraphy, site formation studies, or lithic conjoining) in order to identify minimal behavioral entities in archaeological palimpsests. To date, this type of approach has been applied to African ESA contexts only cursorily. Here, we present the results of our methodological effort in order to make progress towards meeting some of the basic standards of current high-resolution approaches in the East African ESA record, revolving around the concept of synchronicity. This approach has been applied to the newly discovered site of SHK Extension, adjacent to and pene-contemporaneous with the classical SHK Main site (Olduvai Gorge), where a total area of 30 m2 has been unearthed. By a detailed archaeo-stratigraphic study of the archaeological sequence, in combination with other procedures focusing on the micro scale of the spatial analysis, we can confidently dissect the different archaeo-units of this anthropogenic aggregate. These archaeo-units must be interpreted as micro-palimpsests showing a level of synchronicity as accurate as possible. In the present work, this methodology constitutes the referential criterion for assemblage grouping and it is the baseline for the subsequent technological study of the different anthropogenic entities identified at SHK Extension.
      PubDate: 2022-11-29
       
  • Geochemical and petrographic investigation of the provenance of white
           marble decorative elements from the Roman Villa Armira in south-eastern
           Bulgaria

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      Abstract: Abstract The paper presents evidence of Roman marble production in the Balkan region, specifically from the south-eastern Rhodope Mountain area (modern Bulgaria) and Armira. Although the Roman marble trade and production in antiquity are well known in Prokonnesos, Thasos, and several other production sites, marble deposits from inland Thrace have received far less attention. In 2018–2019, a systematic survey of south-eastern Bulgaria (Roman Thrace) was carried out by our team in collaboration with the National Archaeological Institute with Museum in Bulgaria. White marble quarries and outcrops were investigated in situ with the goal of characterizing the macroscopic qualities of the stone. Quarry samples were collected and analyzed through various techniques—petrography, isotopic, and chemical analyses—and compared with the architectural decorative marble and artifacts from the Roman villa at Armira. We demonstrate that the geochemical and petrographic features of these samples indicate a marble provenance restricted to a few selected sources. We conclude that the local marble from the Armira and Kamilski Dol quarries was widely used for the complete architectural program of the Roman villa of Armira.
      PubDate: 2022-11-29
       
  • Correction to: Monte Alban and Teotihuacan connections: can stable isotope
           analysis of bone and enamel detect migration between two ancient
           Mesoamerican urban capitals'

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      PubDate: 2022-11-28
       
  • Pottery technology and provenance in southern Tawantinsuyu. A petrographic
           approach to Provincial Inca style

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      Abstract: Abstract In Central Western Argentina (CWA), the Provincial Inca pottery has been the most ubiquitous indicator of Inca influence and expansionism during the fifteenth–sixteenth centuries. This paper presents a petrographic analysis of thin sections of ceramic samples from the Inca and local sites located throughout CWA, in order to contribute to the study of the provenance of raw materials, technology, and distribution networks. The results point to a heterogeneous petrographic composition, consistent with a decentralized production model. However, major uniformity in pastes, and a higher correlation with the local geology, is identified in two sectors: the Uspallata Valley and Southern San Juan. Some innovations in production practices (such as grog and volcanic glass inclusions) are also noteworthy, probably in relation to the emergence of new socio-ethnic identities. This information is compared with their archaeological background to contribute to the discussion of the organization of pottery production during the Inca dominance of the state’s southern frontier.
      PubDate: 2022-11-28
       
  • Tracking ancient glass production in India: elemental and isotopic
           analysis of raw materials

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      Abstract: Abstract In India, the organization of the ancient glass industries that produced, starting around the mid-1st millennium BCE, huge quantities of small drawn beads that were traded both locally and all over the Indian Ocean and beyond, is poorly known. Elemental compositions conducted on glass beads found in India and on Indian beads found elsewhere show a great variability that could be linked in some cases to different production regions (Northern, Southern, and Western India). However, a more precise provenance attribution and the identification of regionally distinct production centers was not possible without additional research. Ethno-historical references show that glass was often produced from one single ingredient, called reh. We collected raw material samples from selected regions within the subcontinent. This paper reports on both the elemental compositions of these raw material samples obtained using laser ablation—inductively coupled plasma—mass spectrometry and their isotopic compositions including Pb, Sr, and Nd. The results were compared to elemental and isotopic data available for known Indian glass artifacts recovered from sites within and outside India. Our results show that some regions within India are more likely than others to have been the loci of glass production in ancient times.
      PubDate: 2022-11-23
       
  • Origins and distribution of hellenistic and late republican transport
           amphorae in the dalmatian region and its implications for adriatic trade
           and economy

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      Abstract: Abstract The presence of Hellenistic and Late Republican transport amphorae at numerous sites along the Adriatic and within shipwrecks off the coast indicates that intense trade and/or exchange in commodities such as olive oil and wine took place in this region from the fourth until the first century BC. The details of this commercial activity are nevertheless unclear in terms of the sources, destinations, and routes via which transport containers and their contents were circulated. The present study brings compositional data to bear on this topic by analysing petrographically and geochemically 248 amphorae sherds from 15 sites along the Dalmatian coast of present-day Croatia, including production sites, places of consumption, and shipwrecks. This revealed the existence of several larger amphora workshops whose amphorae were used to export goods to Dalmatia during the fourth and third centuries BC. They were involved in direct trade or through intermediaries in the redistribution centres. In the second and first centuries BC, only one workshop supplied amphorae in the region, which is probably the Dalmatian town of Issa. Aspects of the regional and inter-regional distribution and redistribution of amphorae from these workshops have been reconstructed, as well as changes within the trading system over time.
      PubDate: 2022-11-19
       
  • Quantitative 3D orientation analysis of particles and voids to
           differentiate hand-built pottery forming techniques using X-ray
           microtomography and neutron tomography

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      Abstract: Abstract This article describes the quantitative analysis of the 3D orientation of objects (i.e. particles and voids) within pottery fabrics to differentiate two categories of pottery hand-building primary forming techniques, specifically percussion-building and coil-building, comparing the use of two independent non-destructive imaging modalities, X-ray microtomography (µ-CT) and neutron tomography (NT). For this purpose, series of experimental organic-tempered vessels and coil sections were analysed. For both imaging modalities, two separate systems were employed for quantitatively describing both the orientation of individual objects, as well as the collective preferential alignment of objects within samples, utilising respectively polar and azimuth angles within a spherical coordinate system, and projected sizes within a positive Cartesian coordinate system. While the former provided full descriptions of the orientations of objects within 3D space, the latter, through a ratio dubbed here the ‘Orientation Index’ (OI), gave a simple numerical value with which the investigated samples were differentiated according to forming technique. Both imaging modalities were able to differentiate between coil-built and percussion-built vessels with a high degree of confidence, with the strength of these findings additionally demonstrated through extensive statistical modelling using Monte Carlo simulations. Despite differences in resolution and differences in the attenuation of X-rays and neutrons, µ-CT and NT were shown to provide comparable results. The findings presented here broadly agree with earlier studies; however, the quantitative and three-dimensional nature of the results enables more subtle features to be identified, while additionally, in principle, the non-destructive nature of both imaging techniques facilitates such structural analysis without recourse to invasive sampling.
      PubDate: 2022-11-17
       
  • Technological changes in the glazed wares of northern Tunisia in the
           transition from Fatimid to Zirid rule

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      Abstract: Abstract A representative selection of glazed ceramics recovered from medieval Islamic contexts excavated in the former Roman port of Utica (North Tunisia) (23 of 99 pieces) has revealed new data about medieval glaze technologies in the central Mediterranean. Stratified sequences of pottery have established four main phases of occupation which span the mid-tenth to the mid-eleventh centuries. Significant changes in the range of glazed wares are found in the Zirid period with respect to the late Fatimid period: whereas polychrome yellow-amber glazed ware from the Kairouan region was practically the only glazed ware supplied to Utica in the Fatimid period, a varied range of polychrome glazed wares was produced in various techniques in the late tenth century, early Zirid period. These new glazed ware types become dominant in the early eleventh century. Up to six different glazing techniques have been identified by SEM–EDX and optical microscopy, including transparent and opaque glazes with underglaze and overglaze decoration respectively. The absence of tin in all the glazed vessels confirms the data obtained in a previous study from Bir Ftouha. Though it has been repeatedly stated that tin was used to produce the white background of Fatimid-Zirid glazed wares in Tunisia, this was achieved by adding quartz to the glaze. Some imports of glazed ceramics from Sicily and al-Andalus have been detected: their appearance in the early-mid eleventh century is significant as it seems to indicate a first stage in the re-activation of Mediterranean commerce, which increased in the course of the following centuries.
      PubDate: 2022-11-17
       
  • A micro-geoarchaeological view on stratigraphy and site formation
           processes in the Middle, Upper and Epi-Paleolithic layers of Sefunim Cave,
           Mt. Carmel, Israel

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      Abstract: Abstract This paper presents a micro-geoarchaeological study carried out on the sedimentary sequence exposed at the entrance of Sefunim Cave, Israel, a sequence that spans from the Middle Paleolithic to the early Epipaleolithic periods. Using FTIR and micromorphological techniques, we investigated the stratigraphic sequence to reconstruct patterns of site use and archaeological formation processes. We identified formation processes that are common among Paleolithic caves sites in the Southern Levant, mainly the deposition of local terra rossa through colluvial sedimentation. Taphonomic disturbances of the deposits range from minimal to moderate, exhibited mainly by root and burrowing activity, but with no evidence for significant transport of archaeological materials. While the upper layers (II–III) are decalcified, the precipitation of secondary calcite results in increasing cementation of the sediments with depth in the lower layers (V–VII). We observed variation at the microscopic scale and identified an inverse correlation between human and carnivore activity throughout the layers. We observed human activity by the presence of micro-archaeological materials such as chert, bone, charcoal, rubified clay, burnt bone and shell, and wood ash. We observed carnivore activity by the presence of phosphatic grains and coprolite fragments as well as chewed and digested bones. We conclude that human activity at the site was characterized by episodes of varying intensity, based on the frequency of archaeological finds within the different layers. The alternating episodes of human and carnivore activity at Sefunim Cave may demonstrate the close-knit interactions and reciprocal relations that humans and carnivore shared at Paleolithic caves.
      PubDate: 2022-11-11
       
  • Mineralogy, geochemistry, and genesis of stones of arhat statuettes
           unearthed in Naju, Korea: geoarchaeological implications

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      Abstract: Abstract High-fidelity data on the chemical compositions and mineral phases were obtained to delve into the geoarchaeological significance underlying the stones of the arhat statuettes excavated in Naju, Korea. Quantitative chemical and mineralogical analyses were performed using calibration curves and Rietveld-based methods, respectively. Light and electron probe microscopy and colorimetric analyses were also employed to provide complementary information regarding the materials. The stones of statuettes were identified as ash tuffs with a rhyolitic composition. The findings of amorphous iron-oxide phase filling voids in laminated reddish layers were crucial in describing the formation of the layered texture prevailing on the stones. In addition, the different abundances of two distinctive pairs of illite–feldspars and kaolinite–micas in a hydrothermal system revealed the existence of contrasting pathways in the weathering processes of volcanic ashes in terms of temperature and fluid pH. By mediating iron content and the pairs of minerals, the color of powder samples allowed the texture and hydrothermal environment to be tied within a single system. Finally, a comprehensive geological model comprising rock-forming processes and the surrounding environment could be established. The model based on multilayered scientific investigations would make significant contribution to conservation science by providing the significance of elucidating the provenance of the source rock of the arhat statuettes.
      PubDate: 2022-11-07
       
  • Monte Alban and Teotihuacan connections: can stable isotope analysis of
           bone and enamel detect migration between two ancient Mesoamerican urban
           capitals'

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      Abstract: Abstract Migration is an important factor in the process of urbanization in past and present cities. This study presents new stable carbon and oxygen isotope data from 38 human individuals buried at the ancient Zapotec city of Monte Alban in the modern state of Oaxaca, Mexico. Both bone and enamel tissues were sampled, providing the opportunity to explore mobility over different phases of individuals’ lives. The results document the presence of two statistical outliers and three other individuals who were likely born in foreign locations. One of these non-local individuals (T.8-1(A)) exhibits exceptionally high stable oxygen isotope values in both bone and enamel tissues, suggesting he was born and spent most of his life in a region outside of the valley of Oaxaca, perhaps within the city of Teotihuacan in the Basin of Mexico. The other non-local and possible non-local individuals exhibit outlying stable isotope values in their teeth, but not their bones, suggesting they had moved to Monte Alban many years before death. The results of this study are contextualized within a broader discussion about the nature of the relationship between Monte Alban and Teotihuacan and the possibility of using stable oxygen isotope analysis to detect migration in pre-Hispanic Mesoamerica.
      PubDate: 2022-11-07
       
  • Flexibility within Quina lithic production systems and tool-use in
           Northern Italy: implications on Neanderthal behavior and ecology during
           early MIS 4

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      Abstract: Abstract The Quina Mousterian is one of the well-defined Middle Paleolithic techno-complexes. Despite the pivotal research carried out in south-western France, the presence of this techno-complex across the rest of Europe is still poorly documented. Here we apply a techno-functional approach, combining technological and use-wear analyses, for reconstructing lithic core-reduction, tool-reduction, and tool use at De Nadale Cave, a single-layered Mousterian site with Quina features located in northern Italy and dated to the early MIS 4. Our results indicate that the flexible core reduction strategies identified at De Nadale show some similarities with the Quina knapping method, in addition to the adoption of centripetal methods on single surfaces. Variations of this scheme identified at De Nadale are the exploitation of lateral and narrow fronts which are aimed to the production of elongated, small blanks. A parallel, ramified reduction is applied to limace cores and Quina or demi-Quina scrapers having diversified purpose (mixed matrix). These blanks are exploited as tools and cores-on-flakes from which thinner, usable flakes or bladelets are detached. The use-wear identified on both scrapers and reaffutage flakes further confirm this behavior, demonstrating the use of both tools, albeit for different tasks (i.e., scraping and cutting). We discuss the ecological implications of this behavior within the Quina Mousterian. The high frequency of retouched tools and Quina or demi-Quina scrapers seems to accompany the highly mobile human groups associated with this techno complex and their seasonally organized subsistence strategies. Finally, by combining available multidisciplinary data on paleoenvironment, subsistence, and chronology, we were able to embed the neanderthal settlement of De Nadale in a regional and Western European frame, underlining the importance of the Quina Mousterian in Western Eurasia between MIS 4 and early MIS 3.
      PubDate: 2022-11-04
       
  • Radiocarbon chronology of Bronze Age mines in the Southern Trans-Urals:
           first results

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      Abstract: Abstract An analysis of the first detailed radiocarbon data connected with the beginning of copper mining in the Southern Trans-Urals, as well as the periods of developing Southern Trans-Uralian deposits in the Bronze Age, is presented. A series of 14 accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon datings are conducted on the basis of materials obtained from the cultural layers of four ancient mines. The datings cover the period from the end of the 3rd to the beginning of the 1st millennium cal BC. Median values narrow this interval to the twentieth to eleventh centuries cal BC. This prolonged period of mine development included various stages coinciding with the existing archaeological periodization applied in the region: Sintashta-Abashevo, Srubnaya-Alakul, and Final Bronze Age. The evidence obtained suggest the existence of a complete metal-production cycle in the Southern Trans-Urals during the entire Late Bronze Age and the sequential use of a local ore base by the various populations inhabiting this region.
      PubDate: 2022-11-03
       
  • Correction to: The evolution of pyrotechnology in the Upper Palaeolithic
           of Europe

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      PubDate: 2022-11-02
       
  • Bone diagenesis in dry tropic forest necrosols

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      Abstract: Abstract Orobajo Cemetery, a contemporary community cemetery originally located in the floodplains of the Cauca River in Antioquia, Colombia, was exhumed and reinterred in a new site as part of the environmental and cultural protection program associated with the construction of the Ituango Hydroelectric Dam. Bioanthropological, biochemical, and soil sciences methodologies were used throughout the exhumation to recuperate the skeletonized remains of the deceased and evaluate the age and sex of the interred individuals. Individuals of both sexes and every stage of the life cycle were found buried at the cemetery, and their skeletal remains showed bone deterioration and destruction. Thus, the environment in which the deceased were buried was also studied, analyzing the biophysical and biochemical mechanisms of fungal biodeterioration and the chemical composition of the deterioration, as well as the soil of the cemetery. Social context and burial practices were studied to understand their relation to the soil composition in the cemetery. Samples were taken from 31 of the 180 skeletonized remains exhumed at the site. Polarized light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy were used to analyze the samples. The samples showed chemical and physical deterioration as well as fungal biodeterioration with visible loss of minerals, and biodegradation of the organic bone matter, resulting in the destruction of the bone. The study concludes that the high rates of bone deterioration and the resulting fragility of the skeletal remains are due to the burial environment in dry tropical forest soils and the biotic and abiotic agents through which biophysical and biochemical mechanisms produce diagenetic alterations at the microscopic level of the bone.
      PubDate: 2022-10-29
       
  • Middle Pleistocene hominin teeth from Biache-Saint-Vaast, France

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      Abstract: Abstract The study of dental morphology can be a very useful tool to understand the origin and evolution of Neanderthals in Europe during the Middle Pleistocene (MP). At present, the earliest evidence, ca. 430 ka, of a pre-Neanderthal population in Europe is the hominin sample from Atapuerca-Sima de los Huesos (SH) that present clear dental affinities with Neanderthals while other penecontemporaneous populations, such as Arago or Mala Balanica, exhibit less Neanderthal traits. We present the morphometric study of the external and internal dental structures of eleven hominin dental remains recovered from the MP, ca. 240 ka, French site of Biache-Saint-Vaast (BSV). Our analyses place the BSV hominins within the MP group, together with SH, Fontana Ranuccio, Visogliano, Steinheim or Montmaurin, that show greater morphological affinities with Neanderthals. Moreover, we identified interpopulation variability in the expression of the enamel thickness trait, with BSV hominins sharing the unique combination of thin and thick pattern in the premolars and molars with the SH population. These results further support the coexistence of two or more populations in Europe during the MP that reflect the population and settlement of human groups suggested by the Central Area of Dispersals of Eurasia (CADE) and sink and source model.
      PubDate: 2022-10-20
       
  • Multi-isotopic study of the earliest mediaeval inhabitants of Santiago de
           Compostela (Galicia, Spain)

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      Abstract: Abstract Santiago de Compostela is, together with Rome and Jerusalem, one of the three main pilgrimage and religious centres for Catholicism. The belief that the remains of St James the Great, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ, is buried there has stimulated, since their reported discovery in the 9th century AD, a significant flow of people from across the European continent and beyond. Little is known about the practical experiences of people living within the city during its rise to prominence, however. Here, for the first time, we combine multi-isotope analysis (δ13C, δ15N, δ18Oap, δ13Cap and 87Sr/86Sr) and radiocarbon dating (14C) of human remains discovered at the crypt of the Cathedral of Santiago to directly study changes in diet and mobility during the first three centuries of Santiago’s emergence as an urban centre (9th–12th centuries AD). Together with assessment of the existing archaeological data, our radiocarbon chronology broadly confirms historical tradition regarding the first occupation of the site. Isotopic analyses reveal that the foundation of the religious site attracted migrants from the wider region of the northwest corner of the Iberian Peninsula, and possibly from further afield. Stable isotope analysis of collagen, together with information on tomb typology and location, indicates that the inhabitants of the city experienced increasing socioeconomic diversity as it became wealthier as the hub of a wide network of pilgrimage. Our research represents the potential of multidisciplinary analyses to reveal insights into the origins and impacts of the emergence of early pilgrimage centres on the diets and status of communities within Christian mediaeval Europe and beyond.
      PubDate: 2022-10-12
       
 
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