Animal Kingdom: using strontium isotopes as proxy for animal-human relationships

Tessi Löffelmann, Barbara Veselka, Ben Gruwier, Janet Montgomery, Joris Brattinga, Lucas Meurkens, Hannah James, Charlotte Sabaux, Guido van den Eynde, Christophe Snoeck

Onderzoeksoutput: Meeting abstract (Book)


The analysis of strontium (Sr) isotopes in cremated remains is used frequently to assess mobility in cemetery populations. The isotope, Sr, is taken up by mammalian skeletal tissues throughout life via consumed food and water and reflects the 87Sr/86Sr of the bedrock lithology from where the food sources derive from. Since the introduction of the method for cremated remains in 2015, analyses have managed to enrich our understanding of the level of mobility of people who were cremated across time and space. For a number of reasons, the same has not occurred for the cremated remains of animals, even though these frequently accompany those of humans. This omission may reflect modern western ontology, but this is unlikely to mirror how past communities engaged with other species. This paper argues that the inclusion of animals in Sr isotope analyses is important and necessary if archaeologists want to understand not only how people engaged with other people, but also with their wider environment and other organisms. In this presentation, animal-human relationships at a small number of prehistoric and early medieval cemeteries from the low countries and the UK will be investigated in order to demonstrate the potential of seeing animals as part of a wider network of mobilities.
Originele taal-2English
TitelCremations in Archaeology 2024
SubtitelBook of Abstracts
Plaats van productieLjubljana, Slovenia
UitgeverijUniversity of Ljubljana Press
Aantal pagina's1
ISBN van elektronische versie 978-961-297-327-8
ISBN van geprinte versie978-961-297-328-5
StatusPublished - mei 2024
EvenementCremations In Archaeology (CIA '24) - Mestni Muzej, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Duur: 7 mei 202410 mei 2024
Congresnummer: '24


ConferenceCremations In Archaeology (CIA '24)
Verkorte titelCIA
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