T. Douglas Price

University of Wisconsin–Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, United States

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Publications (110)185.55 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Das Grab aus Kruszyn, 2009 in Kujawien entdeckt, rechnet zu einer kleinen Regionalgruppe der Schnurkeramik. Es zeichnet sich durch einen verhältnismäßig guten Erhaltungszustand und untypisch zahlreiche, aus Knochen und Geweih gefertigte Werkzeugbeigaben aus. Die aufgedeckten sterblichen Überreste wurden anthropologisch und isotopisch analysiert ( La tombe de Kruszyn, découverte en 2009 dans la région de Cujavie, fait partie d’un petit groupe régional de la culture à céramique cordée. Elle est relativement bien conservée et se distingue par un riche assemblage d’outils, fabriqués en os et en cornes. Des analyses anthropologiques et des investigations isotope ( Excavated in 2009, the barrow from Kruszyn (the Kujawy region) is related to a small regional group of the Corded Ware culture. Noteworthy is a fairly good state of its preservation and a remarkably numerous assemblage of tools made of bone and antler. Unearthed human remains were anthropologically studied and examined isotopically ( Grób z Kruszyna, odkryty w 2009 r. na Kujawach, należy do niewielkiej regionalnej grupy kultury ceramiki sznurowej. Wyróżnia się on stosunkowo dobrym stanem zachowania oraz nietypowo licznym zbiorem narzędzi wykonanych z kości i poroża. Szczątki ludzkie poddano analizom antropologicznym i izotopowym (
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Praehistorische Zeitschrift
  • T. Douglas Price · David Meiggs · Mara-Julia Weber · Anne Pike-Tay
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    ABSTRACT: Questions concerning the timing and direction of reindeer herd movements in northern Europe during the Late Pleistocene are examined with methods for isotopic proveniencing to study the faunal remains of reindeer from archaeological sites in northern Germany. Late Upper Paleolithic and Late Paleolithic reindeer hunters in this region belong to the Hamburgian and Ahrensburgian culture groups that exploited these herds between ca. 14,950 and 14,050 cal b2k and between ca. 12,800 and 11,400 cal b2k, respectively. The direction and timing of herd migration would have played a major role in the livelihood of these people and the success of their adaptation to this changing environment across southern Scandinavia and the North European Plain. Results of the isotopic analysis suggest that the herds for the most part moved east-west through this region, probably wintering in the east.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences

  • No preview · Article · Aug 2015
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    ABSTRACT: This article aims to infer population dynamics in the Noh Bec region (Yucatán Peninsula, México) during the Maya Classic period (AD 350-800), based on a combined analysis of dental morphology and (87) Sr/(86) Sr isotopes, and on a comparison of the dental evidence together with archaeological signs of trade and relationships with other regions in the Maya world. Twenty-three dental morphological variables were used to estimate affinities between dental collections from Noh Bec and 10 more sites from the region. (87) Sr/(86) Sr isotopes were recorded from the enamel of permanent teeth of 32 individuals from Noh Bec, and compared to the site's local chemical signature. Dental morphology reveals a strong affinity with Kohunlich, in the central Maya lowlands, while some diversity can be noted with the Petén sites (such as Calakmul) as well as sites on the northern coast of the peninsula. The local extent of (87) Sr/(86) Sr variation ranges between 0.7086 and 0.7088. Eight of the 32 Noh Bec individuals analyzed were born elsewhere. Isotopic values indicate different places of origin although apparently none were from the northern coast of the peninsula; instead, the range of variability reflects many locations along the western coast of the peninsula as well as inland sites in the Chenes region in Campeche. Dental morphology and (87) Sr/(86) Sr ratios indicate intense population dynamics in the peninsula during the Maya Classic period. Despite the different nature of the dental and isotopic indicators, results agree with archaeological evidence and with proposed trade routes in the peninsula. Am. J. Hum. Biol., 2015. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2015 · American Journal of Human Biology
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    ABSTRACT: The Bronze Age of Eurasia (around 3000-1000 BC) was a period of major cultural changes. However, there is debate about whether these changes resulted from the circulation of ideas or from human migrations, potentially also facilitating the spread of languages and certain phenotypic traits. We investigated this by using new, improved methods to sequence low-coverage genomes from 101 ancient humans from across Eurasia. We show that the Bronze Age was a highly dynamic period involving large-scale population migrations and replacements, responsible for shaping major parts of present-day demographic structure in both Europe and Asia. Our findings are consistent with the hypothesized spread of Indo-European languages during the Early Bronze Age. We also demonstrate that light skin pigmentation in Europeans was already present at high frequency in the Bronze Age, but not lactose tolerance, indicating a more recent onset of positive selection on lactose tolerance than previously thought.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2015 · Nature
  • Robert A. Cook · T. Douglas Price
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    ABSTRACT: The development of farming traditions has long interested archaeologists worldwide, and the relationship of this process with human movement has become increasingly refined in recent years. Here we examine this issue in a case study that concerns the longstanding question of the spread of maize agriculture and Mississippian cultural traditions throughout much of the Eastern U.S. Although it has long been common to interpret the development of Mississippian maize agriculturalists partially as a result of human migration, there have been very few direct studies of the problem. We do so here by analyzing human tooth enamel from burials for δ13C and 87Sr/86Sr. Our results suggest that Fort Ancient societies adopted maize agriculture quickly with the initial sites consuming high levels of maize. The intensity of maize consumption may have declined over time, however, in contrast to the current model. There is clear evidence for the presence of non-local individuals at early Fort Ancient sites, particularly Turpin, with the majority being attributable to neighboring Mississippian regions. These developments occurred at the largest sites located by the mouths of the Great and Little Miami Rivers where the most abundant Mississippian house styles and objects are concentrated.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · Journal of Archaeological Science
  • Oswaldo Chinchilla · vera tiesler · T. Douglas Price · Oswaldo Gomez
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    ABSTRACT: Human sacrifice in ancient Mesoamerica was strongly linked with ritual behaviour and mythical beliefs. Yet it is rarely possible to explain the mythical associations of archaeological deposits derived from human sacrifice. In this article, we integrate archaeological, taphonomic and isotopic analysis to reconstruct the ritual behaviour that resulted in the formation of a partially cremated primary burial at the Lowland Maya city of Tikal. Taphonomic reconstruction reveals details about the form of death and combustion of two males, while isotopic studies hint at their probable geographic origin. To explain this ritual, we assess the relevance of widespread Mesoamerican mythical beliefs about the origin of the sun and the moon, and discuss the theoretical and methodological issues involved in this comparison. The burial's association with an E-Group compound makes it significant for the interpretation of these specialized architectural arrangements in southern Mesoamerica. It also pertains to a critical period in Tikal's history, marked by intensified cultural and political interaction with the highland Mexican city of Teotihuacan, manifest in this burial by the presence of imported green obsidian spear points. We propose that this unique context resulted from a sacrificial reenactment of the mythological birth of the sun and the moon.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2015 · Cambridge Archaeological Journal

  • No preview · Chapter · Jan 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Bog bodies form a unique group of archaeological human remains which offer unparalleled insight into the past. Unlike most ancient human remains, bog bodies have preserved their skin and other soft tissues through natural tanning processes in the bogs. We present the first comprehensive strontium isotope investigation of the Haraldskaer Woman and her garments, dated to the Scandinavian Pre-Roman Iron Age (500-1 BC). Our interdisciplinary research applies new advances in strontium isotope tracing protocols enabling us to go a step further in unravelling the life of bog people. Our study reveals long distance travel of the Haraldskaer Woman shortly before her death, leading to new speculations on to why her body ended in the bog.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2015 · ArchéoSciences / Journal of Archaeometry
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    ABSTRACT: Strontium, oxygen and carbon isotopes are measured in human tooth enamel from 32 human burials in structural complex 10J-45 at the Classic Maya site of Copan in western Honduras. These results are compared with similar information from the Copan Acropolis, common graves throughout the site, and baseline information from the surrounding region and the Maya area in general. More than one-third of the burials are identified as non-local based on strontium and oxygen isotope ratios. These non-local individuals came from a variety of different places. Two of these persons appear to be dynastic rulers or highly placed nobles in Copan society. The high density of non-locals and the location of the burials suggest this area may have been an enclave of foreign Maya at the site. The presence of non-local rulers in both this area and the Acropolis supports the concept of “stranger kings” in the Maya realm.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2014 · Journal of Anthropological Archaeology
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    Elise Naumann · T Douglas Price · Michael P Richards
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    ABSTRACT: Human remains representing 33 individuals buried along the coast in northern Norway were analyzed for diet composition using collagen stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis. Where possible, both teeth and bone were included to investigate whether there were dietary changes from childhood to adulthood. A general shift was documented from the Merovingian Age 550-800 AD to the Viking Age AD 800-1050 (VA), with a heavier reliance on marine diet in the VA. Dietary life history data show that 15 individuals changed their diets through life with 11 of these having consumed more marine foods in the later years of life. In combination with (87) Sr/(86) Sr data, it is argued that at least six individuals possibly originated from inland areas and then moved to the coastal region where they were eventually interred. The trend is considered in relation to the increasing expansion of the marine fishing industry at this time, and it is suggested that results from isotope analyses reflect the expanding production and export of stockfish in this region. Am J Phys Anthropol, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2014 · American Journal of Physical Anthropology
  • T. Douglas Price · Karin Margarita Frei · Elise Nauman

    No preview · Article · Nov 2014 · Journal of the North Atlantic
  • T. Douglas Price · Elise Naumann
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    ABSTRACT: Norway was the likely homeland of many of the early colonists of the North Atlantic and it is essential to have information on the strontium isotopic values present in the country. Much of the population today as in the past lives on the coast and it is that area where most of the prehistoric remains are found as well. In this study several hundred samples were measured for strontium isotopic ratios, including 200 samples from Norway. This total includes 144 human teeth and bone and 56 floral and faunal samples. Although much of the Norwegian landscape is composed of very old rocks with high 87Sr/86Sr values, the coastal location of the human population means that marine influences are high in terms of sea spray and seafood consumption so that strontium isotope ratios are substantially lower than expected from the geology. Bioavailable values from floral and faunal samples generally range from 0.707 to 0.725 with an average around 0.713. Measurements of human teeth revealed an average value of 0.713 ± 1s.d. 0.0033. Case studies from large sets of human burials at Bryggen, Trondheim, and Hamar are also discussed.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2014 · Journal of the North Atlantic
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    ABSTRACT: Understanding the peopling of the Americas remains an important and challenging question. Here, we present 14C dates, and morphological, isotopic and genomic sequence data from two human skulls from the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, part of one of the indigenous groups known as ‘Botocudos’. We find that their genomic ancestry is Polynesian, with no detectable Native American component. Radiocarbon analysis of the skulls shows that the individuals had died prior to the beginning of the 19th century. Our findings could either represent genomic evidence of Polynesians reaching South America during their Pacific expansion, or European-mediated transport.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · Current Biology
  • Leigh Symonds · T Douglas Price · Anne Keenleyside · James Burton
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    ABSTRACT: MANX NATIONAL HERITAGE re-opened its Viking and Medieval Gallery in 2007. Isotope analysis of two archaeologically famous skeletons, the Balladoole Viking and the Pagan Lady of Peel, was undertaken to gain information on Viking-Age migration and regional interaction. Additional testing of five early medieval skeletons from the St Patrick's Isle cemetery and two from Speke Keeill was also completed. Here we present the results of the analysis of dental enamel using strontium, oxygen, and carbon isotope ratios. The off-island origins of many of these individuals are confirmed, as well as the role of migration in island demographics.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2014 · Medieval Archaeology
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    H. Schroeder · J. B. Haviser · T. D. Price
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    ABSTRACT: Dental modification was widely practiced in sub-Saharan Africa as a form of cultural expression, and during the era of the transatlantic slave trade, it was regularly identified in enslaved Africans who were transported to the Americas. Here, we report three new cases of African types of dental modification from the Caribbean island of Saint Martin that were recently encountered during construction activities in the Zoutsteeg area of Philipsburg, the capital of the Dutch half of the island. The artifacts associated with the burials indicate that they date to the late 17th century, prior to the foundation of the town of Philipsburg in 1735. The dental evidence further suggests that the three individuals were born in Africa, as opposed to the Americas. This could be confirmed by tooth enamel strontium isotope measurements which yielded values that are inconsistent with an origin in the Caribbean but consistent with an origin in Africa. Unfortunately, neither the dental patterns nor the strontium isotope values allow us to determine their specific origins in Africa. However, both the methods used to modify the teeth and the isotope ratios suggest that the ‘Zoutsteeg Three’ originated in different parts of Africa. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · International Journal of Osteoarchaeology
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    ABSTRACT: Dental enamel is currently of high informative value in studies concerning childhood origin and human mobility because the strontium isotope ratio in human dental enamel is indicative of geographical origin. However, many prehistoric burials involve cremation and although strontium retains its original biological isotopic composition, even when exposed to very high temperatures, intact dental enamel is rarely preserved in cremated or burned human remains. When preserved, fragments of dental enamel may be difficult to recognize and identify. Finding a substitute material for strontium isotope analysis of burned human remains, reflecting childhood values, is hence of high priority. This is the first study comparing strontium isotope ratios from cremated and non-cremated petrous portions with enamel as indicator for childhood origin. We show how strontium isotope ratios in the otic capsule of the petrous portion of the inner ear are highly correlated with strontium isotope ratios in dental enamel from the same individual, whether inhumed or cremated. This implies that strontium isotope ratios in the petrous bone, which practically always survives cremation, are indicative of childhood origin for human skeletal remains. Hence, the petrous bone is ideal as a substitute material for strontium isotope analysis of burned human remains.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · PLoS ONE
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    ABSTRACT: The Illerup Aadal weapon sacrifice mirrors the material world of a Germanic army from c . AD 210. Apart from the personal equipment and the weaponry of more than 400 warriors, it comprises four horses. The present paper gives the first conclusive analysis of the skeletal remains of these animals, involving osteological investigation and strontium isotope analysis. The results shed new light on the character of the sacrificial ceremonies which unfolded in the aftermath of Iron Age battles; on the nature of cavalry and its significance in Iron Age warfare; and on the much debated question as to where the army of Illerup Aadal had originally come from.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2014 · Antiquity
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    ABSTRACT: Anchored in archaeological, bioarchaeological, and chemical research conducted at the coastal enclave of Xcambo, this paper examines Classic period Maya coastal saline economic production and exchange, along with the lifestyle, ethnicity, and mobility of the traders. Nestled in the coastal marshlands of the northern Yucatan, Mexico, Xcambo functioned as a salt production center and port during its occupation, maintaining long-reaching ties with other parts of the Maya world and Veracruz. Considered together, the different data sets document a reorientation in Xcambo's exchange routes and connections, which are echoed by increasingly diverse cultural affiliations and an increasing geographic mobility of Xcambo's merchants. This new information confirms the known pattern of gradually intensifying, though still relatively independent, trade dynamics along the Maya coast in the centuries leading up to the so-called “Maya collapse” and the rise of a new merchant league under the control of Chichen Itza. It was this new order that probably led to the swift end of Xcambo soon after a.d. 700.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2014 · Ancient Mesoamerica
  • T. Douglas Price · Sylvia Chappell · David J. Ives
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    ABSTRACT: Experimental, analytical, and archaeological evidence is presented to describe the characteristics of thermal alteration in mesolithic assemblages from the northern Netherlands. Experiments, both in the field and in the laboratory, have established the sequence of changes that occur when flint is subjected to heat. Analytical techniques involving the scanning electron microscope and thermoluminescence analysis are used in an attempt to recognize thermal pretreatment and to define the stages in manufacturing in which it was used. The proportions and spatial distributions of thermally-altered artefacts are employed to compare archaeological assemblages and to locate heat sources on occupation floors. In spite of high incidence of heat alteration in the assemblages, there is no conclusive evidence for intentional thermal pretreatment.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2014

Publication Stats

3k Citations
185.55 Total Impact Points


  • 1970-2015
    • University of Wisconsin–Madison
      • Department of Anthropology
      Madison, Wisconsin, United States
  • 2013-2014
    • Aarhus University
      Aarhus, Central Jutland, Denmark
  • 2006-2009
    • University of Aberdeen
      • Department of Archaeology
      Aberdeen, Scotland, United Kingdom
    • The Reykjavik Academy
      Reikiavik, Capital Region, Iceland