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Isotopic investigation of human provenience at the eleventh century cemetery of Ndr. Grødbygård, Bornholm, Denmark

Price, Douglas T. ; Naum, Magdalena LU ; Bennike, Pia and Lynnerup, Niels (2013) In Danish Journal of Archaeology 1(2). p.93-112
Abstract
Bornholm is a Danish island almost in the center of the southern Baltic Sea. The strategic location of the island, its rich

archeology, and its complex geology make it an intriguing location for the isotopic study of past human mobility. The focus

of this study is on the large cemetery of Ndr. Grødbygård in the southern part of the island, which dates to the eleventh

century AD and contains 553 individuals in 516 graves. The majority of the burials were in a supine position oriented west–

east, with the heads to the west, following the tradition of that time. In contrast to the Christian traditions, however, the

graves at Grødbygård were richly equipped by Scandinavian standards and some of the... (More)
Bornholm is a Danish island almost in the center of the southern Baltic Sea. The strategic location of the island, its rich

archeology, and its complex geology make it an intriguing location for the isotopic study of past human mobility. The focus

of this study is on the large cemetery of Ndr. Grødbygård in the southern part of the island, which dates to the eleventh

century AD and contains 553 individuals in 516 graves. The majority of the burials were in a supine position oriented west–

east, with the heads to the west, following the tradition of that time. In contrast to the Christian traditions, however, the

graves at Grødbygård were richly equipped by Scandinavian standards and some of the burial practices more closely

resembled those from the Western Slavic region of the south (present day northeastern Germany and Poland). We have used

isotopic analyses to examine the external relations and potential places of origin of the inhabitants of the cemetery.

Strontium and oxygen isotope ratios in human tooth enamel provide a signature of place of origin and can be compared

to the ratios of the place of burial to determine local or non-local origins. In the case of Bornholm, the local geology is quite

complex, with a variety of rocks of different age and composition, resulting in a wide range of strontium isotope sources on

the island, complicating the issue of identifying migrants. At the same time, Grødbygård provides an important example of

the application of such methods in less than ideal conditions. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
; ; and
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
strontium isotopes, oxygen isotopes, carbon isotopes, migration, archeology, Baltic Sea, bioavailable, bioarcheology, human remains
in
Danish Journal of Archaeology
volume
1
issue
2
pages
93 - 112
publisher
Taylor & Francis
ISSN
2166-2282
DOI
10.1080/21662282.2013.798903
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
37859a6a-b686-4917-9f46-67f7b1e281be (old id 4015836)
date added to LUP
2016-04-01 12:56:11
date last changed
2018-11-21 20:10:26
@article{37859a6a-b686-4917-9f46-67f7b1e281be,
  abstract     = {Bornholm is a Danish island almost in the center of the southern Baltic Sea. The strategic location of the island, its rich<br/><br>
archeology, and its complex geology make it an intriguing location for the isotopic study of past human mobility. The focus<br/><br>
of this study is on the large cemetery of Ndr. Grødbygård in the southern part of the island, which dates to the eleventh<br/><br>
century AD and contains 553 individuals in 516 graves. The majority of the burials were in a supine position oriented west–<br/><br>
east, with the heads to the west, following the tradition of that time. In contrast to the Christian traditions, however, the<br/><br>
graves at Grødbygård were richly equipped by Scandinavian standards and some of the burial practices more closely<br/><br>
resembled those from the Western Slavic region of the south (present day northeastern Germany and Poland). We have used<br/><br>
isotopic analyses to examine the external relations and potential places of origin of the inhabitants of the cemetery.<br/><br>
Strontium and oxygen isotope ratios in human tooth enamel provide a signature of place of origin and can be compared<br/><br>
to the ratios of the place of burial to determine local or non-local origins. In the case of Bornholm, the local geology is quite<br/><br>
complex, with a variety of rocks of different age and composition, resulting in a wide range of strontium isotope sources on<br/><br>
the island, complicating the issue of identifying migrants. At the same time, Grødbygård provides an important example of<br/><br>
the application of such methods in less than ideal conditions.},
  author       = {Price, Douglas T. and Naum, Magdalena and Bennike, Pia and Lynnerup, Niels},
  issn         = {2166-2282},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {93--112},
  publisher    = {Taylor & Francis},
  series       = {Danish Journal of Archaeology},
  title        = {Isotopic investigation of human provenience at the eleventh century cemetery of Ndr. Grødbygård, Bornholm, Denmark},
  url          = {https://lup.lub.lu.se/search/ws/files/3057304/4015846.pdf},
  doi          = {10.1080/21662282.2013.798903},
  volume       = {1},
  year         = {2013},
}