The Bioarchaeology of Migration in the Ancient Mediterranean

Meta-Analysis of Radiogenic (87Sr/86Sr) Isotope Ratios


  • Thomas P. Leppard Florida State University
  • Carmen Esposito Queen’s University Belfast
  • Massimiliano Esposito Independent scholar



bioarchaeology, isotope analysis, migration, mobility, prehistoric archaeology


The Mediterranean is often regarded as characterized by high levels of human mobility and migration, which are in turn considered to have driven large-scale cultural effects. However, this supposition is problematic, in that it relies on various types of proxy for human movement, rather than on direct bioarchaeological evidence. Accordingly, in this study we attempt to quantify diachronic Mediterranean mobility and migration by undertaking the first meta-analysis of the burgeoning radiogenic isotope datasets now available from the Mediterranean. We gathered 87Sr/ 86Sr data derived from funerary populations from the Neolithic to the late Roman period. We imposed a data-hygiene regime, discarding low-quality, methodologically idiosyncratic, or other potentially erroneous data; this resulted in a cleansed and trimmed dataset (n = 899). Within this dataset, we find that mean rates of post-juvenile migration are relatively low. Utilizing the methodologies specific to individual studies, the mean nonlocal rate is 9.57%. Imposing a standard methodology on the most statistically robust data (resulting in n = 702) allows us to recompute a mean nonlocal rate of 5.84%. In both the data as originally reported and as recomputed, we detect comparatively higher levels of migration in the period 7000–3500 BC, followed by decreasing levels of migration in the later Holocene. We discuss the implications of these results for how we understand longterm cultural and behavioral change in the Mediterranean.

Author Biographies

Thomas P. Leppard, Florida State University

Thomas P. Leppard (PhD, 2013, Brown University) is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Florida State University and co-directs the Landscape Archaeology of Southwest Sardinia project. His research is primarily concerned with the transition to complex social organization.

Carmen Esposito, Queen’s University Belfast

Carmen Esposito (MPhil, 2017, University of Cambridge) is a PhD candidate at Queen’s University, Belfast working on mobility in Iron Age central Italy. She is interested in Italian prehistory, especially the Bronze Age and early Iron Age, with a particular focus on the study of material culture, osteoarchaeology, and isotope ratio analyses.

Massimiliano Esposito, Independent scholar

Massimiliano Esposito (PhD, 2018, Imperial College London) defended his thesis in Harmonic Analysis regarding generalization of the Weyl quantization scheme. His primary research concerns random matrices and their applications in mathematics and artificial intelligence. He has subsidiary interests in statistics and relevant archaeological applications.


Al-Shorman, A., and L. El-Khouri

Strontium isotope analysis of human tooth enamel from Barsinia: a late antiquity site in northern Jordan. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences 3: 263-69.

AlQahtani, S.J., M.P. Hector and H.M. Liversidge

Brief communication: the London atlas of human tooth development and eruption. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 142: 481-90.

Alt, K.W., M. Benz, W. Müller, … H.J. Nissen and W. Vach

Earliest evidence for social endogamy in the 9,000-year-old-population of Basta, Jordan. PLoS ONE 8: e65649.

Alt, K.W., S. Zesch, R. Garrido-Pena, … H. Arcusa Magallón and M.A. Rojo-Guerra

A community in life and death: the Late Neolithic megalithic tomb at Alto de Reinoso (Burgos, Spain). PLoS ONE 11: e0146176.

Antonio, M., Z. Gao, H. Moots, M. Lucci, … R. Pinhasi and J. Pritchard

Ancient Rome: a genetic crossroads of Europe and the Mediterranean. Science 366(6466): 708-14.

Bataille, C.P., I.C.C von Holstein, J.E. Laffoon, M. Willmes, X.-M. Liu and G.R. Davies

A bioavailable strontium isoscape for Western Europe: a machine learning approach. PLoS ONE 13: e0197386.

Beherec, M.A., T.E. Levy, O. Tirosh, M. Najjar, K.A. Knabb and Y. Erel

Iron Age nomads and their relation to copper smelting in Faynan (Jordan): trace metal and Pb and Sr isotopic measurements from the Wadi Fidan 40 cemetery. Journal of Archaeological Science 65: 70-83.

Bentley, R.A.

Strontium isotopes from the earth to the archaeological skeleton: a review. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 13: 135-87.

Berard, J.

La Magna Grecia. Storia delle Colonie Greche dell’Italia Meridionale. Bologna: Piccola Biblioteca Einaudi.

Bernabò Brea, L.

Sicily Before the Greeks. New York: Praeger.

Bevan, A.

Mediterranean containerization. Current Anthro­pology 55: 387-405.

Blake, E., and A.B. Knapp (eds.)

The Archaeology of Mediterranean Prehistory. Oxford: Blackwell.

Booth, T.J.

A stranger in a strange land: a perspective on archaeological responses to the palaeogenetic revolution from an archaeologist working amongst palaeogeneticists. World Archaeology 51: 586-601.

Botigué, L.R., S. Song, A. Schue, … J.M. Kidd and K.R. Veeramah

Ancient European dog genomes reveal continuity since the early Neolithic. Nature Communications 8: 16082.

Braudel, F.

The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age of Philip II. 2 vols. New York: Harper and Row.

Broodbank, C.

An Island Archaeology of the Early Cyclades. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

The Making of the Middle Sea: A History of the Mediterranean from the Beginning to the Emergence of the Classical World. London: Thames and Hudson.

Does island archaeology matter? In A.R. Knodell and T.P. Leppard (eds.), Regional Approaches to Society and Complexity: Studies in Honor of John F. Cherry, 188-206. Sheffield: Equinox.

Budd, P., J. Montgomery, B. Barreiro and R.G. Thomas

Differential diagenesis of strontium in archaeological human dental tissues. Applied Geochemistry 15: 687-94.

Carvalho, A.F., D. Gonçalves, M. Díaz-Zorita Bonilla and M.J. Valente

Multi-isotope approaches to the Neolithic cemetery-cave of Bom Santo (Lisbon): new data and comparisons with fourth millennium BC populations from central–southern Portugal. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences 11: 6141-59.

Cavazzuti, C., R. Skeates, A.R. Millard, G. Nowell, J. Peterkin, M. Bernabò Brea, A. Caldarelli and L. Salzini

a Flows of people in villages and large centres in Bronze Age Italy through strontium and oxygen isotopes. PLoS ONE 14: e0209693.

Cavazzuti, C., A. Cardarelli, F. Quondam, L. Salzani, M. Ferrante, S. Nisi, A.R. Millard and R. Skeates

b Mobile elites at Frattesina: flows of people in a Late Bronze Age ‘port of trade’ in northern Italy investigated through strontium isotope analysis. Antiquity 93(369): 624-44.


Chadwick, O.A., L.A. Derry, P.M. Vitousek, B.J. Huebert and L.O. Hedin

Changing sources of nutrients during four million years of ecosystem development. Nature 397: 491-97.

Cherry, J.F.

Sorting out Crete’s prepalatial off-island interactions. In W.A. Parkinson and M.L. Galaty (eds.), Archaic State Interaction: The Eastern Mediterranean in the Bronze Age, 107-40. Santa Fe, New Mexico: SAR Press.

Cherry, J.F., and T.P. Leppard

A little history of Mediterranean island prehistory. In A.B. Knapp and P. van Dommelen (eds.), The Cambridge Prehistory of the Bronze Age–Iron Age Mediterranean, 10-24. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Chiang, C.W.K., J.H. Marcus, C. Sidore, … F. Cucca and J. Novembre

Genomic history of the Sardinian population. Nature Genetics 50: 1426-34.

Childe, V.G.

The Bronze Age. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Cuozzo, M., and C. Pellegrino

Culture meticce, identità etnica, dinamiche di conservatorismo e resistenza: questioni teoriche e casi di studio dalla Campania. In L. Donnellan, V. Nizzo, G.J.L.M. Burgers and R. Osborne (eds.), Conceptualising Early Colonisation, 117-36. Brussels: Belgisch Historisch Instituut te Rome.

Dawson, H.

‘Brave New Worlds’: islands, place-making and connectivity in the Bronze Age Mediterranean. In B.C.P. Molloy (ed.), Of Odysseys and Oddities: Scales and Modes of Interaction between Prehistoric Aegean Societies and their Neighbours, 323-42. Oxford: Oxbow Books.

Díaz-del-Río, P., A.J. Waterman, J.T. Thomas, D.W. Peate, R.H. Tykot, M.I. Martínez-Navarrete and J.M. Vincent

Diet and mobility patterns in the late prehistory of central Iberia (4000-1400 cal BC): the evidence of radiogenic (87Sr/86Sr) and stable (d18O, d13C) isotope ratios. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences 9: 1439-52.

Díaz-Zorita Bonilla, M., J. Beck, H. Bocherens and P. Díaz-del-Río

Isotopic evidence for mobility at large-scale human aggregations in Copper Age Iberia: the mega-site of Marroquíes. Antiquity 92(364): 991-1007.

Efkleidou, K.

Slavery and Dependent Personnel in the Linear B Archives of Mainland Greece. Unpublished MA dissertation, University of Cincinnati, Ohio.

Emery, M.V., R.J. Stark, T.J. Murchie, S. Elford, H.P. Schwarcz and T.L. Prowse

Mapping the origins of imperial Roman workers (1st-4th centuries CE) at Vagnari, southern Italy using 86Sr/86Sr and d18O variability. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 166: 837-50.

Evans, A.

The Palace of Minos: A Comparative Account of the Successive States of the Early Cretan Civilisation as Illustrated by the Discoveries at Knossos I. London: Macmillan.

The Palace of Minos: A Comparative Account of the Successive States of the Early Cretan Civilisation as Illustrated by the Discoveries at Knossos II. London: Macmillan.

Evans, J.A., and S. Tatham

Defining ‘local signature’ in terms of Sr isotope composition using a tenth- to twelfth-century Anglo-Saxon population living on a Jurassic clay-carbonate terrain, Rutland. In K. Pye and D.J. Croft (eds.), Forensic Geoscience: Principles, Techniques and Applications. Geological Society Special Publication 232: 237-48. London: Geological Society.

Fahy, G.E., C. Deter, R. Pitfield, J.J. Miszkiewicz and P. Mahoney

Bone deep: variation in stable isotope ratios and histomorphometric measurements of bone remodelling within adult humans. Journal of Archaeological Science 87: 10-16.

Feldman, M., D.M. Master, R.A. Bianco, … C. Jeong and J. Krause

Ancient DNA sheds light on the genetic origins of early Iron Age Philistines. Science Advances 5: eaax0061.

Fernandes, D., A. Mittnik, I. Olalde, I. Lazaridis, … R. Pinhasi and D. Reich

The spread of steppe and Iranian-related ancestry in the islands of the western Mediterranean. Nature Ecology and Evolution 4: 334-45.

Frieman, C.J., and D. Hofmann

Present pasts in the archaeology of genetics, identity, and migration in Europe: a critical essay. World Archaeology 51: 528-45.

Furholt, M.

Massive migrations? The impact of recent aDNA studies on our view of third millennium Europe. European Journal of Archaeology 21: 159-91.

Galaty, M.

The Mycenaeanisation process. In E. Gorogianni, P. Pavúk and L. Girella (eds.), Beyond Thalassocracies: Understanding Processes of Minoanisation and Mycenaeanisation in the Aegean, 207-18. Oxford: Oxbow Books.

Giblin, J.I.

Radiogenic strontium isotope results from the burials of Alepotrypa Cave. In A. Papathanasiou, W.A. Parkinson, D.J. Pullen, M.L. Galaty and P. Karkanas (eds.), Neolithic Alepotrypa Cave in the Mani, Greece, 306-15. Oxford: Oxbow Books.

Gigante, M., V. Warter, W. Müller, A. Sperduti and L. Bondioli

Anthropological evidence of multi-ethnicity in the first Greek settlement in Italy. Strontium isotopic analysis of the skeletal sample from the necropolis of Pithekoussai (Ischia VIII cent. BCE - III cent. CE). Unpublished paper presented at the 86th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists, New Orleans.

Giovas, C.M., G.D. Kamenov, S.M. Fitzpatrick and J. Krigbaum

Sr and Pb isotopic investigation of mammal introductions: Pre-Columbian zoogeographic records from the Lesser Antilles, West Indies. Journal of Archaeological Science 69: 39-53.

Goude, G., F. Castorina, E. Herrscher, S. Cabut and M.A. Tafuri

First strontium isotope evidence of mobility in the Neolithic of southern France. European Journal of Archaeology 15: 421-39.

Gregoricka, L.A., and S.G. Sheridan

Continuity or conquest? A multi-isotope approach to investigating identity in the early Iron Age of the southern Levant. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 162: 73-89.

Grimstead, D.N., S. Nugent and J. Whipple

Why a standardization of strontium isotope baseline environmental data is needed and recommendations for methodology. Advances in Archaeological Practice 5: 184-95.

Guarducci, M.

Epigrafia Greca. Rome: Istituto poligrafico dello Stato, Libreria dello Sato.

Haber, M., C. Doumet-Serhal, C. Scheib, … T. Kivisild and C. Tyler-Smith

Continuity and admixture in the last five millennia of Levantine history from the ancient Canaanite and present-day Lebanese genome sequences. American Journal of Human Genetics 101: 1-9.

Hakenbeck, S.E.

Genetics, archaeology and the far right: an unholy trinity. World Archaeology 51: 517-27.

Halstead, P., and J. O’Shea (eds.)

Bad Year Economics: Cultural Responses to Risk and Uncertainty. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Harbeck, M., R. Schleuder, J. Schneider, I. Wiechmann, W. Schmahl and G. Grupe

Research potential and limitations of trace analyses of cremated remains. Forensic Science International 204: 191-200.

Harris, W.V. (ed.)

Rethinking the Mediterranean. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Harvig, L., K.M. Frei, T.D. Price and N. Lynnerup

Strontium isotope signals in cremated petrous portions as indicator for childhood origin. PLoS ONE 9: e101603.

Hedges, R.E.M., J.G. Clement, C.D.L. Thomas and T. O’Connell

Collagen turnover in the adult femoral mid-shaft: modeled from anthropogenic radiocarbon tracer measurements. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 133: 808-16.

Hodos, T.

Colonial engagements in the global Mediterranean Iron Age. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 10: 221-41.

Stage settings for a connected scene: globalization and material-culture studies in the early first-millennium B.C.E. Mediterranean. Archaeological Dialogues 21: 24-30.

Hofmann, D.

What have genetics ever done for us? The implications of aDNA data for interpreting identity in early Neolithic central Europe. European Journal of Archaeology 18: 454-76.

Hofmanová, Z., S. Kreutzer, G. Hellenthal, … C. Papageorgopoulou and J. Burger

Early farmers from across Europe directly descended from Neolithic Aegeans. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 113: 6886-91.

Horden, P., and N. Purcell

The Corrupting Sea: A Study in Mediterranean History. Oxford: Blackwell.

The Mediterranean and ‘the new thalassology’. American Historical Review 111: 722-40.

Iacono, F.

The Archaeology of Late Bronze Age Interaction and Mobility at the Gates of Europe: People, Things and Networks around the Southern Adriatic Sea. London: Bloomsbury.

Isern, N., J. Fort and V.L. de Rioja

The ancient cline of haplogroup K implies that the Neolithic transition in Europe was mainly demic. Scientific Reports 7: 11229.

James, H.F., M. Willmes, C.A. Boel, … C.J. Frieman and R. Grün

Who’s been using my burial mound? Radiocarbon dating and isotopic tracing of human diet and mobility at the collective burial site, Le Tumulus des Sables, southwest France. Journal of Archaeological Science, Reports 24: 955-66.

Jarriel, K.

Across the surface of the sea: maritime interaction in the Cycladic Early Bronze Age. Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology 31: 52-76.

Jeffery, L.H.

The Local Scripts of Archaic Greece: A Study of The Origin of the Greek Alphabet and its Development from the Eighth to the Fifth Centuries BC. Oxford: Clarendon.

Jeffery, N., and F. Spoor

Prenatal growth and development of the modern human labyrinth. Journal of Anatomy 204: 71-92.

Killgrove, K.

Biohistory of the Roman Republic: the potential of isotope analysis of human skeletal remains. European Journal of Post-Classical Archaeologies 3: 41-62.

Killgrove, K., and J. Montgomery

All roads lead to Rome: exploring human migration to the eternal city through biochemistry of skeletons from two imperial-era cemeteries (1st-3rd c. AD). PLoS ONE 11: e0147585.

Kinaston, R.L., R.K. Walter, C. Jacomb, … R. Fyfe and H.R. Buckley

The first New Zealanders: patterns of diet and mobility revealed through isotope analysis. PLoS ONE 8: e64580.

Knapp, A.B., and P. van Dommelen (eds.)

The Cambridge Prehistory of the Bronze and Iron Age Mediterranean. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Knappett, C., T. Evans and R. Rivers

Modelling maritime interaction in the Aegean Bronze Age. Antiquity 82(318): 1009-24.

Knodell, A.

Societies in Transition in Early Greece. Berkeley: University of California Press (in press).

Kristiansen, K.

Towards a new paradigm? The third science revolution and its possible consequences in archaeology. Current Swedish Archaeology 22: 11-34.

Kutschera, W., and W. Müller

‘Isotope language of the Alpine Iceman investigated with AMS and MS. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research B 204: 705-19.

Laffoon, J.E., and T.P. Leppard

87Sr/86Sr data indicate human post-juvenile residence mobility decreases over time elapsed since initial Holocene island colonization in the Pacific and Caribbean. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences 11: 1757-68.

Lanting, J.N., and A.L. Brindley

Dating cremated bone: the dawn of a new era. Journal of Irish Archaeology 9: 1-7.

Lazaridis, I., N. Patterson, A. Mittnik, … D. Reich and J. Krause

Ancient human genomes suggest three ancestral populations for present-day Europeans. Nature 513: 409-13.

Lazaridis, I., A. Mittnik, N. Patterson, … J. Krause and G. Stamatoyannopoulos

Genetic origins of the Minoans and Mycenaeans. Nature 548: 214-18.

Legarra Herrero, B.

a An elite-infested sea: interaction and change in Mediterranean paradigms. In B.C.P. Molloy (ed.), Of Odysseys and Oddities: Scales and Modes of Interaction between Prehistoric Aegean Societies and their Neighbours, 343-84. Oxford: Oxbow Books.

b Primary state formation processes on Bronze Age Crete: a social approach to change in early complex societies. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 26: 349-67.

Leidwanger, J.

Modeling distance with time in ancient Mediterranean seafaring: a GIS application for the interpretation of maritime connectivity. Journal of Archaeological Science 40: 3302-28.

Leppard, T.P.

Adaptive responses to demographic fragility: mitigating stochastic effects in early island colonization. Human Ecology 43: 721-34.

Lilliu, G.

I Nuraghi: Torri Preistoriche della Sardegna. Verona: La Zattera.

Lipson, M., A. Szécsényi-Nagy, S. Mallick, … W. Haak and D. Reich

Parallel genomic transect reveals complex genetic history of early European farmers. Nature 551: 368-72.

Liversidge, H.

The dentition. In C. Scheuer, S., Black and L. Cunningham (eds.), Developmental Juvenile Osteology, 149-76. San Diego: Academic Press.

Mac Sweeney, N.

Separating fact from fiction in the Ionian migration. Hesperia 86: 379-421.

Malkin, I.

A Small Greek World: Networks in the Ancient Mediterranean. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Manning, S.

The development of complex society on Crete: the balance between wider context and local agency. In A.R. Knodell and T.P. Leppard (eds.), Regional Approaches to Society and Complexity: Studies in Honor of John F. Cherry. Monographs in Mediterranean Archaeology 15: 29-58. Sheffield: Equinox.

Marcus, J.H., C. Posth, H. Ringbauer, … J. Krause and J. Novembre

Population history from the Neolithic to present on the Mediterranean island of Sardinia: an ancient DNA perspective. Nature Communications 11: 939.

Mathieson, I., S. Alpaslan-Roodenberg, C. Posth, …R. Pinhasi and D. Reich

The genomic history of southeastern Europe. Nature 555: 197-203.

McKechnie, I., and M.L. Moss

Meta-analysis in zooarchaeology expands perspectives on indigenous fisheries of the northwest coast of North America. Journal of Archaeological Science, Reports 8: 470-85.

Milella, M., C. Gerling, T. Doppler, … M.S. Ponce de León and C.P.E Zollikofer

Different in death: different in life? Diet and mobility correlates of irregular burials in a Roman necropolis from Bologna (northern Italy, 1st–4th century CE). Journal of Archaeological Science, Reports 27: 101926.

Molloy, B.C.P. (ed.)

Of Odysseys and Oddities: Scales and Modes of Interaction between Prehistoric Aegean Societies and their Neighbours. Oxford: Oxbow Books.

Morris, I.

Mediterraneanization. Mediterranean Historical Review 18(2): 30-55.

Mossé, C., and A. Schnapp-Gourbeillon

Storia dei Greci, dalle Origini alla Conquista Romana. Trans. C. Ampolo. Rome: La nuova Italia scientifica.

Müldner, G., C. Chenery and H. Eckhardt

The ‘Headless Romans’: multi-isotope investigations of an unusual burial ground from Roman Britain. Journal of Archaeological Science 38: 280-90.

Murphy, E.A., T.P. Leppard, A. Roppa, E. Madrigali and C. Esposito

The Landscape Archaeology of Southwest Sardinia project: new data and method from the insular Mediterranean. Journal of Field Archaeology 44: 367-82.

Nafplioti, A.

‘Mycenaean’ political domination on Knossos following the Late Minoan IB destructions on Crete: negative evidence from strontium isotope analysis (87Sr/86Sr). Journal of Archaeological Science 35: 2307-17.

a Early Bronze Age Manika on Euboea (Greece): a ‘colony’ or not? Evidence from strontium isotope ratio (87Sr/86Sr) analysis. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 73(13, Supplement): A925.

b Mycenae revisited part 2: exploring the local versus non-local geographical origin of the individuals form Grave Circle A: evidence from strontium isotope ratio (87Sr/86Sr) analysis. Annual of the British School at Athens 104: 279-91.

Tracing population mobility in the Aegean using isotope geochemistry: a first map of local biologically available 87Sr/86Sr signatures. Journal of Archaeological Science 38: 1560-70.

Olalde, I., S. Brace, M.E. Allentoft, … C. Lalueza-Fox and D. Reich

The Beaker phenomenon and the genetic transformation of northwest Europe. Nature 555: 190-96.

Olalde, I., S. Mallick, N. Patterson, … C. Lalueza-Fox and D. Reich

The genomic history of the Iberian Peninsula over the past 8000 years. Science 363: 1230-34.

Olalde, I., H. Schroeder, M. Sandoval-Velasco, … M.T.P. Gilbert and C. Lalueza-Fox

A common genetic origin for early farmers from Mediterranean Cardial and central European LBK cultures. Molecular Biology and Evolution 32: 3132-42.

Olivieri, A., C. Sidore, A. Achilli, … F. Cucca and A. Torroni

Mitogenome diversity in Sardinians: a genetic window onto an island’s past. Molecular Biology and Evolution 34: 1230-39.

Orton, D.C., J. Morris, A. Locker and J.H. Barrett

Fish for the city: meta-analysis of archaeological cod remains and the growth of London’s northern trade. Antiquity 88(340): 516-30.

Panagiotopoulou, E., J. Montgomery, G. Nowell, J. Peterkin, A. Doulgeri-Intzesiloglou, P. Arachoviti, S. Katakouta and F. Tsiouka

Detecting mobility in early Iron Age Thessaly by strontium isotope analysis. European Journal of Archaeology 21: 590-611.

Parkinson, W.A.

Beyond the peer: social interaction and political evolution in the Bronze Age Aegean. In D.J. Pullen (ed.), Political Economies of the Aegean Bronze Age, 11–34. Oxford: Oxbow Books.

Pereira, J.B., M.D. Costa, D.Vieira, … L. Pereira and M.B. Richards

Reconciling evidence from ancient and contemporary genomes: a major source for the European Neolithic within Mediterranean Europe. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 284: 20161976.

Perry, M.A., D. Coleman and N. Delhopital

Mobility and exile at 2nd century A.D. Khirbet edh-Dharih: strontium isotope analysis of human migration in western Jordan. Geoarchaeology 23: 528-49.

Pinna, F.

Le testimonianze archeologiche relative ai rapporti tra gli Arabi e la Sardegna nel medioevo. Rivista dell’Istituto di Storia dell’Europa Mediterranea 4: 11-37.

Price, T.D., J.H. Bentley and R.A. Burton

The characterization of biologically available strontium isotope ratios for the study of prehistoric migration. Archaeometry 44: 117-35.

Price, T.D., and H. Gestsdottir

The first settlers of Iceland: an isotopic approach to colonisation. Antiquity 80(307): 130-44.

Probst, A., A. El Gh’mari, D. Aubert, B. Fritz and R. McNutt

Strontium as a tracer of weathering processes in a silicate catchment polluted by acid atmospheric inputs, Strengbach, France. Chemical Geology 170: 203-19.

Pullen, D.J.

Before the palaces: redistribution and chiefdoms in mainland Greece. American Journal of Archaeology 115: 185-95.

Racimo, F., M. Sikora, M. Vander Linden, H. Schroeder and C. Lalueza-Fox

a Beyond broad strokes: sociocultural insights from the study of ancient genomes. Nature Reviews Genetics 21: 355-66.

Racimo, F., J. Woodbridge, R.M. Fyfe, M. Sikora, K.-G. Sjögren, K. Kristiansen and M. Vander Linden

b The spatiotemporal spread of human migrations during the European Holocene. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 117: 8989-9000.

Renfrew, C.

Preface. In C. Mathers and S. Stoddart (eds.), Development and Decline in the Mediterranean Bronze Age, 5-11. Sheffield: J.R. Collis Publications.

Renfrew, C., and A. Aspinall

Aegean obsidian and Franchthi Cave. In C. Perlès, with P.C Vaughan, C. Renfrew and A. Aspinall, Les industries lithiques taillées de Franchthi (Argolide, Grèce) II. Les industries du mésolithique et du néolithique initial. Excavations at Franchthi Cave, Greece 5: 257-79. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Russell, A.

Sicily without Mycenae: a cross-cultural consumption analysis of connectivity in the Bronze Age central Mediterranean. Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology 30: 59-83.

Sarasketa-Gartzia, I., V. Villalba-Mouco, P. le Roux, A. Arrizabalaga and D.C. Salazar-García

a Anthropic resource exploitation and use of the territory at the onset of social complexity in the Neolithic-Chalcolithic Western Pyrenees: a multi-isotope approach. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences 11: 3665-80.

b Late Neolithic-Chalcolithic socio-economical dynamics in northern Iberia. A multi isotope study on diet and provenance from Santimamine and Pico Ramos archaeological sites (Basque Country, Spain). Quaternary International 481: 14-27.

Scheeres, M., C. Knipper, M. Hauschild, M. Schönfelder, W. Siebel, D. Vitali, C. Pare and K.W. Alt

Evidence for ‘Celtic migrations’? Strontium isotope analysis at the Early La Tène (LT B) cemeteries of Nebringen (Germany) and Monte Bibele (Italy). Journal of Archaeological Science 40: 3614-25.

Sengeløv, A., G. van de Wijdeven, C. Snoeck, J. Laffoon, R. de Hond, M. Gnade and A. Waters-Rist

Understanding the post-Archaic population of Satricum, Italy: a bioarchaeological approach. Journal of Archaeological Science, Reports 31: 102285.

Sherratt, S.

‘Sea Peoples’ and the economic structure of the late second millennium in the eastern Mediterranean. In S. Gitin, A. Mazar and E. Stern (eds.), Mediterranean Peoples in Transition: Thirteenth to Early Tenth Centuries BCE, 292-313. Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society.

Sillen, A., and J.C. Sealy

Diagenesis of strontium in fossil bone: a reconsideration of Nelson et al. (1986). Journal of Archaeological Science 22: 313-20.

Sillen, A., G. Hall, S. Richardson and R. Armstrong

87Sr/86Sr ratios in modern and fossil food-webs of the Sterkfontein Valley: implications for early hominid habitat preference. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 62: 2463-73.

Skoglund, P., and I. Mathieson

Ancient human genomics: the first decade. Annual Review of Genomics and Human Genetics 19: 381-404.

Snoeck, C., J. Lee-Thorp, R.J. Schulting, J. de Jong, W. Debouge and N. Mattielli

Calcined bone provides a reliable substrate for strontium isotope ratios as shown by an enrichment experiment. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry 29: 107-14.

Snoeck, C., and M. Pellegrini

Comparing bioapatite carbonate pre-treatments for isotopic measurements: part 1—impact on structure and chemical composition. Chemical Geology: 417: 394-403.

Snoeck, C., J. Pouncett, G. Ramsey, I.G. Meighan, N. Mattielli, S. Goderis, J. Lee-Thorp and R.J. Schulting

Mobility during the Neolithic and Bronze Age in Northern Ireland explored using strontium isotope analysis of cremated human bone. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 160: 397-413.

Stark, R.J.

Ancient Lives in Motion: A Bioarchaeological Examination of Stable Isotopes, Nonmetric Traits, and Human Mobility in an Imperial Roman Context (1st–3rd CE). Unpublished PhD dissertation, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Stewart, B.W., R. Capo and O.A. Chadwick

Quantitative strontium isotope models for weathering, pedogenesis and biogeochemical cycling. Geoderma 82: 173-95.

Szostek, K., K. Madrzy and B. Cienkosz-Stepanczak

Strontium isotopes as an indicator of human migration—easy questions, difficult answers. Anthropological Review 78: 133-56.

Sørensen, M.

Temporal bone dynamics, the hard way: formation, growth, modeling, repair and quantum type bone remodeling in the otic capsule. Acta Otolaryngologica 114 (Supplement 512): 1-22.

Sørensen M., P. Bretlau and M.B. Jørgensen

Quantum type bone remodeling in the human otic capsule: morphometric findings. Acta Otolaryngologica 114: 5-22.

Tafuri, M.A., R.A. Bentley, G. Manzi and S. di Lernia

Mobility and kinship in the prehistoric Sahara: strontium isotope analysis of Holocene human skeletons from the Acacus Mts. (southwestern Libya). Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 25: 390-402.

Tafuri, M.A., P.D. Fullagar, T.C. O’Connell, M.G. Belcastro, P. Iacumin, C. Conati Barbaro, R. Sanseverino and J. Robb

Life and death in Neolithic southeastern Italy: the strontium isotopic evidence. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology 26: 1045-57.

Tanasi, D., and N.C. Vella

Islands and mobility: exploring Bronze Age connectivity in the south-central Mediterranean. In A.B. Knapp and P. van Dommelen (eds.), The Cambridge Prehistory of the Bronze and Iron Age Mediterranean, 57-73. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Tartaron, T.F.

Maritime Networks in the Mycenaean World. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Triantaphyllou, S., E. Nikita and T. Kador

Exploring mobility patterns and biological affinities in the southern Aegean: first insights from Early Bronze Age eastern Crete. Annual of the British School at Athens 110: 3-25.

Trickett, M.A., P. Budd, J. Montgomery and J.Evans

An assessment of solubility profiling as a decontamination procedure for the 87Sr/86Sr analysis of archaeological human skeletal tissue. Applied Geochemistry 18: 653-58.

Tzala, C.

The road of obsidian with a papyrus boat in the Cyclades. Archeology 32: 11-20.

Valdiosera, C., T. Günther, J.-C. Vera-Rodríguez, … C.I. Smith and M. Jakobsson

Four millennia of Iberian biomolecular prehistory illustrate the impact of prehistoric migrations at the far end of Eurasia. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 115: 3428-33.

van Dommelen, P.

On Colonial Grounds: A Comparative Study of Colonialism and Rural Settlement in First Millennium BC West Central Sardinia. Leiden: Faculty of Archaeology, Leiden University.

Colonialism and migration in the ancient Mediterranean. Annual Reviews of Anthropology 41: 393-409.

Moving on: archaeological perspectives on mobility and migration. World Archaeology 46: 477-83.

van Dommelen, P., and A.B. Knapp (eds.)

Material Connections in the Ancient Mediterranean. London: Routledge.

Vander Linden, M.

Population history in third millennium-BC Europe: assessing the contribution of genetics. World Archaeology 48: 714-28.

Veeramah, K.R.

The importance of fine-scale studies for integrating paleogenomics and archaeology. Current Opinion in Genetics and Development 53: 83-89.

Wang, X., X. Zhang, A. Fan, A. Sampson, X. Wu, J. Gao, F. Huang and Z. Jin

Strontium isotopic evidence for the provenance of occupants and subsistence of Sarakenos Cave in prehistoric Greece. Quaternary International 508: 13-22.

Waterman, A.J., D.W. Peate, A. Maria Silva and J.T. Thomas

In search of homelands: using strontium isotopes to identify biological markers of mobility in late prehistoric Portugal. Journal of Archaeological Science 42: 119-27.

Whipkey, C.E., R.C. Capo, O.A. Chadwick and B.W. Stewart

The importance of sea spray to the cation budget of a coastal Hawaiian soil: a strontium isotope approach. Chemical Geology 168: 37-48.

Wong, M., J.R. Brandt, S. Ahrens, … V.C. Lam and M. Richards

Pursuing pilgrims: isotopic investigations of Roman and Byzantine mobility at Hierapolis, Turkey. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 17: 520-28.

Woolf, G.

Movers and stayers. In L. de Ligt and L.E. Tacoma (eds.), Migration and Mobility in the Early Roman Empire, 438-61. Leiden: Brill.

Wright, L.E.

Identifying immigrants to Tikal, Guatemala: defining local variability in strontium isotope ratios of human tooth enamel. Journal of Archaeological Science 32: 555-66.

Yasur-Landau, A.

The Philistines and Aegean Migration at the End of the Late Bronze Age. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Yazicioglu-Santamaria, B.G.

Locals, immigrants, and marriage ties at Kültepe: results of strontium isotope analysis on human teeth from lower town grave. In F. Kulakoglu and G. Barjamovic (eds.), Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference held at Kültepe: Movement, Resources, Interaction. Studies dedicated to Klaas Veenhof. Subartu 39: 63-84. Turnhout: Brepols.

Zeng, T.C., A.J. Aw, and M.W. Feldman

Cultural hitchhiking and competition between patrilineal kin groups explains the post-Neolithic Y-chromosome bottleneck. Nature Communications 9: Article 2077. ttps://



How to Cite

Leppard, T. P., Esposito, C., & Esposito, M. (2021). The Bioarchaeology of Migration in the Ancient Mediterranean: Meta-Analysis of Radiogenic (87Sr/86Sr) Isotope Ratios. Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology, 33(2), 211–241.




Most read articles by the same author(s)