The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Interrelationship of age and diet in Romania's oldest human burial

Interrelationship of age and diet in Romania's oldest human burial
Interrelationship of age and diet in Romania's oldest human burial

In 1968, excavations in the Climente II cave in the Iron Gates gorge of the River Danube in southwest Romania unearthed the skeleton of an adult male. The burial was assumed to be of Late Pleistocene age because of the presence of Late Upper Palaeolithic (LUP) artefacts in the cave. However, there was no strong supporting stratigraphic evidence, and the body position is reminiscent of Early Neolithic burial practice in the region. Here, we report the results of radiocarbon and stable isotope analyses of the Climente II skeleton, which show that the skeleton dates to the Bølling-Allerød Interstadial ~14,500 cal BP. This is several millennia older than any previously dated human remains from the Iron Gates region and confirms its status as the oldest known burial from Romania. The stable isotope results indicate a diet with an emphasis on aquatic resources, contrary to the commonly held view that the LUP inhabitants of the Iron Gates subsisted mainly by hunting large land mammals.

Adult, Animals, Bone and Bones/chemistry, Burial, Carbon Isotopes/analysis, Diet, Fishes/metabolism, Fossils, Humans, Isotopes/analysis, Male, Nitrogen Isotopes/analysis, Radiometric Dating, Romania
0028-1042
321-325
Bonsall, Clive
008190b8-b592-40f1-bdeb-8b473045bdf4
Boroneanţ, Adina
bd2ac5ae-6aa9-40bc-9bbd-c531a9c28316
Soficaru, Andrei
2fbb819e-7c20-47dc-8fdb-c60ca26c4623
McSweeney, Kathleen
a887d615-13d0-4b3f-895a-416b5a2d148e
Higham, Tom
38159b2c-a039-4eea-818d-eaef149fcddb
Miriţoiu, Nicolae
b38de2f5-072c-49a1-8a74-f1fcaedccb3f
Pickard, Catriona
3d6e48c8-71e8-419d-a1c6-942c7e27460b
Cook, Gordon
4fe17be9-5e4e-4a58-a09a-b76f07f410f4
Bonsall, Clive
008190b8-b592-40f1-bdeb-8b473045bdf4
Boroneanţ, Adina
bd2ac5ae-6aa9-40bc-9bbd-c531a9c28316
Soficaru, Andrei
2fbb819e-7c20-47dc-8fdb-c60ca26c4623
McSweeney, Kathleen
a887d615-13d0-4b3f-895a-416b5a2d148e
Higham, Tom
38159b2c-a039-4eea-818d-eaef149fcddb
Miriţoiu, Nicolae
b38de2f5-072c-49a1-8a74-f1fcaedccb3f
Pickard, Catriona
3d6e48c8-71e8-419d-a1c6-942c7e27460b
Cook, Gordon
4fe17be9-5e4e-4a58-a09a-b76f07f410f4

Bonsall, Clive, Boroneanţ, Adina, Soficaru, Andrei, McSweeney, Kathleen, Higham, Tom, Miriţoiu, Nicolae, Pickard, Catriona and Cook, Gordon (2012) Interrelationship of age and diet in Romania's oldest human burial. The Science of Nature, 99 (4), 321-325. (doi:10.1007/s00114-012-0897-1).

Record type: Article

Abstract

In 1968, excavations in the Climente II cave in the Iron Gates gorge of the River Danube in southwest Romania unearthed the skeleton of an adult male. The burial was assumed to be of Late Pleistocene age because of the presence of Late Upper Palaeolithic (LUP) artefacts in the cave. However, there was no strong supporting stratigraphic evidence, and the body position is reminiscent of Early Neolithic burial practice in the region. Here, we report the results of radiocarbon and stable isotope analyses of the Climente II skeleton, which show that the skeleton dates to the Bølling-Allerød Interstadial ~14,500 cal BP. This is several millennia older than any previously dated human remains from the Iron Gates region and confirms its status as the oldest known burial from Romania. The stable isotope results indicate a diet with an emphasis on aquatic resources, contrary to the commonly held view that the LUP inhabitants of the Iron Gates subsisted mainly by hunting large land mammals.

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

e-pub ahead of print date: 18 February 2012
Published date: April 2012
Keywords: Adult, Animals, Bone and Bones/chemistry, Burial, Carbon Isotopes/analysis, Diet, Fishes/metabolism, Fossils, Humans, Isotopes/analysis, Male, Nitrogen Isotopes/analysis, Radiometric Dating, Romania

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 435631
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/435631
ISSN: 0028-1042
PURE UUID: 1cb22e3d-3f2a-414e-a349-8a8b289bd990
ORCID for Andrei Soficaru: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-8658-6695

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 14 Nov 2019 17:30
Last modified: 07 Oct 2020 02:23

Export record

Altmetrics

Contributors

Author: Clive Bonsall
Author: Adina Boroneanţ
Author: Andrei Soficaru ORCID iD
Author: Kathleen McSweeney
Author: Tom Higham
Author: Nicolae Miriţoiu
Author: Catriona Pickard
Author: Gordon Cook

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×