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date: 23 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter introduces the regional framework within which the archaeology of Iron Age Europe is presented in Chapters 4–17 of the book, and examines some key aspects of climate, environment, and population during the period. It outlines the main features of European physical geography—including landscapes, mountain ranges, river systems, and coastlines—discussing their roles as barriers to and facilitators of human connectivity during the Iron Age. Topography, soil types, and natural resources all had a major impact on subsistence practices and lifeways across the continent; climate changes presented specific challenges to the people at the end of the Bronze Age and in several phases during the Iron Age. Biological anthropology informs us about Iron Age health and nutrition, while isotope and DNA analyses of human remains are increasingly shedding new light on individual mobility and population histories through the period.

Keywords: Iron Age, Europe, landscape, regionality-soils, climate, biological anthropology, isotopes, DNA, mobility

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