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Lombards on the move--an integrative study of the migration period cemetery at Szólád, Hungary.

Alt KW, Knipper C, Peters D, Müller W, Maurer AF, Kollig I, Nicklisch N, Müller C, Karimnia S, Brandt G, Roth C, Rosner M, Mende B, Schöne BR, Vida T, von Freeden U - PLoS ONE (2014)

Bottom Line: Embedded into the well-recorded historical context, the article presents the results obtained by an integrative investigation including anthropological, molecular genetic and isotopic (δ(15)N, δ(13)C, (87)Sr/(86)Sr) analyses.Owing to the virtual absence of Szólád-born adults in the cemetery, we may conclude that the settlement was abandoned after approx. one generation.The inferred dynamics of the burial community are in agreement with hypotheses of a highly mobile lifestyle during the Migration Period and a short-term occupation of Pannonia by Lombard settlers as conveyed by written sources.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Center for Natural and Cultural History of the Teeth, Danube Private University, Krems, Austria; State Office for Heritage Management and Archaeology Saxony-Anhalt and State Museum of Prehistory, Halle, Germany; Institute for Prehistory and Archaeological Science, Basel University, Basel, Switzerland.

ABSTRACT
In 2005 to 2007 45 skeletons of adults and subadults were excavated at the Lombard period cemetery at Szólád (6th century A.D.), Hungary. Embedded into the well-recorded historical context, the article presents the results obtained by an integrative investigation including anthropological, molecular genetic and isotopic (δ(15)N, δ(13)C, (87)Sr/(86)Sr) analyses. Skeletal stress markers as well as traces of interpersonal violence were found to occur frequently. The mitochondrial DNA profiles revealed a heterogeneous spectrum of lineages that belong to the haplogroups H, U, J, HV, T2, I, and K, which are common in present-day Europe and in the Near East, while N1a and N1b are today quite rare. Evidence of possible direct maternal kinship was identified in only three pairs of individuals. According to enamel strontium isotope ratios, at least 31% of the individuals died at a location other than their birthplace and/or had moved during childhood. Based on the peculiar 87 Sr/86 Sr ratio distribution between females, males, and subadults in comparison to local vegetation and soil samples, we propose a three-phase model of group movement. An initial patrilocal group with narrower male but wider female Sr isotope distribution settled at Szólád, whilst the majority of subadults represented in the cemetery yielded a distinct Sr isotope signature. Owing to the virtual absence of Szólád-born adults in the cemetery, we may conclude that the settlement was abandoned after approx. one generation. Population heterogeneity is furthermore supported by the carbon and nitrogen isotope data. They indicate that a group of high-ranking men had access to larger shares of animal-derived food whilst a few individuals consumed remarkable amounts of millet. The inferred dynamics of the burial community are in agreement with hypotheses of a highly mobile lifestyle during the Migration Period and a short-term occupation of Pannonia by Lombard settlers as conveyed by written sources.

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87Sr/86Sr ratios of human tooth enamel and bone from the cemetery at Szólád in comparison to modern vegetation, water, and soil samples from localities within a 12 km radius and from major geological units in the hills north of Lake Balaton.Ranges I and II are derived from the data distribution of the tooth enamel of the children, illustrated in the kernel density plot (Figure 5). The data from Kestzthely-Fenékpuszta and Balatonszárszó were taken from [79] and [57] respectively (graphics: C. Knipper).
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pone-0110793-g004: 87Sr/86Sr ratios of human tooth enamel and bone from the cemetery at Szólád in comparison to modern vegetation, water, and soil samples from localities within a 12 km radius and from major geological units in the hills north of Lake Balaton.Ranges I and II are derived from the data distribution of the tooth enamel of the children, illustrated in the kernel density plot (Figure 5). The data from Kestzthely-Fenékpuszta and Balatonszárszó were taken from [79] and [57] respectively (graphics: C. Knipper).

Mentions: The δ13C values of the human remains vary between −19.6 ‰ and −16.4 ‰. Individuals 44 and 23 (female, 18–25 y. and infans I, 0.5–1 y.) diverge from the main data cluster (δ13C = −19.6 to −17.7 ‰) by exhibiting higher δ13C values of above −17 ‰, which point to a significant role played by a C4 plant component in their diet (Table M in File S1; Fig. 3). Excluding individual 44, the average δ13C value of the adults was −19.1±0.4 ‰, which was 1.2 ‰ above the mean δ13C value yielded by the domestic animals. This difference is in agreement with the characteristic trophic level enrichment of the heavier carbon isotope [53], [54]. The average δ13C value of the adults from Szólád was up to 1 ‰ higher than that of Migration Period cemeteries in Germany and Austria (cf. data compilation in [[55], Fig. 4]). This may reflect the drier growing season at Lake Balaton in comparison to several of the central European sites (cf. [56]) or some impact of C4 plants on the diet of the population buried at Szólád. The latter hypothesis is also supported by higher average δ13C values compared to the Neolithic dataset from Balatonszárszó-Kis-erdei-dűlő located some 3–4 km from the Lombard period cemetery [57].


Lombards on the move--an integrative study of the migration period cemetery at Szólád, Hungary.

Alt KW, Knipper C, Peters D, Müller W, Maurer AF, Kollig I, Nicklisch N, Müller C, Karimnia S, Brandt G, Roth C, Rosner M, Mende B, Schöne BR, Vida T, von Freeden U - PLoS ONE (2014)

87Sr/86Sr ratios of human tooth enamel and bone from the cemetery at Szólád in comparison to modern vegetation, water, and soil samples from localities within a 12 km radius and from major geological units in the hills north of Lake Balaton.Ranges I and II are derived from the data distribution of the tooth enamel of the children, illustrated in the kernel density plot (Figure 5). The data from Kestzthely-Fenékpuszta and Balatonszárszó were taken from [79] and [57] respectively (graphics: C. Knipper).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4219681&req=5

pone-0110793-g004: 87Sr/86Sr ratios of human tooth enamel and bone from the cemetery at Szólád in comparison to modern vegetation, water, and soil samples from localities within a 12 km radius and from major geological units in the hills north of Lake Balaton.Ranges I and II are derived from the data distribution of the tooth enamel of the children, illustrated in the kernel density plot (Figure 5). The data from Kestzthely-Fenékpuszta and Balatonszárszó were taken from [79] and [57] respectively (graphics: C. Knipper).
Mentions: The δ13C values of the human remains vary between −19.6 ‰ and −16.4 ‰. Individuals 44 and 23 (female, 18–25 y. and infans I, 0.5–1 y.) diverge from the main data cluster (δ13C = −19.6 to −17.7 ‰) by exhibiting higher δ13C values of above −17 ‰, which point to a significant role played by a C4 plant component in their diet (Table M in File S1; Fig. 3). Excluding individual 44, the average δ13C value of the adults was −19.1±0.4 ‰, which was 1.2 ‰ above the mean δ13C value yielded by the domestic animals. This difference is in agreement with the characteristic trophic level enrichment of the heavier carbon isotope [53], [54]. The average δ13C value of the adults from Szólád was up to 1 ‰ higher than that of Migration Period cemeteries in Germany and Austria (cf. data compilation in [[55], Fig. 4]). This may reflect the drier growing season at Lake Balaton in comparison to several of the central European sites (cf. [56]) or some impact of C4 plants on the diet of the population buried at Szólád. The latter hypothesis is also supported by higher average δ13C values compared to the Neolithic dataset from Balatonszárszó-Kis-erdei-dűlő located some 3–4 km from the Lombard period cemetery [57].

Bottom Line: Embedded into the well-recorded historical context, the article presents the results obtained by an integrative investigation including anthropological, molecular genetic and isotopic (δ(15)N, δ(13)C, (87)Sr/(86)Sr) analyses.Owing to the virtual absence of Szólád-born adults in the cemetery, we may conclude that the settlement was abandoned after approx. one generation.The inferred dynamics of the burial community are in agreement with hypotheses of a highly mobile lifestyle during the Migration Period and a short-term occupation of Pannonia by Lombard settlers as conveyed by written sources.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Center for Natural and Cultural History of the Teeth, Danube Private University, Krems, Austria; State Office for Heritage Management and Archaeology Saxony-Anhalt and State Museum of Prehistory, Halle, Germany; Institute for Prehistory and Archaeological Science, Basel University, Basel, Switzerland.

ABSTRACT
In 2005 to 2007 45 skeletons of adults and subadults were excavated at the Lombard period cemetery at Szólád (6th century A.D.), Hungary. Embedded into the well-recorded historical context, the article presents the results obtained by an integrative investigation including anthropological, molecular genetic and isotopic (δ(15)N, δ(13)C, (87)Sr/(86)Sr) analyses. Skeletal stress markers as well as traces of interpersonal violence were found to occur frequently. The mitochondrial DNA profiles revealed a heterogeneous spectrum of lineages that belong to the haplogroups H, U, J, HV, T2, I, and K, which are common in present-day Europe and in the Near East, while N1a and N1b are today quite rare. Evidence of possible direct maternal kinship was identified in only three pairs of individuals. According to enamel strontium isotope ratios, at least 31% of the individuals died at a location other than their birthplace and/or had moved during childhood. Based on the peculiar 87 Sr/86 Sr ratio distribution between females, males, and subadults in comparison to local vegetation and soil samples, we propose a three-phase model of group movement. An initial patrilocal group with narrower male but wider female Sr isotope distribution settled at Szólád, whilst the majority of subadults represented in the cemetery yielded a distinct Sr isotope signature. Owing to the virtual absence of Szólád-born adults in the cemetery, we may conclude that the settlement was abandoned after approx. one generation. Population heterogeneity is furthermore supported by the carbon and nitrogen isotope data. They indicate that a group of high-ranking men had access to larger shares of animal-derived food whilst a few individuals consumed remarkable amounts of millet. The inferred dynamics of the burial community are in agreement with hypotheses of a highly mobile lifestyle during the Migration Period and a short-term occupation of Pannonia by Lombard settlers as conveyed by written sources.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus