Short introduction to the project
The Copper Age (about 4500-2000 BC) is an era of very important changes from the in technical and social ways rather simple structured societies of the Neolithic towards technologically, economically and politically well developed Bronze Age communities. First metal workers prepare the base for specialised metallurgists. Trade relations, i.e. communication networks, spread out over the whole of Europe up to Western Asia. Further the death ritual reveals the accentuation of the individual. That all results in large-scale social changes and vice versa is influenced by those triggered developments.
Most of our nowadays archaeological interpretations about the structure and function of prehistoric societies lack empirical data. Instead, inferences from the “excavated” data are derived from models of neighbouring disciplines, e.g. ethnology.
Scientific researches on artifacts etc. will help us to strenghten, to adapt or to neglect those interpretations.
In our project methods of biochemistry (ancient DNA, stable isotopes) and physical anthropology (tooth traits) shall be applied on human skeletal remains in order to research:
- biological kinship between individuals of one micro region over time,
- possible change of place during the lifetime of single individuals and groups
- possible changes in subsistence
Developing that core of questions we aim to answer inferable questions, such as that for marriage patterns or the inheritance of social status.