Population Dynamics in the Scheldt and Meuse basins

Start - End 
2018 - 2022 (ongoing)
Department of Archaeology
Other institution(s) 
Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Research Focus 
Research Region 
Research Language 
Research Methodology 
Additional tags 
Sr isotope analysis
Sr elemental analysis
Landscape archaeology
Spatial network analysis



Mobility, or moving from one place to another, is essentially a spatial act. In this PhD, mobility based on isotopical and elemental strontium is explored from a spatial perspective, in interaction with the landscape. More concrete, the role of rivers on the mobility of the human population is investigated. Did regions close to rivers indeed facilitate more mobility in the population than non-river bound areas? Or were groups in peripheral regions just as well connected and mobile? For the spatial study of changes in mobility, mainly from the Metal Ages to the Roman period, the efficacy of spatial network analysis is tested.

In parallel, the archaeological interpretation of strontium isotopic data has to be well understood to investigate population dynamics. Many factors next to mobility, including geological variations, dietary and metabolic effects and specific land uses, might influence the resulting strontium signature in humans. In some periods even mobility of food, rather than of people, might be at play. This research explores the interpretation of strontium isotopic and elemental analyses of cremated remains on a population scale and investigates differences in Sr isotope variability between groups.



Phd Student(s)


Christophe Snoeck

Brussels Bioarchaeology Lab, Vrije Universiteit Brussel