Paleodiet, baltic, medieval, stable isotopes, bioarchaeology
The Baltic region was a vibrant center of power and economic prosperity in medieval Europe; Lithuania in particular. Until now, little stable isotopic analysis has been utilized to assess diet in this region during this time period. The aim of this study was to undertake a preliminary assessment of the composition of diet at late medieval Alytus (late 14th to early 18th centuries) from bone (N=35) and dentin (N=38) collagen samples. The stable carbon isotopic data suggest a diet primarily comprised of C3 plants such as barley, rye, wheat, and flax, and animals consuming C3 plants. The stable nitrogen isotopic data indicate the use of aquatic resources, and reflects the protein portion of the diet as including mainly terrestrial non-legumes. There are no significant differences in the pattern of resource consumption between juvenile males and females. There is a significant difference between adult males and adult females; the more depleted bone collagen ?15N values indicates that adult females were consuming less protein resources, or protein resources of a lower trophic level, compared to their male counterparts. This difference could also be affected by physiological factors such as pregnancy or disease. A difference between juvenile and adult stable nitrogen isotope values might indicate latter weaning of juvenile males, the incorporation of more terrestrial or aquatic protein into juvenile male diet, the incorporation of less terrestrial or aquatic protein into adult female diet, or a combination of the three.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Whitmore, Katie, "Diet at medieval Alytus, Lithuania: Stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis of bone and dentin collagen" (2014). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1317.