The dietary behavior of past communities is influenced by several factors such as environmental sources, social and economic organization, individual preferences, and physiological needs. Every society has its characteristics and understanding the dietary choices of its individuals expands the knowledge about its lifestyle. Applying biochemical tracers, we can explore the food choices of an Early Medieval Avar community. The Jagodnjak cemetery (n=35) in Croatia is dated to the 7–8th century. Historical and archaeological records are currently limited for Avar populations. Jagodnjak is a transitory community from a period where different historical events shaped the community's way of life. The research focus of this thesis is the evaluation of the dietary variation of the stable isotope of carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) on bone collagen, considering differences among adult males and females, as well as juveniles. Results indicate average δ13C of –16.28 ± 1.72‰ and average δ15N of +10.94 ± 1.5‰. The stable isotope analyses suggest that the adult males and females had similar food choices for plants and different for terrestrial animals or possibly freshwater fish, and the adults and juveniles had similar choices for dietary protein. However, the adults' and juveniles' dietary behavior indicates different C3 food resources. Stable isotopic comparisons suggest that Jagodnjak and some contemporaneous communities in Croatia and surrounding areas did not have similar dietary behaviors. The Jagodnjak cemetery expands the knowledge about bioarchaeology in Croatia and surrounding areas for the Early Medieval period and for this Avar community during this time of residential and lifestyle transition.
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Toyne, J. Marla
Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Campus-only Access)
Koci, Marlon, "Understanding the Dietary Behavior of a 7th - 8th Century Avar Community from Jagodnjak, Croatia Using Stable Isotope Analysis of Bone Collagen" (2021). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 712.