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Interpreting Past Human Mobility Patterns: A Model

  • Samantha S. Reiter (a1) and Karin M. Frei (a1)

Abstract

In the last decade, the exponential increase in migration studies focusing on the mobility of groups and single individuals—mostly based on aDNA and strontium isotope analyses—has provided an important extra layer of information regarding past social dynamics. The current relatively large quantity of data and their constant increase provide an opportunity to examine human mobility in unprecedented detail. In short, the course of academic dialogue is changing from producing evidence for movement to examining differences or similarities in human mobilities across temporal and geographical barriers. Moreover, the amount and type of new data are beginning to provide new kinds of information that can help us grasp why that movement first came about. We present the first potential mobility model focusing on single individuals during different life stages based on in vivo movement patterns. We draw on previous studies in recent mobility research that provide a variety of case studies to illustrate the model. We hope that this model will prove valuable for future discussions regarding human mobility by integrating the present archaeological contextual discourse with the increasing body of data being produced.

Au cours de la dernière décennie, la croissance exponentielle des études concernant la migration mettant l'accent sur la mobilité de groupes ou d'individus—la plupart basées sur des analyses de l'ADN ancien et des isotopes du strontium—a fourni une série supplémentaire de données sur les dynamiques sociales du passé. Aujourd'hui, la quantité de ces données, un nombre qui augmente constamment, permet d'examiner la mobilité des humains avec un degré de précision inédit. La teneur du débat scientifique est en train de changer, passant d'une présentation des indicateurs de mouvement vers un examen des différences ou ressemblances entre la mobilité des gens, au travers des barrières temporelles et géographiques. De plus, la quantité et le caractère de ces données commencent à fournir de nouvelles informations sur l'origine de ces mouvements. Nous présentons ici un premier modèle de mobilité potentielle focalisé sur des individus dans différentes phases de leur vie et fondé sur des schémas de mouvement in vivo. Nous nous basons sur des études récentes sur la mobilité qui fournissent divers exemples illustrant notre modèle. Nous espérons que ce modèle s'avèrera utile dans de futures discussions sur la mobilité humaine en combinant le discours actuel basé sur le contexte archéologique avec les nouvelles données toujours plus abondantes. Translation by Madeleine Hummler

Im letzten Jahrzehnt zeigte sich eine exponentiell zunehmende Entwicklung innerhalb der Migrationsforschung in der Archäologie, welche die Mobilität von Menschengruppen oder Individuen betreffen und vor allem auf Analysen von alt-DNA (aDNA) und Strontium Isotop-Analysen beruhen. Diese Forschungen sind heute eine wichtige zusätzliche Informationsquelle innerhalb der Diskussion zu den Dynamiken vor- und frühgeschichtlicher Gesellschaften. Die zurzeit recht große und stetig zunehmende Menge von Daten bietet die Gelegenheit, menschliche Mobilität mit bisher unerreichter Genauigkeit zu untersuchen. Fokussierte die Forschung noch vor wenigen Jahren auf den einfachen Beweis für Mobilität, so ermöglicht die steigende Menge Daten heute die Untersuchung von Unterschieden und Gemeinsamkeiten innerhalb der menschlichen Mobilität, in Zeit und Raum. Darüber hinaus erlauben die neuen Daten bereits neue Angaben zu den Ursachen vor- und frühgeschichtlicher Möbilität In diesem Artikel stellen wir erstmals ein Modell zur Bestimmung potenzieller Mobilitätsmuster vor. Das Modell basiert auf in vivo Bewegungsmustern einzelner Individuen in verschiedenen Lebensphasen. Neueste Forschungsergebnisse verschiedener Projekte werden als Beispiele herangezogen um das hier vorgestellte Modell illustrieren. Das hier vorgestellte Modell wird hoffentlich zukünftige Diskussionen zur menschlichen Mobilität durch die Verbindung des aktuellen kontextuellen Diskurses in der Archäologie mit der zunehmenden Menge neu erzeugter Daten anregen. Translation by Madeleine Hummler

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