Based on this distribution of values, it would appear from our preliminary analysis that almost half of the individuals sampled from the Harappa cemetery have isotope values outside the local baseline (0.7158-0.7189). Most of these individuals have values below the Harappa range. In addition, there are at least three non-local individuals with higher values, including one with an extremely isotope ratio that cannot be from the Harappa region. A more detailed discussion of the Harappa samples will be presented in a future publication on the Harappa cemetery, but it is clear that many of what appear to be local individuals at Harappa are females and they are associated in burial with nearby males who are clearly not local. These preliminary patterns require further testing before major conclusions can be proposed, but it does suggest that they represent a unique population of people from multiple regions of the Indus valley or beyond.
Journal of Archaeological Science
Volume 40, Issue 5, May 2013, Pages 2286–2297
A new approach to tracking connections between the Indus Valley and Mesopotamia: initial results of strontium isotope analyses from Harappa and Ur
J. Mark Kenoyer et al.
Exchange and interaction between early state-level societies in Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley during the 3rd millennium BC has been documented for some time. The study of this interaction has been dominated by the analysis of artifacts such as carnelian beads and marine shell, along with limited textual evidence. With the aid of strontium, carbon, and oxygen isotopes, it is now possible to develop more direct means for determining the presence of non-local people in both regions. This preliminary study of tooth enamel from individuals buried at Harappa and at the Royal Cemetery of Ur, indicates that it should be feasible to identify Harappans in Mesopotamia. It is also possible to examine the mobility of individuals from communities within the greater Indus Valley region.