Isotope analysis has shown that some of the ancient people crossed the politically divided Scotland and
The remains were found on Cramond Island in 1975.and were originally considered victims of the plague or shipwreck that occurred in the 14th century. Later radiocarbon analysis showed that they were about 800 years older, dating from the 6th century or early medieval period.
New bioarchaeological work by the University of Aberdeen has revealed more details about their lives and shows that some of the group traveled around Scotland.
Scientists have reconstructed the face of one of the ancient Scots. Credit: University of Aberdeen.
“Their research is changing our understanding ofnot only about this important place, but also about the mobility and connections of people throughout Scotland during the early Middle Ages, when the country was divided by the Scots in the west, the Picts in most of northern Scotland and the British in the south, ”the scientists write.
The food and water that a person consumesover the course of life, leave certain traces in the body that can be traced to the source of their receipt. Tooth enamel works like a little time capsule and contains chemical information about where a person grew up. Using isotopic analysis, the scientists examined the diet and background of each of the adults in the group.
Scientists were surprised when they found that despitethat all people were buried in close proximity to each other. This means that, most likely, they were the same family. However, some of them grew up hundreds of kilometers apart.
Perhaps these are some kind of political refugees,who grew up in one place and died in another part of the country. “It is believed that travel during this period would have been limited due to the lack of roads and the political divisions of the time. An analysis of the Cramond burials, along with other early medieval burials in Scotland, shows that it was not unusual for you to be buried far from where you grew up, ”the scientists conclude.
Bioarchaeological studies like this will help to explore the history of migration in early medieval Scotland and beyond.
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