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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Feb 26;110(9):3298-303. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1211474110. Epub 2013 Feb 11.

Strontium isotopes document greater human mobility at the start of the Balkan Neolithic.

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  • 1Department of Archaeology and Conservation, Cardiff University, Cardiff CF10 3EU, United Kingdom. BoricD@cardiff.ac.uk

Abstract

Questions about how farming and the Neolithic way of life spread across Europe have been hotly debated topics in archaeology for decades. For a very long time, two models have dominated the discussion: migrations of farming groups from southwestern Asia versus diffusion of domesticates and new ideas through the existing networks of local forager populations. New strontium isotope data from the Danube Gorges in the north-central Balkans, an area characterized by a rich burial record spanning the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition, show a significant increase in nonlocal individuals from ∼6200 calibrated B.C., with several waves of migrants into this region. These results are further enhanced by dietary evidence based on carbon and nitrogen isotopes and an increasingly high chronological resolution obtained on a large sample of directly dated individuals. This dataset provides robust evidence for a brief period of coexistence between indigenous groups and early farmers before farming communities absorbed the foragers completely in the first half of the sixth millennium B.C.

PMID:
23401535
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3587252
Free PMC Article
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