Dietary patterns and social structures in medieval Sigtuna, Sweden, as reflected in stable isotope values in human skeletal remains
2009 (English)In: Journal of Archaeological Science, ISSN 0305-4403, E-ISSN 1095-9238, Vol. 36, no 12, 2689-2699 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Stable isotopes (delta C-13, delta N-15) have been studied in human burials from the medieval town Sigtuna in Sweden. Dietary patterns of 80 adult individuals were analyzed on three cemeteries representing the phases of establishment, prosperity and decline of the town. All analyzed individuals were radiocarbon dated. One of the cemeteries, Church 1, represents a population of higher social status than those at the other two cemeteries. The delta C-13 values are homogenous and showed that the protein intake was mainly of terrestrial origin in the whole population. delta N-15 values varies more and they may indicate a higher input of vegetables in the diet at one of the cemeteries, the Nunnan block. Already in the initial phases of Sigtuna a social hierarchy had been established which is reflected in dietary patterns. Apparently more animal protein was consumed among the high status population of the town. Furthermore, differences in dietary patterns between the sexes were noted. In all phases the females show more clustered values indicating a more homogeneous diet than that of the males.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 36, no 12, 2689-2699 p.
Social status, Sigtuna, Diet, Stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes, Radiocarbon
Archaeology Engineering and Technology
Research subject Ion Physics
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-122109DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2009.08.007ISI: 000271796600010OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-122109DiVA: diva2:308446