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The first farmers of Central Europe: diversity in LBK lifeways

Arts and Humanities Research Council Logo

This AHRC-funded project (grant number AH/F018126/1) aims to investigate diversity in the lifeways of the early European Neolithic LBK culture (Linearbandkeramik culture, c. 5500-4900 cal BC) using a combination of stable isotope, osteological and archaeological analyses. 

Lifeways team photo. From left to right: Robert Hedges, Alasdair Whittle, Alex Bentley and Daniela Hofmann.

Lifeways team photo. From left to right: Robert Hedges, Alasdair Whittle, Alex Bentley and Daniela Hofmann.

The project is a collaboration between Prof Alasdair Whittle, Penny Bickle and Linda Fibiger (Cardiff University), Robert Hedges, Linda Reynard and Daniela Hofmann (Oxford University), and Graham Pearson and Alexander Bentley (Durham University). However, it could not succeed without the help of many more partners from a broad area of central Europe.

The main aims of the project are to examine patterns of human and animal diet, health, movement and mobility in the setting of the earliest farming culture in central Europe. We are using a combination of stable isotope traces in human and animal bone and tooth enamel, and osteological and archaeological analysis of human remains from selected settlements and cemeteries. On this basis, we seek to investigate the nature, internal diversity and development of LBK communities and their economies and identities, using our results in relation to the many other studies in the published literature.

Please follow the links below for further information about this project.