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A multidisciplinary approach to Neolithic life reconstruction

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Power,  Robert C.
Department of Human Evolution, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;

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Goude, G., Salazar-García, D. C., Power, R. C., Terrom, J., Rivollat, M., Deguilloux, M.-F., et al. (2019). A multidisciplinary approach to Neolithic life reconstruction. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory, 26(2), 537-560. doi:10.1007/s10816-018-9379-x.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0001-DDB5-A
Abstract
The expansion of Neolithic stable isotope studies in France now allows distinct regional population-scale food patterns to be linked to both local environment influences and specific economic choices. Carbon and nitrogen isotope values of more than 500 humans and of animal samples also permit hypotheses on sex-biased human provenance. To advance population scale research, we here present the first study that draws together carbon (C), nitrogen (N), sulphur (S) and strontium (Sr), dental calculus, aDNA, and palaeoparasitology analysis to infer intra-population patterns of diet and provenance in a Middle Neolithic population from Le Vigneau 2 (human = 40; fauna = 12; 4720–4350 cal. BC) from north-western France. The data of the different studies, such as palaeoparasitology to detect diet and hygiene, CNS isotopes and dental calculus analysis to examine dietary staples, Sr and S isotopes to discriminate non-locals, and aDNA to detect maternal (mtDNA) versus paternal lineages (Y chromosome), were compared to anthropological information of sex and age. Collagen isotope data suggest a similar diet for all individuals except for one child. The provenance isotopic studies suggest no clear differences between sexes, suggesting both males and females used the territory in a similar pattern and had access to foods from the same environments.