Ex-SPACE: The research project

Ex-SPACE is a project funded by the European Union in the framework of Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions (2016-2018) and led by the research team of Durham University

The project aims to explore how the communities of Bronze Age Europe were composed in terms of local and non-local individuals. Which was the impact of foreigners in the process that brought village communities to become urban centres? Was the “immigration” an institutionalised or random movement? Can we retrace any trajectories or patterns of mobility, in relationship to sex, age, wealth status?


The reconstruction of a Bronze Age Terramara in the Po Plain (1650-1150 BC)


This work starts from the analysis of some Bronze Age cemeteries in Northern Italy and will be hopefully expanded in the future. Research involves archaeological and osteological data, providing the social and demographic background. The provenance of the individuals is assessed through the analysis of strontium and oxygen isotopes in tooth enamel and petrous bone (part of the temporal bone of the skull) samples.

Today, stable isotope analysis is used to investigate an incredibly diverse spectrum of topics relating to dietary, subsistence, mobility, and social practices of the human past (Lee-Thorp, 2008). Therefore, prehistoric archaeology has now the possibility to go beyond the indirect evidence of materials, such as grave goods, reconstructing individual “biographies“, and through them, social histories.