Object structure

Variability in 4th Millennium BC Livestock Management Practices in the Bronocice Region, Southeastern Poland


Sprawozdania Archeologiczne 69 (2017)


Pipes, Marie-Lorraine ; Kruk, Janusz ; Milisauskas, Sarunas


Instytut Archeolgoii i Etnologii Polskiej Akademii Nauk

Place of publishing:


Date issued/created:



ill. ; 25 cm

Type of object:


Subject and Keywords:

Neolithic ; Funnel-Beaker ; livestock management practices ; Bronocice ; X-ray fluorescence ; strontium ; southeastern Poland


Livestock management systems are complex refl ections of economic practices. During the mid-fourth millennium BC in southeastern Poland distinct economic activities were revealed using portable x-ray fl uorescence (herein pXRF). Portable X-ray fl uorescence was used to measure elemental levels of strontium in the teeth of cattle, sheep and pig. Strontium is fi xed in dental enamel after a tooth has formed. By comparing strontium in teeth of different developmental ages it was possible to segregate individuals into local and non-local animals from three sites. The patterns observed reveal two levels of stock-herding in the Bronocice region. One pattern of low strontium diversity revealed the existence of unique localized management strategies for each species indicating they were managed separately. Another pattern of high strontium variability confi rmed the importation of non-local animals on an increasing scale over time revealing another aspect of Bronocice’s involvement in long distance trade.


Akeret O. and Rentzel P. 2001. Micromorphology and plant macrofossil analysis of cattle dung from the Neolithic Lake shore settlement of Arbon Bleiche 3. Geoarchaeology – an International Journal. 16(6), 687-700.
Balasse M., Ambrose S. H. 2002. The seasonal mobility model for prehistoric herders in the southwestern Cape of South Africa Assessed by isotopic analysis of sheep tooth enamel. Journal of Archaeological Science 29, 917-932.
Bartosiewicz L. 2005. Plain Talk: Animals, Environment and Culture in the Neolithic of the Carpathian Basin and Adjacent Areas. In D. Bailey, A. Whittle and V. Cummings (eds.), (Un)settling the Neolithic. Oxford: Oxbow Books, 51- 63.
Bentley R. A. 2006. Strontium isotopes from the earth to the archaeological skeleton, a review. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 13, 135-187.
Bentley A. and Knipper C. 2005. Transhumance at the early Neolithic settlement at Vaihingen (Germany). Antiquity 79(306), 1-3.
Bentley A., Krause R., Price T. D. and Kaufmann B. 2002. Human Mobility at the Early Neolithic Settlement of Vaihingen, Germany: Evidence from Strontium Isotope Analysis. Archaeometry 45(3), 471-486.
Bentley R. A., Price T. D., Lüning J., Gronenborn D., Wahl J. and Fullagar P. D. 2002. Prehistoric migration in Europe: Strontium isotope analysis of early Neolithic skeletons. Current Anthropology 43(5), 799-804.
Boas N. T. and Hampel J. 1978. Strontium content of fossil tooth enamel and diet of early hominids. Journal of Paleontology 52(4), 928-933.
Bogaard A. 2004. Neolithic Farming in Central Europe. An Archaeobotanical Study of Crop Husbandry Practices. London: Routledge.
Bogaard A. 2005. ‘Garden agriculture’ and the nature of early farming in Europe and the Near East. World Archaeology 37(2)1, 77-196.
Bökönyi S. 1971. The Development and History of domestic Animals in Hungary: The Neolithic Through the Middle Ages. American Anthropologist. New Series 73(3) June, 640-674.
Buddhachat K., Klinhom S., Siengdee P., Brown J. L., Nomsiri R., Kaewmong P. et al. 2016. Elemental Analysis of Bone, Teeth, Horn and Antler in Different Animal Species Using Non-Invasive Handheld X-Ray Fluorescence. PLoS ONE 11(5), e0155458. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0155458.
Burchard B. 1977. Wyniki badań wykopaliskowych na osadzie kultury pucharów lejkowatych na stan. 1w Niedźwiedźiu, gm. Slomniki, woj. Kraków, w latach 1965-1973. Sprawozdania Archeologiczne 29, 58-81.
Burchard B. and Eker A. 1964. Osada kultury czasz lejowatych w Książnicach Wielkich, pow. Kazimierza Wielka. In S. Nosek (ed.), Studia i materiały do badań nad neolitem Małopolski. Wrocław: Polska Akademia Nauk – Oddział w Krakowie, 287-327.
Bush M. A., Miller R. G., Prutsman-Pfeiffer J., and Bush P. J. 2007. Identifi cation Through X-Ray Fluorescence Analysis of Dental Restorative Resin Materials: A Comprehensive Study of Noncremated, Cremated, and Processed-Cremated Individuals. Forensic Sci 52(1), January 2007, doi:10.1111/j.1556-4029.2006.00308.x.
Da Silva E., Pejović A. and Heyd, D.V. 2008. The use of teeth as the site for the in vivo or ex vivo quantifi cation of skeletal strontium by energy-dispersive X-ray fl uorescence spectrometry: A feasibility study. Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry 23, 527-534.
Delhon C., Martin L., Argant J., and Thiebault S. 2008. Shepherds and plants in the Alps: Multi-proxy archaeobotanical analysis of Neolithic dung from “La Grande Rivoire” (Isere, France). Journal of Archaeological Science 35, 2937-2952.
Diachenko A., Kruk J., and Milisauskas S. 2016. What does the bell-distribution hide? Spatial behavior and demographic development of the Funnel Beaker culture populations in Bronocice region, Poland. Sprawozdania Archeologiczne 68, 25-37.
Drouet Th., Herbauts J., Gruber A. and Demaiffe D. 2007. Natural strontium isotope composition as a tracer of weathering patterns and of exchangeable calcium sources in acid leached soils developed on loess of central Belgium. European Journal of Soil Science 58, 302–319.
Ebersbach R. 1999. Modeling Neolithic agriculture and stock-farming at Swiss Lake Shore settlements: Evidence from historical and ethnographical data. Archaeofauna 8, 115-122.
El-Kammar A., Hancock R. G. V. and Allen R. O. 1989. Human bones as archaeological samples. Archaeological Chemistry 4, 337-352.
Gilbertson T. J. 2015. A Comparative Analysis of Portable X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometry and Stable Isotopes in Assessing Ancient Coastal Peruvian Diets. Doctoral dissertation. College of Arts and Sciences University of South Florida.
Glass M. 1991. Animal Production Systems in Neolithic Central Europe (= British Archaeological Research. International Series 572). Oxford: Archaeopress.
Granite G. E. 2012. Portable X-Ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy and its Research Applications to Northern European Bog Bodies. Doctoral dissertation. University at Buffalo, SUNY.
Gregg S. A. 1988. Neolithic subsistence 2: livestock. In Foragers and Farmers, Population Interaction and Agricultural Expansion in prehistoric Europe. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 99-124.
Gumiński W. 2005. Bird for dinner. stone age hunters of Dudka and Szczepanki, Mazurian Lakeland, NE-Poland. Acta Archaeologica 76, 111-148.
Haak W.P., Brandt G., de Jong H. N., Meyer C., Ganslmeier R., Heyd V., Hawkesworth C., Pike A. W. G., Meller H. and Alt K. W. 2008. Ancient DNA, strontium isotopes, and osteological analyses shed light on social and kinship organization of the later Stone Age. PNAS 105(47), 18226-18231.
Hachem L. and Auxiette G. 1995. La faune. In M. Ilett and M. Plateaux (eds.), Le Site Néolithique de Berry-au-Bac, “Le Chemin de la Pęcherie” (Aisne) (= Monographie du CRA 15). Paris: CNRS Éditions, 128-141.
Hatting T. 1978. Lidsø, archaeological remains from a Neolithic settlement. In K. Davidsen (ed.), The Final TRB Culture in Denmark, A Settlement Study. Copenhagen: Institute of Prehistoric Archaeology, University of Copenhagen, 193-203.
Hedges R. E. M. 2002. Bone diagenesis: an overview of processes. Archaeometry 44 (3), 319–328.
Hedman K. M., Curry B. B., Johnson T. M., Fullagar P. D. and Emerson T. E. 2008. Variation in strontium isotope ratios of archaeological fauna in the midwestern United States: a preliminary study. Journal of Archaeological Science 30, 1-10.
Herpin U., Cerri C. C., Carvallo M. C. S., Markert B., Enzweiller J., Friese K. and Breulmann G. 2002. Biogeochemical dynamics following land use change from forest to pasture in a humid tropical area (Rondonia, Brazil): a multi-element approach by means of pXRF -spectroscopy. The Science of the Total Environment 826, 97-109.
Higham C. F. W. 1968. Trends in prehistoric European caprovine husbandry. Man 3(1), 64-75.
Higham C. F. W. 1969. The economic basis of the Danish Funnel-Necked Beaker (TRB) Culture. Acta Archaeologica 40, 200-209.
Higham C. F. W. 1969. Towards an economic prehistory of Europe. Current Anthropology 10(2-3), 139-150.
Kowalczyk J. 1962. A settlement of the Funnel Beaker culture at Gródek Nadbużny in the Hrubieszów District. Archaeologia Polona 4, 111-120.
Kruk J. and Milisauskas S. 1999. Rozkwit i upadek społeczeństw rolniczych neolitu. The Rise and Fall of Neolithic Societies. Kraków: Instytut Archeologii i Etnologii Polskiej Akademii Nauk.
Kubota J., Lazar V. A., Losee F. L. and Curzon M. E. J. 1974. Determination of strontium in ground and whole teeth by x-ray emission spectrography. Journal of Dental Research 53(5), 1276-1279.
Kulczycka-Leciejewiczowa A. 2002. Zawarża, osiedle neolityczne w południowopolskiej strefi e lessowej. Wrocław: Instytut Archaeologii i Etnologii Polskiej Akademii Nauk.
Lambert J. B., Vlasak Simpson S., Szpunar C. B. and Buistra J. E. 1985. Bone diagenesis and dietary analysis. Journal of Human Evolution 14(5), 477-482.
Lasota-Moskalewska A., Kobryń H. and Świeżyński K. 2008. Changes in the size of domestic and wild pig in the territory of Poland from the Neolithic to the Middle Ages. Acta Theriologica. 32, 1-10.
Lasota-Moskalewska A. 1982. Kości zwierzęce neolitycznej osady w Strychczowicach, gm. Waśniów, woj. Kieleckie. Wiadomości Archeologiczne 47(2), 267-270.
Mainland I. L. and Halstead P. 2005. The diet and management of domestic sheep and goats at Neolithic Makriyalos. In Diet and Health in Past Animal Populations. Current Research and Future Directions. Oxford: Oxbow Books, 104-112.
Makowicz-Poliszot D. 2002. Zwierzęce szczątki kostne ze stanowiska kultury pucharów lejkowatych z Zawarży. In A. Kulczycka-Leciejewiczowa, Zawarża, osiedle neolityczne w południowopolskiej strefi e lessowej. Wrocław: Instytut Archaologii i Etnologii Polskiej Akademii Nauk, 135-160.
Makowicz-Poliszot D. 2007. Fauna of the Upper Vistula River Basin – An Analysis based on bone material from selected sites of the Funnel Beakers Culture. Sprawozdania Archeologiczne 59, 143-179.
Marciniak A. 2005. Placing Animals in the Neolithic: Social Zooarchaeology of Prehistoric Farming Communities. London: UCL Press.
Midgley M. S. 1992. TRB Culture. The First Farmers of the North European Plain. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Milisauskas S. and Kruk J. 1984. Settlement organization and the appearance of low level hierarchical societies during the Neolithic in the Bronocice microregion, southeastern Poland. Germania 62(1), 1-30.
Milisauskas S., Kruk J., Pipes M.-L. and Makowicz-Poliszot D. 2012. Butchering and Meat Consumption in the Neolithic. The Exploitation of Animals at Bronocice. Kraków: Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology, Polish Academy of Sciences.
Pate F. D., Hutton J. T. and Norrish K. 1989. Ionic exchange between soil solution and bone: toward a predictive model. Applied Geochemistry 4(3), 303-316.
Pipes M.-L., Kruk J., Makowicz-Poliszot D. and Milisauskas S. 2009. Funnel Beaker animal husbandry at Bronocice. Archaeologia Baltica 12, 31-45.
Pipes M.-L., Kruk J. and Milisauskas S. 2014. Assessing the archaeological data for wool-bearing sheep during the Middle to late Neolithic at Bronocice, Poland. In H. Greenfi eld (ed.), Animal Secondary Products. Archaeological Perspectives on Domestic Animal Exploitation in the Neolithic and Bronze Age. Oxford: Oxbow Books, 80-102.
Pollard A. M. 2009. Virtual issue diagenetic and isotopic studies of bones and teeth editorial. Archaeometry. Doi: 10.1111/J.1475-4754.2009.00471.X.
Schmid E. F. 1972. Atlas of Animal Bones. New York: Elsevier Publishing Company.
Tuross N., Behrensmeyer A. K. and Eanes E. D. 1989. Strontium increases and crystallinity changes in taphonomic and archaeological bone. Journal of Archaeological Science 15(6), 661-672.


Sprawozdania Archeologiczne



Start page:


End page:


Resource type:


Detailed Resource Type:




Resource Identifier:

0081-3834 ; 10.23858/SA69.2017.003


IAiE PAN, call no. P 244 ; IAiE PAN, call no. P 245 ; IAiE PAN, call no. P 243 ; click here to follow the link




Rights Reserved - Free Access

Terms of use:

Copyright-protected material. May be used within the limits of statutory user freedoms

Digitizing institution:

Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology of the Polish Academy of Sciences

Original in:

Library of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology of the Polish Academy of Sciences

Projects co-financed by:

Ministry of Science and Higher Education ; Activities popularizing science (DUN)





Citation style: