Multi-isotope analysis of Mesolithic and Neolithic Sus

  • Jonathan Small (Presenter)

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation


This presentation will communicate the results from a multi-isotope investigation of Irish Mesolithic and Early Neolithic Sus remains from five archaeological sites. This study investigated the role of wild and domestic pig during these periods, particularly their relationship with Mesolithic and Neolithic populations. Despite the prevalence of Sus remains in the archaeological record of these periods, they have received relatively little research focus. Carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) were analysed to determine their dietary structure. Oxygen (δ18O), strontium (87Sr/86Sr) and sulphur (δ34S) analyses were used to assess their landscape mobility and origins. The research has elucidated the ecological position of Sus during the Mesolithic and Neolithic, has provided insights into Irish Mesolithic hunting strategies, and has also shed light on Early Neolithic livestock rearing. Ultimately this research has moved beyond conceptualisations of Sus as an economic resource, and considered their diets, mobility and broader ecological niche.

Period15 Feb 2020
Event titleIrish Isotopes Research Group Meeting
Event typeConference
Degree of RecognitionNational