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Title: Multi-analytical and isotope investigation of a Late Roman/Paleochristian population from the far west corner of the Roman Empire [Pax Julia]
Author: Saragoça, P.
Maurer, A.-F.
Soberl, L.
Lopes, M. C.
Alfenim, R.
Leandro, I.
Umbelino, C.
Fernandes, T.
Valente, M. J.
Ribeiro, S.
Santos, J. F.
Dias, C.
Janeiro, A. I.
Keywords: Monte da Cegonha
Carbon isotopes
Oxygen isotopes
Strontium isotopes
Human diet
Issue Date: Mar-2015
Publisher: Graduate School Human Development in Landscapes at Kiel University
Abstract: This study examines for the first time the diet of a Paleochristian population in the south of Portugal, from the Roman villae of Monte da Cegonha, in the region of Beja. Preliminary data are presented here and discussed in order to better understand the influence of the Roman occupation for several centuries on the way of life of rural inhabitants of the area of Pax Julia. Isotopic analysis (δ13Ccollagen, δ15N, δ13Capatite, δ18Ocarbonate-apatite) were conducted on long compact bones from 22 human individuals excavated from individual graves comprising a skeleton in articulation and some commingled bones in Monte da Cegonha. As comparative samples, isotopic composition (δ13Ccollagen, δ15N, δ13Capatite, δ18Ocarbonate-apatite) of wild (red deer, rabbit) and domestic fauna (cattle, sheep/goat, wines) excavated at Monte da Cegonha was examined. As a complement, some of the skeletons were analyzed by X-Ray Diffraction and Fourier Transformed Infra-Red Spectroscopy for estimating the preservation state of the bones, examining the crystallinity, the presence vs. absence of secondary minerals in the bone porosity, and the conservation status of the organic phase. In this study, we explore the diet (type of plants ingested, amount of animal resources, terrestrial versus marine resources) and animal husbandry practices prevailing at Monte da Cegonha during the early 5th until the end of 7th century. Besides, potential sex-age variations in diet, and comparison with published data for Roman (Italy, England) and Paleochristians (Italy) populations are discussed. Preliminary strontium isotope data recorded in teeth of some individuals buried in Monte da Cegonha as well as in environmental samples within the site catchment are also presented for addressing potential mobility patterns of this Paleochristian population.
Peer review: yes
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Appears in Collections:DGeo - Comunicações

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