3.2 Analysed material

The sulphur isotope dataset presented here derive from human and faunal skeletal remains from three sites on Öland: Resmo, Köpingsvik and Torsborg (Figure 1). All analysed human subjects have been radiocarbon dated, spanning from the Middle Neolithic to the Early Bronze Age (c. 3500-1000 cal BC), whereas the faunal material is only partly dated, covering the same time period, but also extending the date range into modern times (Eriksson et al. 2008; the present study) (Table 2 and Table 3). Only samples previously analysed for δ13C and δ15N that fulfilled the collagen quality criteria with regard to collagen yield (van Klinken 1999 C/N ratio (DeNiro 1985) and C- and N-concentrations (Ambrose 1990) were selected for δ34S analysis. In addition, we present radiocarbon dates for Resmo subject 31 - confirming its previously suggested Neolithic date - and for one Middle Neolithic and one Bronze Age cattle specimen from Köpingsvik (see Table 2 and Table 3).

Stable sulphur isotope data, along with other isotope data, for the Resmo individuals have been presented in a previous paper about the Neolithization on Öland (Eriksson et al. 2013). With regard to δ34S analysis, a number of samples have since been rerun, with some additions, and with a more rigorous application of quality criteria. These measures have resulted in a smaller but hopefully more reliable dataset for Resmo, although as there are now fewer samples for some individuals, the interpretation regarding mobility has accordingly changed in some instances (Table 4).

The faunal samples, including both wild and domestic terrestrial species, as well as marine mammals, were included to serve as a necessary baseline for the interpretation of human sulphur isotope data. Their respective ranges of sulphur isotope values enable prediction of the local terrestrial range, reflecting the bioavailable δ34S composition of the island, and also allow modelling of the δ34S of the terrestrial component of the human diet (see Section 5 for details).


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