Across the Alps in Prehistory

Isotopic Mapping of the Brenner Passage by Bioarchaeology

  • Gisela Grupe
  • Andrea Grigat
  • George C. McGlynn

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Carola Metzner-Nebelsick, Amei Lang, C. Sebastian Sommer, Bernd Steidl
    Pages 1-26
  3. Gisela Grupe, Stefan Hölzl, Christoph Mayr, Frank Söllner
    Pages 27-48
  4. Joris Peters, Markus Gschwind, Ferdinand Neuberger, Bernd Steidl, Simon Trixl
    Pages 49-74
  5. Wolfgang W. Schmahl, Balazs Kocsis, Anita Toncala, Dominika Wycisk, Gisela Grupe
    Pages 75-104
  6. Markus Mauder, Eirini Ntoutsi, Peer Kröger, Hans-Peter Kriegel
    Pages 105-125
  7. Anita Toncala, Frank Söllner, Christoph Mayr, Stefan Hölzl, Karin Heck, Dominika Wycisk et al.
    Pages 127-227
  8. Gisela Grupe, Martin Grünewald, Markus Gschwind, Stefan Hölzl, Peer Kröger, Amei Lang et al.
    Pages 229-250
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 251-255

About this book


At the heart of this book is the matter of how isotopic landscapes combined with data mining enriches insights on prehistoric migration and cultural transfer. Isotopic mapping is an indispensable tool for the assessment of mobility and trade in the past, but is limited by eco-geographic redundancies. An interdisciplinary research group focuses on the archaeological isotopic landscape of a reference region of outstanding importance, namely the transalpine migration route via the Brenner Pass which has been in use since the Mesolithic. Over the period of several cultural epochs, cremation was either the most common or exclusive burial custom practiced. For the first time, a systematic and large scale investigation of cremated remains was being conducted in the field of prehistoric migration research. 87Sr/86Sr, 208Pb/204Pb, 207Pb/204Pb, 206Pb/204Pb, 208Pb/207Pb, 206Pb/207Pb and – if applicable - also δ18O were measured in human and animal skeletal finds, an isotopic map was established, and innovative methods of data mining and similarity research have been applied to accomplish this novel approach to studying prehistoric migration and culture transfer. The book has interdisciplinary appeal and scholars working in bioarchaeology, physical anthropology and computer applications in life sciences will find it of particular interest.


archaeological isotopic landscape cremation data mining human and animal skeletal finds isotopic fingerprint transalpine migration route

Editors and affiliations

  • Gisela Grupe
    • 1
  • Andrea Grigat
    • 2
  • George C. McGlynn
    • 3
  1. 1.LMU München Biozentrum MartinsriedMartinsriedGermany
  2. 2.Staatssammlung f. Anthropologie und PaläoanatomieMünchenGermany
  3. 3.LMU München Biozentrum MartinsriedMartinsriedGermany

Bibliographic information