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Migration and cultural integration in the early medieval cemetery of Finglesham, Kent, through stable isotopes

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Leggett, Sam 


Abstract: Debate over migrations to Britain during the fifth and sixth centuries AD is still rampant in archaeological discourse. Stable carbon, nitrogen and oxygen isotope values from multiple tissues in individuals buried at Finglesham in Kent during the first millennium AD demonstrate not only migration of individuals to the region but also highlight community integration through foodways and refute previous models of ‘invasion’ and replacement. This case study community suggests gendered differences in mobility into early medieval England, with males more likely to be migrants from cooler regions than women. It also challenges traditional narratives of social status in these furnished cemeteries being linked to diet or migrant status with no clear correlations found between funerary treatment and isotopic signatures. This multi-tissue and multi-isotope study tracks dietary changes in this multi-origin community throughout their lives and shows that they may have even changed their diets to adapt to Christianising influences in the region.


Funder: Cambridge Philosophical Society; doi:


Original Paper, Early medieval, Kent, Isotopes, Diet, Mobility, Identity

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Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences

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Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Cambridge Commonwealth, European and International Trust (10386281)