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Diet and food strategies in a southern al-Andalusian urban environment during Caliphal period, ecija, Sevilla
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Archaeological Research Laboratory. Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Spain; Universidad de Granada, Spain.
Number of Authors: 42019 (English)In: Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences, ISSN 1866-9557, E-ISSN 1866-9565, Vol. 11, no 8, p. 3857-3874Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Iberian medieval period is unique in European history due to the widespread socio-cultural changes that took place after the arrival of Arabs, Berbers and Islam in 711 AD. Recently, isotopic research has been insightful on dietary shifts, status, resource availability and the impact of environment. However, there is no published isotopic research exploring these factors in southern Iberian populations, and as the history of this area differs to the northern regions, this leaves a significant lacuna in our knowledge. This research fills this gap via isotopic analysis of human (n = 66) and faunal (n = 13) samples from the 9th to the 13th century ecija, a town renowned for high temperatures and salinity. Stable carbon (delta C-13) and nitrogen (delta N-15) isotopes were assessed from rib collagen, while carbon (delta C-13) values were derived from enamel apatite. Human diet is consistent with C-3 plant consumption with a very minor contribution of C-4 plants, an interesting feature considering the suitability of ecija to C-4 cereal production. delta N-15 values vary among adults, which may suggest variable animal protein consumption or isotopic variation within animal species due to differences in foddering. Consideration of delta C-13 collagen and apatite values together may indicate sugarcane consumption, while moderate delta N-15 values do not suggest a strong aridity or salinity effect. Comparison with other Iberian groups shows similarities relating to time and location rather than by religion, although more multi-isotopic studies combined with zooarchaeology and botany may reveal subtle differences unobservable in carbon and nitrogen collagen studies alone.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 11, no 8, p. 3857-3874
Keywords [en]
Al-Andalus, Islamic archaeology, Isotope, Medieval, Apatite, Collagen
National Category
Archaeology Social Anthropology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-173005DOI: 10.1007/s12520-018-0694-7ISI: 000478905700014OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-173005DiVA, id: diva2:1360270
Available from: 2019-10-11 Created: 2019-10-11 Last updated: 2019-10-11Bibliographically approved

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