Hughes, Susan S. and Millard, Andrew R. and Chenery, Carolyn A. and Nowell, Geoff and Pearson, D. Graham (2018) 'Isotopic analysis of burials from the early Anglo-Saxon cemetery at Eastbourne, Sussex, U.K.', Journal of archaeological science : reports., 19 . pp. 513-525.
The transition from Roman Britain to early Anglo-Saxon England, traditionally described as the Adventus Saxonum and associated with a large-scale invasion by Germanic peoples, has been the subject of much debate. The archaeological record does not support a replacement of the local Romano-British population with Germanic incomers, and alternative explanations for the transition argue for a much smaller contribution of Germanic immigrants. As a contribution to this debate and to address the question of the number of immigrants, we have applied strontium and oxygen isotope analysis to study residential mobility in a sample of 19 individuals from the early Anglo-Saxon cemetery at Eastbourne, Sussex, on the southern English coast. Local variation in bio-available strontium isotope ratios was established by sampling soils from different geological substrates within 19 km of the cemetery and from a small sample of domestic animals recovered from the graves. Four individuals are likely continental immigrants, three others could be, but could also originate elsewhere in the British Isles, and two women are likely immigrants from nearby communities. The identified immigrants at Eastbourne show a temporal spread and lack of wealth expressed as grave goods. This pattern is not consistent with simple models of mass invasion, elite takeover or acculturation. Our results, together with other recent findings, imply that the Adventus Saxonum involved diverse migratory and demographic processes.
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|Publisher Web site:||https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jasrep.2018.03.004|
|Publisher statement:||© 2018 This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/|
|Date accepted:||06 March 2018|
|Date deposited:||23 April 2018|
|Date of first online publication:||06 April 2018|
|Date first made open access:||06 April 2019|
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