The Relationship of Stable Isotopes to Great Hungarian Plain Diet and Mobility through the Neolithic, Copper Age, Bronze Age, and Iron Age

PhD Candidate: Ashley McCall
Supervisor: Professor Ron Pinhasi
Funded By: Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship

Abstract

The Great Hungarian Plain (GHP) is an area that occupies part of eastern and southern Hungary, as well as parts of five other surrounding countries. This area is a gateway to population influx and cultural admixture along the Eastern Steppe corridor (Gamba et al., 2014, Hoekman-Sites and Giblin, 2012). The GHP is a hub of cultural change during the transition between the Neolithic and Copper Age (Giblin et al., 2013). The GHP area saw a shift in settlement patterns between the Neolithic and Copper Age, suggesting a more mobile, smaller society (Giblin et al., 2013). The following two periods, Bronze and Iron Ages, along with the Neolithic and Copper Ages, saw major technological and social transformations (Gamba et al., 2014). This proposed PhD will use stable isotope analyses to examine these technological and social transformations and how they evolved over the course of a few thousand years. Using isotopic analysis will provide concrete evidence for subsistence composition and the possible regions of cultural influence due to migration. With this project, we will be able to increase the amount of information available on the diet and mobility during four time periods and the socio-economic changes that occurred during this lengthy time span. Furthermore, the isotopic data will also be able to elucidate potential cultural diffusion patterns and the rate at which this occurred. With this project, we will be able to increase the amount of information available on the diet and mobility during four time periods and the socio-economic changes that occurred during this time span. Furthermore, the isotopic data will also be able to elucidate potential cultural diffusion patterns and the rate at which this would have occurred.