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Tracing mobility patterns through the 6th-5th millennia BC in the Carpathian Basin with strontium and oxygen stable isotope analyses.

ABSTRACT: The complexity of Neolithic population movements and their interpretation through material culture have been the subject of archaeological research for decades. One of the dominant narratives proposes that groups from the Star?evo-Körös-Cri? complex spread from the central towards the northern Balkans in the Early Neolithic and eventually brought the Neolithic lifestyle into present-day Hungary. Broad geographical migrations were considered to shape the continuous expansion of Neolithic groups and individuals. However, recent archaeological research, aDNA, and isotope analyses challenged the synchronous appearance of specific material culture distributions and human movement dynamics through emphasizing communication networks and socio-cultural transformation processes. This paper seeks to retrace the complexity of Neolithic mobility patterns across Hungary by means of strontium and oxygen stable isotope analyses, which were performed on a total of 718 human dental enamel samples from 55 Neolithic sites spanning the period from the Star?evo to the Balaton-Lasinja culture in Transdanubia and from the Körös to the Tiszapolgár cultural groups on the Great Hungarian Plain (Alföld). This study presents the largest strontium and oxygen isotope sample size for the Neolithic Carpathian Basin and discusses human mobility patterns on various geographical scales and throughout archaeological cultures, chronological periods, and sex and gender categories in a multiproxy analysis. Based on our results, we discuss the main stages of the Neolithisation processes and particularly trace individual movement behaviour such as exogamy patterns within extensive social networks. Furthermore, this paper presents an innovative differentiation between mobility patterns on small, micro-regional, and supra-regional scales, which provides new insights into the complex organisation of Neolithic communities.

SUBMITTER: Depaermentier MLC 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC7725410 | BioStudies | 2020-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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