Exploring diet in an isolated medieval rural community of Northern Iberia: The case study of San Baudelio de Berlanga (Soria, Spain)
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AuthorJiménez Brobeil, Sylvia Alejandra; Maroto Benavides, Rosa María; Laffranchi, Zita; Roca, María G.
PaleodietStable isotopesRadiocarbonRural communitiesMiddle AgesNorthern Iberia
Jiménez-Brobeil, S. A., Maroto, R. M., Laffranchi, Z., Roca, M. G., Torres, A. G., & Huertas, A. D. (2020). Exploring diet in an isolated medieval rural community of Northern Iberia: The case study of San Baudelio de Berlanga (Soria, Spain). Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, 30, 102218. [https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jasrep.2020.102218]
SponsorshipSpanish Government HAR-2016-75788-P
A medieval osteological sample (n = 20) from the isolated rural community of San Baudelio de Berlanga (Soria, N-Spain) was studied using paleopathological and stable isotope analyses. The necropolis was initially dated by archeologists between the XI and XII centuries AD and contains 57 individuals. The main objective of this study was to investigate the diet and the chronology of these individuals to improve the understanding not only of the diet but also of the population dynamics in an isolated rural site. The isotopic composition of their rib bone collagen was determined. δ15N values ranged between 9.3‰ and 11.5‰, with a mean of 10.3 + 0.5‰ (AIR), while δ13C values ranged between −17.6‰ and −19.0‰ with a mean of −18.2 + 0.4‰ (V-PDB). Radiocarbon results dated the individuals to between the XI and mid-XIII century. The stable isotopic results suggest a mixed terrestrial diet dominated by C3 cereals but including also animal products (e.g. meat and dairy products). Isotopic differences between sexes may be related more closely to social (patrilineal pattern of pairing) and biodemographical (lower female life expectancy) factors than dietary gender differences.