Morphological Analysis of Human Skeletal Remains from a Late Neolithic Dolmen, Switzerland

Siebke, Inga; Lösch, Sandra; Arenz, Gabriele (March 2019). Morphological Analysis of Human Skeletal Remains from a Late Neolithic Dolmen, Switzerland (Unpublished). In: The 88th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropology. Cleveland, OH. 27.-30.3.2019.

The inhumations from the dolmen burial in Oberbipp represent a unique ensemble to study Late Neolithic population structures and lifeways in the area of today's Switzerland. Radiocarbon dating was used to evaluate the occupation of the dolmen. The recovered fragmented and commingled inhumations formed the basis of this morphological study. A minimal number of individuals, age-at-death, sex, stature and pathologies were evaluated. Additionally, the sex was determined by aDNA analysis. Skeletal elements of the entire human skeleton were recovered with at least 42 individuals based on the femora. Age classes from neonate to adult (43% subadults, 57% adults) with 7% children below six years were buried within the dolmen. Slightly more males than females (44% males, 35% females, 22% id) were recovered. Stature was estimated from femora (n=3) indicating an average body height between 154-157cm. The caries intensity is 7.9% (49/618 teeth). Two occupation phases could be reconstructed between 3550-2650BCE and at least three generations (aDNA) were primary buried in the dolmen. No indications for fatal interpersonal violence were observed. However, unspecific pathological alterations, age related degenerations, and healed fractures were recorded. A possible separation of burial areas for males and females within the dolmen is hypothesized. Based on the analysis it is concluded that the individuals buried within the dolmen are representative for a farming population of the late Neolithic.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Service Sector > Institute of Legal Medicine > Anthropology

Graduate School:

Graduate School for Cellular and Biomedical Sciences (GCB)

UniBE Contributor:

Siebke, Inga; Lösch, Sandra and Arenz, Gabriele


500 Science > 560 Fossils & prehistoric life
500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
900 History > 930 History of ancient world (to ca. 499)
900 History > 940 History of Europe


[42] Schweizerischer Nationalfonds




Sandra Lösch

Date Deposited:

27 Aug 2019 14:51

Last Modified:

27 Aug 2019 14:51


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