Community Diversity at Ban Lum Khao, Thailand: Isotopic Evidence from the Skeletons
Abstract

Isotopes of strontium, carbon, and oxygen were analyzed in human tooth enamel from the Bronze Age site of Ban Lum Khao (c. 1400 B.C. –500 B.C. ) in Thailand. The strontium and oxygen isotopes, which generally reflect place of origin, delimit discrete groups among the individuals. Among the females, different groups determined through isotopic signatures were buried with distinctive pottery types. This suggests that social identity, drawn from village of origin, was conveyed by material culture, at least in burial. Although Ban Lum Khao was probably an egalitarian community, this isotopic and archaeological evidence suggests that different social identities were associated with place of childhood origin in this Bronze Age community.


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