Pastoralists were a vital economic and social force in ancient societies around the globe, transforming landscapes poorly suited for agriculture into spaces of vast productive potential while simultaneously connecting mobile and sedentary communities alike across considerable distances.

Drawing from the rich archaeological records of Asia, Africa, and Europe, Isotopic Investigations of Pastoralism in Prehistory brings together the latest studies employing heavy and light stable isotopic analyses of humans and animals to investigate pastoralist diets, movement, and animal management strategies. The contributions presented in this volume highlight new methodological developments while simultaneously drawing attention to the diverse environmental factors that contribute to isotopic variation in human, plant, and animal tissues. Particular attention is paid to how pastoralist decisions regarding animal pasturing and mobility can be teased out of complex isotopic datasets, and also to the challenges in extracting information on the scales of human mobility in pastoralist landscapes.

This volume will appeal to scholars in archaeology, anthropology, and ecology, as well as those with interests in animal management.

chapter 1|14 pages

Isotopic approaches to pastoralism in prehistory

Diet, mobility, and isotopic reference sets

chapter 2|14 pages

Understanding ephemeral pastoralist settlement sites in eastern Africa

The potential of isotopes in cattle tooth enamel

chapter 5|20 pages

Ahead of the curve?

Implications for isolating vertical transhumance in seasonal montane environments using sequential oxygen isotope analyses of tooth enamel

chapter 6|19 pages

The pixelated shepherd

Identifying detailed local land-use practices at Chalcolithic Köşk Höyük, central Turkey, using a strontium isotope (87Sr/86Sr) isoscape

chapter 7|15 pages

Tracing Late Bronze Age pastoralists in the South Caucasus

A preliminary zooarchaeological and isotopic investigation from the Tsaghkahovit Plain, Armenia