Moore, J. and Rose, A. and Anderson, S. and Evans, J. and Nowell, G. and Grocke, D. and Pashley, V. and Kirby, M. and Montgomery, J. (2020) 'A multi-isotope (C, N, O, Sr, Pb) study of Iron Age and Roman period skeletons from east Edinburgh, Scotland exploring the relationship between decapitation burials and geographical origins.', Journal of archaeological science : reports., 29 . p. 102075.
Recent excavations at Musselburgh, East Lothian (Scotland) revealed twelve skeletons, radiocarbon dated to the Iron Age and Roman period. The high incidence of skeletal trauma characteristic of decapitation in those of Roman date makes this site unusual. A multi-isotope investigation of seven of these individuals was conducted to explore any link between intrusive burial practices and migration at one of Britain’s most northerly frontiers. Bulk collagen analysis provided a terrestrial, C3, dietary protein signal (mean δ13C −20.4‰ and δ15N + 11.1‰), consistent with other Romano-British studies. However, the range of δ18O, 87Sr/86Sr and Pb isotopes indicate more diverse origins for the Roman individuals. These results suggest that decapitation burials were afforded to migrants to the Lothian area, but is not indicative of a common origin, implying that something more complex than a shared geographic childhood origin united these individuals. The possible association of these decapitation burials with a nearby 2nd century fort suggests that they may also represent some of the earliest examples of Roman decapitation burials to be found anywhere in Britain.
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|Publisher Web site:||https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jasrep.2019.102075|
|Publisher statement:||© 2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/BY/4.0/)|
|Date accepted:||02 November 2019|
|Date deposited:||18 December 2019|
|Date of first online publication:||24 December 2019|
|Date first made open access:||02 January 2020|
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