Mobility and territoriality during the Mesolithic in southern Scandinavia
Mathilda Kjällquist  1@  , Adam Boethius  2@  
1 : National Historical Museums  (SHM)
2 : Lund University, Department of Archaeology and Ancient History  -  Website
Helgonavägen 3, LUX - Hus A, Lund -  Suède

Is it possible to trace the extent of eventual territoriality during the Mesolithic in southern Scandinavia, and if it changed over time? Previous studies indicate that territoriality may have increased during the Late Mesolithic, as the frequency of possible territorial markings such as burial grounds increases. In this recently initiated study, strontium isotope ratios in human and animal material will be analyzed. The basis is the material from an older Mesolithic settlement (Norje Sunnansund, ca 7000 cal. BC). The material will be compared to material from a later Mesolithic settlement, to further interpret the mobility signals and to better decipher how the suggested territories were constructed.

Most of the previous research using Sr isotope ratios have been based on bulk sampling methods. This provides great information regarding average values, and thus where the individual has spent most of his/her time during the forming of the teeth, but not high-resolution data of specific whereabouts during the formation of each specific incremental growth line. By analysing strontium isotope ratios on specific incremental growth-lines on human teeth from one Early and one Late Mesolithic archaeological site, where the humans have previously shown affiliations to the area they were found in, the aim is to study territorial mobility. By relating high-resolution data, from human teeth to that of different animals, the intention is to study group territory and areas of resource procurement to investigate human territoriality, mobility and networks in ancient landscapes.


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