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Going Over: The Mesolithic-Neolithic Transition in North-West Europe$
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Alasdair Whittle and Vicki Cummings

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780197264140

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197264140.001.0001

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Exploiting molecular and isotopic signals at the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition

Exploiting molecular and isotopic signals at the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition

Chapter:
(p.141) Exploiting molecular and isotopic signals at the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition
Source:
Going Over: The Mesolithic-Neolithic Transition in North-West Europe
Author(s):

Richard P. Evershed

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197264140.003.0008

The paucity of cultural finds at this key stage in human prehistory increases the need to fully and effectively exploit all the sources of evidence that exist. Organic residues, preserved in association with skeletal remains and pottery, have the potential to provide various levels of information relating to diet and subsistence, and thus the wider interactions of ancient humans with their environment. This chapter explores the potential to enhance the rigour and level of information retrievable from the biochemical constituents of skeletal remains and pottery by exploiting new sources of molecular and isotopic information. It addresses the following possibilities: (i) deriving palaeodietary information from human remains via the complementary use of amino acid and lipid components; and (ii) assessing terrestrial and marine contributions to organic residues preserved in skeletal remains and pottery.

Keywords:   organic residues, skeletal remains, pottery, palaeodietary information, amino acid, lipid

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