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Perutka, Anna; Schreil, Franziska; Hofmann, Daniela; Szilagyi, Marton; Ewersen, Joerg; Husty, Ludwig; Sarkady, Claudia and Grupe, Gisela (2021): Conspicuous burials in a Neolithic enclosure at Riedling (Bavaria, Germany) - A selection of individuals? In: Journal of Archaeological Science-Reports, Vol. 39, 103154

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The Neolithic Munchshofen culture in southern Germany (5th mill. BC) lacks formal burial sites. Primary, secondary and partial burials are evidenced instead. Using the enclosure at Riedling, the largest burial collective known in the area to date, we gained more information on subsistence strategy, population structure and admixture by stable isotope analysis of the human skeletons. The remains of 39 individuals were discovered in the enclosure and the osteological investigation indicates burial of selected individuals. Radiogenic Sr-87/Sr-86 isotope ratios revealed that nine out of 20 individuals were not local to the site and that some of them had even migrated during childhood. The nearest possible place of origin is found across the Danube river, which obviously did not constitute a geographical obstacle. Isotopic sourcing of collagen delta C-13 and delta N-15 ratios revealed marked sex differences in the daily diet and showed that at least some of the non-locals had lived on different diets. Diet and isotopic provenance did not correlate with burial rite and no clear social hierarchies could be inferred. Morphology combined with stable isotope analysis revealed a dynamic Neolithic population with a multi-resource subsistence economy and interaction across a topographical boundary.

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