Rick J Schulting

Rick J Schulting
University of Oxford | OX · School of Archaeology

PhD
Currently researching aspects of the European Meso-Neolithic transition, and hunter-gatherer adaptations in Baikal.

About

221
Publications
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4,866
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Additional affiliations
January 2007 - present
University of Oxford
Position
  • Professor
January 2001 - January 2007
Queen's University Belfast
Position
  • Lecturer in Prehistoric Archaeology

Publications

Publications (221)
Article
RATIONALEStrontium isotopes (87Sr/86Sr) are used in archaeological and forensic science as markers of residence or mobility because they reflect the local geological substrate. Currently, tooth enamel is considered to be the most reliable tissue, but it rarely survives heating so that in cremations only calcined bone fragments survive. We set out t...
Article
The decline of the Tiwanaku state saw the emergence of two new cultures—Pica-Tarapacá and Atacama—during the Late Intermediate Period in northern Chile. Archeological evidence suggests that both groups practised maize agriculture and pastoralism, but that their interaction zones differed significantly. Marine resources are common at Pica-Tarapacá s...
Data
a b s t r a c t A multi-disciplinary study assessing the evidence for agriculture in Neolithic Ireland is presented, exam-ining the timing, extent and nature of settlement and farming. Bayesian analyses of palaeoenvironmental and archaeological 14 C data have allowed us to re-examine evidential strands within a strong chronological framework. While...
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Full-text available
This article examines evidence for violence as reflected in skull injuries in 378 individuals from Neolithic Denmark and Sweden (3,900-1,700 BC). It is the first large-scale crossregional study of skull trauma in southern Scandinavia, documenting skeletal evidence of violence at a population level. We also investigate the widely assumed hypothesis...
Article
Charred hazel (Corylus sp.) nutshells are found in abundance at many archaeological sites across the northern hemisphere. This paper aims to investigate the conditions under which hazelnut shells can become charred, by comparing experimentally charred modern hazelnut shells with archaeological material shells from three western Scottish Mesolithic...
Article
Objectives: We report here a stingray spine (Dasyatidae) found embedded in the femur of a male skeleton from the archaeological site of Uedomari-5, Rebun Island, Hokkaido, Japan. Materials: A single well-preserved but incomplete human skeleton. Methods: Macroscopic observation and low power magnification, CT imaging, radiocarbon dating and stable i...
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Full-text available
The timing of infant weaning in the past is important for its implications for birth-spacing and infant survival, and hence for population maintenance or growth under different socio-economic regimes. Prior to the adoption of agriculture, breastfeeding is believed to have been more prolonged amongst hunter-gatherers due, at least partly, to the lac...
Article
In this paper we evaluate the extent of freshwater reservoir effects (37 samples across 12 locations) and present new data from various archaeological sites in the Eurasian Steppe. Together with a summary of previous research on modern and archaeological samples, this provides the most up-to-date map of the freshwater reservoir offsets in the regio...
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Rationale: Embedding resins are commonly used to facilitate high resolution sampling for stable isotope analysis but anomalous δ13C values have been observed in some cases. Here we compare the results of microsampling strategies for hand-drilled versus resin-embedded micromilled samples from the same marine shells to assess whether resin contamina...
Article
A recent paper by Bownes et al. (2017, Radiocarbon 59(5): 1275-1294) used the Bayesian modelling software package FRUITS (Fernandes et al. 2014, PLoS ONE 9(2): e87436) to argue that Neolithic individuals from Carding Mill Bay on the west coast of Scotland obtained up to ca. 21% dietary protein from marine sources. This is in contrast to previous in...
Article
This paper summarises research on freshwater reservoir effects (FRE) in the Baikal region and their impact on the radiocarbon dating of human remains. Varying relationships are seen between human δ¹³C and δ¹⁵N values and ¹⁴C offsets in paired human-terrestrial mammal radiocarbon dates from the same graves in the different microregions of Cis-Baikal...
Article
The genetically attested migrations of the third millennium BC have made the origins and nature of the Yamnaya culture a question of broad relevance across northern Eurasia. But none of the key archaeological sites most important for understanding the evolution of Yamnaya culture is published in western languages. These key sites include the fifth-...
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Postmortem chemical transformation of bone bioapatite can take place during early diagenesis resulting in a more thermodynamically stable mineral phase. This paper examines the impact of a 1-year postmortem interval on unburnt and burnt bone’s structural and chemical alterations. This question is of importance for the reconstruction of funerary pra...
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Yuzhniy Oleniy Ostrov in Karelia, northwest Russia, is one of the largest Early Holocene cemeteries in northern Eurasia, with 177 burials recovered in excavations in the 1930s; originally, more than 400 graves may have been present. A new radiocarbon dating programme, taking into account a correction for freshwater reservoir effects, suggests that...
Article
The beginning of the Romano-British period in the 1st century AD was marked by changes in agriculture, economy and material culture at varying rates. Rural areas such as Oxfordshire may have been slower to incorporate Roman agriculture practices, possibly as a result of limited demand from urban centres or local conditions. In order to gauge the sc...
Article
Stable isotope analysis is one of the most effective methods of reconstructing human fishing practices and changes in past marine ecosystems. The effectiveness of this method can be further improved when considering diachronic changes in stable isotope ratios of archaeological remains of several different fish species that exhibit different behavio...
Article
A considerable amount of bioarchaeological research – including AMS 14C dating and stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analyses (δ13C and δ15N) – has been undertaken on the hunter-gatherers from the area west of Lake Baikal, known as Cis-Baikal. No such work has previously been reported for the east side of the lake, Trans-Baikal. Here, we present n...
Article
In this paper we discuss recent developments in documenting the spread of millet across the Eurasian steppes. We emphasize that, despite a recent proposal that millet consumption in southern Siberia can be attributed to the Early Bronze Age (i.e., the late third to early second millennium BC), at present there are no direct data for southern Siberi...
Article
This paper presents a four year subannual isotope marine temperature record using modern Spisula sachalinensis specimens from Tomakomai (Hokkaido's Pacific coast, Japan). This species is commonly found in pre- and protohistoric shell middens and faunal assemblages from around the Seas of Japan and Okhotsk, so has significant potential as an indicat...
Article
Modern shark attacks are uncommon and archaeological examples are even rarer, with the oldest previously known case dating to ca. AD 1000. Here we report a shark attack on an adult male radiocarbon dated to 1370–1010 cal BC during the fisher-hunter-gatherer Jo ̄mon period of the Japanese archipelago. The individual was buried at the Tsukumo site ne...
Article
The insufficient attention traditionally paid to the complex mortuary biographies of megalithic graves has long obscured a significant amount of synchronic and diachronic information. The Rioja Alavesa region of north- central Iberia holds a number of megalithic graves with large skeletal assemblages that can generally be or-dered by internal strat...
Chapter
Full-text available
This paper presents an overview of the stable carbon and nitrogen isotope data on Mesolithic humans (n=222) from European coastal and near-coastal sites (<10 km). Data are also compiled to provide baseline marine isotope endpoints for fish and sea mammals in the various seas of western Europe, highlighting considerable variation, particularly in δ1...
Article
Objectives Recent histotaphonomic studies have focused on the presence of features thought to be caused either by bacteria (microscopic focal destruction/MFD and cyanobacterial tunnelling) or fungal (Wedl tunnelling types 1 and 2) attack on unburnt bone. Identifying these characteristics on burnt bones could indicate the state of decomposition befo...
Article
Analyses of radiocarbon dates (all corrected for the freshwater reservoir effect) and associated stable isotope values obtained from the skeletal remains of ~650 individuals provide many new insights about Middle Holocene hunter–gatherers (HGs) of the Cis-Baikal region, Eastern Siberia. The new radiocarbon evidence clarifies the culture history of...
Article
Hunter-gatherer archaeology typically focusses on the details of subsistence strategies and material culture and, in the case of cemeteries, on various aspects of mortuary practices, beliefs, and social differentiation. This paper aims to look rather at patterns of change over time and space in how past hunter-gatherer cemeteries were used from Lat...
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The archaeological record shows that large pre-Inca agricultural systems supported settlements for centuries around the ravines and oases of northern Chile’s hyperarid Atacama Desert. This raises questions about how such productivity was achieved and sustained, and its social implications. Using isotopic data of well-preserved ancient plant remains...
Article
The limestone islands of the Bahamian archipelago provide a challenging environment for human settlement, one that was not taken up until after AD 700. The analysis of human skeletal remains offers new insights into how this challenge was met. A substantial program of AMS ¹⁴C dating on pre-Columbian humans (n = 66) provides a robust chronological f...
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Full-text available
Strontium isotope ratios (87 Sr/ 86 Sr) are commonly used in archeological and forensic studies to assess if humans and fauna are local to the place they were found or not. This approach is largely unexplored for wooden artifacts recovered in archeological contexts, as wood-in the rare instances it does survive-is often poorly preserved. One of the...
Article
The paper reports on research at two well-preserved Iron Age settlement sites in north-east Scotland, occupied between the 2nd century BC and 2nd century AD. At Old Kinord, trenches first excavated in 1903 were reopened, shedding new light on the chronology and structural history of a pair of stone roundhouses and two souterrains. The project exten...
Chapter
Full-text available
Conclusions: One of the main tasks of archaeologists is pattern recognition. In this paper we have focused on one particular case study, the prehistoric hunter-gatherer cemetery of Zvejnieki in northeastern Europe (Henderson et al. in prep.). A very striking and persistent pattern was highlighted, linking the presence or absence of animal tooth pe...
Article
Once considered rare, archaeological examples of violence in prehistoric Europe have accumulated over recent decades, with new discoveries providing evidence of large-scale, organised warfare among pre- and protohistoric populations. One example is La Hoya in north-central Iberia. Between the mid fourth and late third centuries BC, the site was sub...
Chapter
This contribution offers an overview of the appearance, spread and regionally specific developmental trajectories of funerary monuments in Neolithic Scotland, setting these within the broader context of the arrival of farming groups from Brittany and northern France in the early centuries of the 4th millennium, and the subsequent expansion of farmi...
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Full-text available
All things bright: copper grave goods and diet at the Neolithic site of Osłonki, Poland - Volume 94 Issue 376 - Chelsea Budd, Peter Bogucki, Malcolm Lillie, Ryszard Grygiel, Wiesław Lorkiewicz, Rick Schulting
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Ancient China is one of the most important regions for the development of agriculture in human history, contributing the two key crops millet and rice. Meanwhile, it was closely connected to the wider Eurasian network, receiving wheat and barley from the West. Because of the large isotopic differences between C 3 and C 4 crops, we are able to track...
Article
The Lake Baikal region of southern Siberia has a rich mortuary record that has provided the most comprehensive isotopic database for palaeodietary studies of north-temperate hunter-gatherers in the world, permitting more detailed reconstructions and finer-grained research questions than are usually possible. Building on previous work, this study co...
Article
Multi-isotope analyses on diverse body tissues can offer valuable information on individual life-histories at different temporal resolutions. Here, we reconstruct the diet and mobility of a Late Mesolithic (ca. 5500 cal. BC) young woman buried in Aizpea rockshelter (Navarre, north-central Iberia). To this end, we combine δ¹³C and δ¹⁵N isotope analy...
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This paper presents 28 AMS 14C determinations and associated stable carbon and nitrogen isotope measurements on human bone primarily from cave contexts in Wales, with a small number of additional cave and non-cave contexts in southwest England. While some of these dates have been previously published, the entire series was originally affected by a...
Article
Barcın Höyük is one of the oldest Neolithic settlement sites in northwest Anatolia, with early layers of occupation radiocarbon dated to ca. 6600 cal BC. The Neolithic phase at the site (ca. 6600–6200 cal BC) has seven layers of occupation, and shows a number of affinities, in terms of structure and zooarchaeological remains, with contemporary site...
Chapter
The Cambridge World History of Violence - edited by Garrett G. Fagan March 2020
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The Cambridge World History of Violence - edited by Garrett G. Fagan March 2020
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In this contribution we review previous understandings of the earliest farming in Britain, and then bring together various recent lines of evidence. We will argue that new findings go some considerable way towards resolving the debates of previous decades, and allow us to come to a firmer view of the earliest farming than has hitherto been possible...
Article
Link to paper – https://authors.elsevier.com/c/1aT~D,rVDBRerf This paper presents the results of a study using strontium, oxygen and carbon isotopes, strontium concentrations, infrared analyses and radiocarbon dating to investigate human mobility and landscape use as seen in individuals from the Neolithic court tomb of Parknabinnia, Co. Clare, Ire...
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The coexistence of cultural identities and their interaction is a fundamental topic of social sciences that is not easily addressed in prehistory. Differences in mortuary treatment can help approach this issue. Here, we present a multi-isotope study to track both diet and mobility through the life histories of 32 broadly coeval Late Neolithic indiv...
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We provide new detailed contextual information for the human remains recovered in 1984 from the coastal site of Samouquiera, Alentejo, Portugal. The main focus is on two incomplete, but at least partially articulated, skeletons of adult males. AMS radiocarbon dating places both individuals in the range 7660-7505 calBP. One of the two results is fro...
Article
Strontium isotopes are used in archaeology, ecology, forensics, and other disciplines to study the origin of artefacts, humans, animals and food items. Strontium in animal and human tissues such as bone and teeth originates from food and drink consumed during life, leaving an isotopic signal corresponding to their geographical origin (i.e. where th...
Article
Excavations at the Iron Age settlement of La Hoya in north-central Iberia, which was attacked between the mid-4th and the late 3rd centuries BC, provided fossilized scenes of devastation and death but also an extraordinary opportunity to analyze lifeways. Here, we conduct stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analyses of human, animal and plant remain...
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Full-text available
Stable carbon and nitrogen isotope research on past populations in the Iberian Neolithic has emphasized the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts. This study provides the first isotopic insights into the diet and subsistence economy of Early and Middle Neolithic populations from open-air sites in interior north-central Iberia. We present bone collagen...
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Aveline's Hole is the largest known Early Mesolithic cemetery in Britain, previously thought to have no evidence for subsequent burial activity. Thus, it came as some surprise when the results of a recent ancient human DNA study found that, of four individuals from the site yielding genomic data, two showed high levels of ancestry from Early Neolit...
Conference Paper
Introduction: The relatively few histological studies on burnt bone centre around estimation of age-at-death, maximum temperature, and species identification. In contrast, histotaphonomic studies have focussed on unburnt bone. Wedl-tunnelling (fungal attack) has been proposed to be an indicator of surface exposed and de-fleshed bones, while bacteri...
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Full-text available
La Atalayuela is a Middle Chalcolithic (ca. 2900–2500 cal BC) multiple burial pit located in the mid-upper Ebro Valley (north-central Iberia) where a large number of individuals (more than 70) were inhumed. The site shows an apparently constrained period of funerary use, which includes the probable simultaneous burial of a large proportion of the d...
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The Balearic Islands occupy a central space in the western Mediterranean, at the maritime crossroads between North Africa, the Iberian Peninsula and the rest of southwestern Europe. As such, it is well placed to investigate changes in subsistence practices associated with the major cultural transitions following the arrival of Islamic rule. Stable...
Article
High resolution in situ trace element μXRF maps and profiles were measured on the enamel exposed in cross sections through archaeological human permanent molars from seven Late Neolithic/Early Chalcolithic funerary caves and megalithic graves of north-central Iberia. Changes in concentrations of Fe, Zn and Sr in inward direction into the enamel she...
Article
When compared with earlier periods, the Neolithic in Ireland (4000–2500 cal BC) witnessed enormous changes in the foods being produced, and the work involved in their production and processing. Several crops were introduced – archaeobotanical studies indicate that emmer wheat became the dominant crop, with evidence also for barley (hulled and naked...
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In the version of this Article originally published, there were errors in the colour ordering of the legend in Fig. 5b, and in the positions of the target and surrogate populations in Fig. 5c. This has now been corrected. The conclusions of the study are in no way affected. The errors have been corrected in the HTML and PDF versions of the article.
Article
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The roles of migration, admixture and acculturation in the European transition to farming have been debated for over 100 years. Genome-wide ancient DNA studies indicate predominantly Aegean ancestry for continental Neolithic farmers, but also variable admixture with local Mesolithic hunter-gatherers. Neolithic cultures first appear in Britain circa...
Chapter
Plusieurs systèmes chronologiques se sont succédés depuis la seconde guerre mondiale pour placer dans le temps les sites mésolithiques de Bretagne. Celui élaboré par Olivier Kayser dans les années 1980 était le premier à utiliser systématiquement des dates par le radiocarbone. Des séries de nouvelles datations par cette méthode isotopique ont été r...
Article
Excavation at Hermitage, Ireland, revealed Early Mesolithic human cremation burials. One burial contained a stone adze, possibly used in a funerary rite and ritually blunted. The Hermitage Archaeological Research Project aims to identify the extent of mortuary activity, and to place these burials in their broader landscape context.
Article
The hillforts of the Oxfordshire Ridgeway in south-central England have been interpreted as central places in the Early/Middle Iron Age, ca. 600-100 BCE, serving, among other functions, to integrate the management of animals , particularly sheep, between the upland Chalk downs and the adjacent low-lying Vale of the White Horse. Since these landform...
Chapter
Conclusions: Identifying resilience in the past is a very challenging prospect. This chapter offers one potentially fruitful approach based on the use of stable carbon and nitrogen isotope data to argue for the persistence of livelihood strategies and identities in south Wales across the 8.2 kya cal BP event, the largest climatic downturn known in...
Article
Full-text available
Aktopraklık is a settlement site composed of three areas (A–C) in the Marmara region of northwest Anatolia, with phases of occupation that date to the Late Neolithic and Early Chalcolithic periods, mid-seventh to mid-sixth millennium bc (ca. 6400–5600 cal. bc). Here, we present 54 human and fauna bone collagen stable isotope results from the site,...
Article
Full-text available
Cremated human remains from Stonehenge provide direct evidence on the life of those few select individuals buried at this iconic Neolithic monument. The practice of cremation has, however, precluded the application of strontium isotope analysis of tooth enamel as the standard chemical approach to study their origin. New developments in strontium is...
Article
Gelatin extracted from archaeological fish bones typically exhibits relatively high C/N ratios, presumed to be caused by contamination with lipids or humic substances. The effects of lipid extraction and different collagen extraction methods applied has been studied on modern fish bones but has never been studied systematically on archaeological sp...