The well-preserved Late Neolithic dolmen burial of Oberbipp, Switzerland. Construction, use, and post-depositional processes

Ramstein, Marianne; Steuri, Noah; Brönnimann, David; Rentzel, Philippe; Cornelissen, Marcel; Schimmelpfennig, Dirk; Anselmetti, Flavio S; Häberle, Simone; Vandorpe, Patricia; Siebke, Inga; Furtwängler, Anja; Szidat, Sönke; Hafner, Albert; Krause, Johannes; Lösch, Sandra (2022). The well-preserved Late Neolithic dolmen burial of Oberbipp, Switzerland. Construction, use, and post-depositional processes. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, 42, p. 103397. Elsevier 10.1016/j.jasrep.2022.103397

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Excavation of the Late Neolithic dolmen of Oberbipp BE, Steingasse in the Swiss Central Plateau provided a
unique opportunity for a comprehensive study of the archaeological and anthropological evidence. In multidisciplinary
studies, we investigated the processes at work during construction, use, and abandonment of the
megalithic structure, as well as the dietary habits, subsistence strategy, and possible mobility of the Neolithic
population. Archaeological methods included micromorphology, archaeobiology, typology, use-wear analysis,
and geology. The anthropological investigation was complemented by an analysis of stable isotope ratios and
palaeogenetics. Local topography and the cover of alluvial sediments ensured an extraordinary conservation of
the monument. It allowed the preservation of the human remains of at least 42 individuals of both sexes and all
ages. The observation of the sedimentary and post-depositional processes, supplemented by an extensive series of
radiocarbon dates, allowed us to reconstruct the history of the dolmen in its environment and the definition of at
least two deposition phases. We found genetic evidence of lactase intolerance, a local population with a mixed
ancestry of early Anatolian farmers and Western hunter-gatherers, and a crop-based diet. Sparse remains of a
nearby Late Neolithic settlement sustain the interpretation that this is the burial site of a local farming community.
Evidence of higher mobility of females and kinship over three generations solely in the paternal line
suggests a virilocal community. Bone-altering pathologies support the assumption of a caring society.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > Service Sector > Institute of Legal Medicine
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences (DCBP)
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geological Sciences
06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of History and Archaeology > Institute of Archaeological Sciences > Pre- and Early History
04 Faculty of Medicine > Service Sector > Institute of Legal Medicine > Anthropology
External Organisations > Archaeological Service of the Canton of Berne

Graduate School:

Graduate School for Cellular and Biomedical Sciences (GCB)

UniBE Contributor:

Steuri, Noah David; Anselmetti, Flavio; Siebke, Inga Katharina Elisabeth; Szidat, Sönke; Hafner, Albert and Lösch, Sandra

Subjects:

900 History > 930 History of ancient world (to ca. 499)
500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
500 Science > 540 Chemistry
500 Science > 550 Earth sciences & geology

ISSN:

2352-409X

Publisher:

Elsevier

Funders:

[UNSPECIFIED] snf

Language:

English

Submitter:

Sandra Lösch

Date Deposited:

08 Mar 2022 17:24

Last Modified:

20 Mar 2022 01:57

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.jasrep.2022.103397

BORIS DOI:

10.48350/166678

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/166678

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