For example, among 310 burials the team analyzed, 62 featured adzes. But only one of the 62 skeletons from the adze burials had a strontium ratio in its teeth typical of a non-loess landscape, whereas all of the others were consistent with growing up on loess. Moreover, the variation in strontium ratios between adze skeletons was significantly lower than the variation between non-adze skeletons, suggesting to Bentley and his co-workers that the adze skeletons came from one kind of landscape, most likely loess, while the others came from a variety of other landscapes.Which is very interesting. But what does it have to do with social stratification? This shows, at most, that farmers who lived on good soil were wealthier than those who farmed poor soil, and for all we know it only shows that loess-dwelling people were into being buried with adzes. What if the people of the uplands had a slightly different culture, focused on raising sheep and hunting, and they preferred some other status indicator that has disappeared with time? Nobody has suggested that the non-loess farmers had poorer diets than their loess-farming neighbors, or more signs of heavy physical labor, or any other differences in their skeletons. Nor, so far as I know, is there much difference in the size of houses in LBK culture, or the quantity of household goods found in the houses, or any other status indicator.
This is not social stratification as it would develop in the Bronze Age. This is the grave of a member of a real elite:
I don't see any sign of an aristocracy in the LBK burials. I see one third of the people who are a little richer than the other two thirds. In an aristocracy, one percent of the people are ten or a hundred times as rich as the commoners. LBK society was not stratified in that sense, and it is wrong to use the language of a stratified society to describe them.