Twenty Corded Ware graves containing twenty five interments were identified at sites 11, 15 and 20 at Święte, Radymno Commune, Jarosław District. In most of the graves (16), there was only one interment, although there were also three graves with two internments and one grave with three interments. The age and sex structure of buried individuals shows the roughly equal number of females, males, and children at the age of Infans I and II, with the category Maturus (individuals aged 40 to 50) having the highest mortality rate. So far, Rzeszów Foothills and the Lower San River Valley yielded 40 Corded Ware graves containing 51 interments in total. Single burials were predominant. Alike at Święte sites, the highest proportion of burials is recorded for individuals at the age of Maturus irrespective of sex; overall, for the entire region, male graves, however, outnumber female graves. In most cases skeletons are poorly preserved, but scarce anthropometric data are the indication of dolichomorphic crania in both males and females, which phenomenon is already noted for the Małopolska Upland and present Ukraine. The intravital body height for adults varies from 161.3 to 175 cm for males and from 156.7 to 163.1 cm for females.
The presented study was based on isotopic analysis of δ13C and δ15N in human bone collagen samples from graves of the Corded Ware culture in Święte, south-east Poland. Isotopic values demonstrate a relatively narrow variation, ranging from -20.4‰ to -19.8‰ and 10.6‰ to 12.0‰ for δ13C and δ15N values, respectively. The diet was likely C3 plant-based with a substantial animal protein component, including predominantly terrestrial and possibly riverine resources.
Strontium isotope ratios (87Sr/86Sr) were applied to investigate provenance amongst the Final Eneolithic population at Święte (sites 11, 15 and 20) in the Subcarpathian region, south-eastern Poland. The study used 11 human enamel samples collected from the niche graves of the Corded Ware culture. To obtain base-line information on the local Sr isotope composition seven animal enamel samples were also examined. They were found in the adjacent archaeological sites of the Mierzanowice culture at Mirocin and Dobkowice, which have the same environmental and geological background as the sites at Święte. The investigated individuals from Święte display a wide spectrum of Sr isotope signatures, from 0.7094 to 0.7109. Because a comparison of human 87Sr/86Sr values from Święte with Sr animal signatures from Early Bronze Age sites in the area is not unambiguous the local range of 87Sr/86Sr values were based on published data for the Subcarpathian population of the Corded Ware culture. Strontium isotope ratios indicate that only three males with the most radiogenic 87Sr/86Sr values exhibit local signatures. Values below 0.7103 document individuals born outside of the Subcarpathian region. Among these are all women and children, two males and one individual with undetermined sex. The probable homeland of the non-local individuals were areas along the northern and eastern margins of the Carpathian Foredeep in Poland and Ukraine.
This study uses anthropological and forensic medical analyses to determine the cause of fractures found in the remains of 15 individuals buried at a site associated with the Globular Amphora Culture (2875-2670 BC). The intent was to determine the mechanism underlying the injuries and to indicate the types of tools that might have inflicted the blows. The fractures were diversified in their forms, but the majority of the injuries appear to have been inflicted by a flint axe, which is frequently found in graves of the Globular Amphora Culture. Apart from the forearm being severed in one of the victims, all the remaining skeletons showed from 1 to 4 injuries involving solely the skulls. The grave might contain victims attacked by invaders who executed the captives, or else the feature is ritual in character and it reflects the beliefs of the Neolithic community.
Diagenetic signals from ancient human remains - bioarchaeological applications
This preliminary study examines the potential effects of diagenetic processes on the oxygen-isotope ratios of bone and tooth phosphate (δ18O) from skeletal material of individuals representing the Corded Ware Culture (2500-2400 BC) discovered in Malżyce (Southern Poland). Intra-individual variability of Ca/P, CI, C/P, collagen content (%) and oxygen isotopes was observed through analysis of enamel, dentin and postcranial bones. Using a variety of analytical techniques, it was found that, despite the lack of differences in soil acidity, not all the parts of a skeleton on a given site had been equally exposed to diagenetic post mortem changes. In a few cases, qualitative changes in the FTIR spectrum of analysed bones were observed. The data suggest that apart from quantitative analyses, i.e., the calculation of Ca/P, CI, C/P and collagen content, qualitative analyses such as examination of the absorbance line are recommended. The degree to which a sample is, contaminated on the basis of any additional, non-biogenic peaks, deemed to be contaminated should also be specified.