Who's been using my burial mound? Radiocarbon dating and isotopic tracing of human diet and mobility at the collective burial site, Le Tumulus des Sables, southwest France

Hannah F. James, Malte Willmes, Ceridwen A. Boel, Patrice Courtaud, Antoine Chancerel, Elsa Ciesielski, Jocelyne Desideri, Audrey Bridy, Rachel Wood, Ian Moffat, Stewart Fallon, Linda McMorrow, Richard A. Armstrong, Ian S. Williams, Leslie Kinsley, Maxime Aubert, Stephen Eggins, Catherine J. Frieman, Rainer Grün

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The burial mound of Le Tumulus des Sables, southwest France, contains archaeological artefacts spanning from the Neolithic to the Iron Age. Human remains have been found throughout the burial mound, however their highly fragmented state complicates the association between the burial mound structure and the archaeological material. Radiocarbon dating and isotopic analyses of human teeth have been used to investigate the chronology, diet and mobility of the occupants. Radiocarbon dating shows that the site was used for burials from the Neolithic to Iron Age, consistent with the range of archaeological artefacts recovered. δ 13 C and δ 15 N values (from dentine collagen) suggest a predominately terrestrial diet for the population, unchanging through time. 87 Sr/ 86 Sr (on enamel and dentine) and δ 18 O (on enamel) values are consistent with occupation of the surrounding region, with one individual having a δ 18 O value consistent with a childhood spent elsewhere, in a colder climate region. These results showcase the complex reuse of this burial mound by a mostly local population over a period of about 2000 years.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)955-966
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science: Reports
Volume24
Early online date26 Mar 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019

Keywords

  • Bell beaker
  • Burial mound
  • Isotopic tracing
  • Mobility
  • Palaeodiet
  • Radiocarbon dating
  • Teeth

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