Social stratigraphy in Late Iron Age Switzerland: Analysis of human remains from Münsingen

Hossein Moghaddam Horri, Negahnaz; Müller, Felix; Hafner, Albert; Lösch, Sandra (September 2015). Social stratigraphy in Late Iron Age Switzerland: Analysis of human remains from Münsingen. EAA Glasgow 2015. Abstracts, p. 260.

The Iron Age cemetery of Münsingen in Switzerland with 220 abundantly equipped burials marked a milestone for Iron Age research. The horizontal spread throughout the time of its occupancy laid the foundation for the chronology system of the Late Iron Age. Today, skulls of 77 individuals and some postcranial bones are still preserved and were investigated anthropologically. Collagen was analysed via stable isotope mass spectrometry (carbon, nitrogen, and sulphur). Additionally, some bones showed pathologies or lesions which were examined via imaging and histological methods. The aim of the study was to obtain biological-anthropological information about the Iron Age population. There are significant differences between males and females in δ13C and δ15N values. This points to a gender restriction in the access to animal protein with males having more access to meat and dairy products. Differences in δ15N values were also observed for different age classes. δ34S values indicate a terrestrial-based diet with no significant intake of marine or freshwater fish. Seven adults with enriched δ34S values might have immigrated to Münsingen, four of which were found in the oldest part of the cemetery. Furthermore, possible changes of the vegetation are indicated by the more positive stable carbon ratios in the later phases. The results lead to the suggestion that especially males buried with weapons might have played a special role in the Iron Age society. Also, skull trepanations in two males suggest that surgical treatment of injuries caused by weapons may have been performed.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)

Division/Institute:

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

Graduate School:

Graduate School for Cellular and Biomedical Sciences (GCB)

UniBE Contributor:

Hossein Moghaddam Horri, Negahnaz; Müller, Felix; Hafner, Albert and Lösch, Sandra

Subjects:

500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
900 History > 930 History of ancient world (to ca. 499)

Funders:

[4] Swiss National Science Foundation

Projects:

[UNSPECIFIED] Nutrition, origin, and social stratification in the Late Iron Age. Stable isotope analysis of Swiss skeletal series

Language:

English

Submitter:

Sandra Lösch

Date Deposited:

19 Nov 2015 16:24

Last Modified:

15 Feb 2016 10:33

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/73135

Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback