Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory


2 March 2016

Exploring mobility patterns and biological affinities in the southern Aegean: first insights from Early Bronze Age eastern Crete

Sevi Triantaphyllou, Efthymia Nikita & Thomas Kador The Annual of the British School at Athens 110 (2015): 3-25


This paper presents the results of a pilot project which combines, for the first time, biodistance and strontium isotope analyses in the study of human skeletal remains from Early Bronze Age Crete (third millennium BC). Information from these analyses offers, in a direct way, insights into the biological distance, and consequently the gene flow and mobility patterns, among human populations in eastern Crete. The results are synthesised with the evidence of funerary practices in order to explore the nature of interaction among communities in eastern Crete. The biodistance analysis supports a strong genetic affinity between the populations represented at the two Kephala Petras skeletal assemblages, while the results of the available strontium isotope analysis favour their local origin; thus the combined results suggest the lack of significant population influx. The biological distance of the two chronologically contemporary populations at Livari-Skiadi, also manifesting completely different patterns of mortuary disposal, is of particular interest since it contrasts with the Petras situation and raises issues of intra-community distinctions, cultural and biological.


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