Migration and kinship in East-Central Europe in the 1st half of the 2nd millennium BC

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Faculty of Archaeology, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań

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This article presents the results of research conducted within the framework of a multi- disciplinary project investigating the issues of migration, mobility, and kinship of the Middle Bronze Age communities inhabiting East-Central Europe, more specifically the Upland belt of modern Poland and western Ukraine. The main objective of the project is to verify or falsify two hypotheses provided by the literature. The first one concerns the issue of the migration of the Trzciniec Cultural Circle (TCC) population from the Lowland belt of East-Central Europe south- wards into the Upland belt. The other considers kinship as a fundamental factor generating the emergence, rules of aggregation, and shape of the ‘Trzciniec’ social structures. In addition, the project addresses a number of issues related to the social structure, rituals, and diet of the study communities. An application of the methods that are specific to humanities (archaeology and cultural anthropology) and sciences (physical anthropology, molecular biology – genetics, isotope geochemistry, physics, chemistry, and statistics), and possible genetic affiliations of the ‘Trzciniec’ communities and the population of the preceding Early Bronze Age groups (mainly the Mierzanowice and Strzyżów cultures) are presented; the potential kinship pattern of the deceased buried in the graves representing these cultural groups are also indicated. The results of Bayesian modelling of the 14 C date series for the TCC collective burials – a key factor in the study of the kinship and the mortuary rituals of this group – are highlighted. Finally, the paper discusses the current results of research on the mobility and diet of the communities from the late 3 rd and 2 nd millennia BC undertaken within the frame of this project as well as in cooperation with other research programmes.




ancient DNA, stable isotopes, Middle Bronze Age, migration, kinship, Trzciniec Cultural Circle, collective burial


Treasures of Time: Research of the Faculty of Archaeology of Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań (2021) D. Żurkiewicz (Ed.). pp. 300-311.



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Uniwersytet im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu
Biblioteka Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu
Ministerstwo Nauki i Szkolnictwa Wyższego