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Fast or feast: reconstructing diet in later medieval England by stable isotope analysis

MPG-Autoren
http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons72858

Müldner,  Gundula
Department of Human Evolution, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons72929

Richards,  Michael P.
Department of Human Evolution, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;

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Zitation

Müldner, G., & Richards, M. P. (2005). Fast or feast: reconstructing diet in later medieval England by stable isotope analysis. Journal of Archaeological Science, 32(1), 39-48.


Zitierlink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0010-02F4-F
Zusammenfassung
In this pilot-study, which was designed to assess the range of isotopic variation in English medieval populations, we present the results of stable isotope analysis of carbon and nitrogen of human and animal bone collagen from three later medieval sites in Northern England. Brompton Bridge (N. Yorks.), the Augustinian Friary at Warrington and a mass-grave with casualties from the Battle of Towton (N. Yorks.) are significantly different from those reported for other archaeological populations in Britain, namely by their very enriched delta(15)N ratios which are combined with almost entirely terrestrial carbon signals. We discuss possible explanations for the unusual human data and argue on grounds of the available faunal data, that a mixed diet of terrestrial, marine and freshwater resources is most likely. This may indicate the significant impact of the medieval fasting regulations on everyday subsistence. We conclude that stable isotope analysis can complement the available historical information on diet in the Middle Ages. (C) 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. [References: 65]