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Diet and diversity at later medieval Fishergate: The isotopic evidence

Müldner, G. and Richards, M. P. (2007) Diet and diversity at later medieval Fishergate: The isotopic evidence. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 134 (2). pp. 162-174. ISSN 0002-9483

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To link to this article DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.20647

Abstract/Summary

We present the results of stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis of bone collagen for 155 individuals buried at the Later Medieval (13th to early 16th century AD) Gilbertine priory of St. Andrew, Fishergate in the city of York (UK). The data show significant variation in the consumption of marine foods between males and females as well as between individuals buried in different areas of the priory. Specifically, individuals from the crossing of the church and the cloister garth had consumed significantly less marine protein than those from other locations. Isotope data for four individuals diagnosed with diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (DISH) are consistent with a diet rich in animal protein. We also observe that isotopic signals of individuals with perimortem sharp force trauma are unusual in the context of the Fishergate dataset. We discuss possible explanations for these patterns and suggest that there may have been a specialist hospital or a local tradition of burying victims of violent conflict at the priory. The results demonstrate how the integration of archaeological, osteological, and isotopic data can provide novel information about Medieval burial and society.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Archaeology
Faculty of Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Scientific Archaeology
ID Code:3902
Uncontrolled Keywords:stable isotope bone diet gender status BONE-COLLAGEN GILBERTINE-PRIORY STABLE CARBON ST-ANDREW CEMETERY ENGLAND RATIOS SITE AGE RECONSTRUCTION
Additional Information: Mueldner

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