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Dietary patterns and social structures in medieval Sigtuna, Sweden, as reflected in stable isotope values in human skeletal remains
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Ion Physics.
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
Abstract [en]

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.
Keyword [en]
Social status, Sigtuna, Diet, Stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes, Radiocarbon
National Category
Archaeology Engineering and Technology
Research subject
Ion Physics
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-122109DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2009.08.007ISI: 000271796600010OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-122109DiVA: diva2:308446
Available from: 2010-04-06 Created: 2010-04-06 Last updated: 2016-04-14Bibliographically approved

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Possnert, Göran
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