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At the world's edge: Reconstructing diet and geographic origins in medieval Iceland using isotope and trace element analyses

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dc.contributor Háskóli Íslands
dc.contributor University of Iceland
dc.contributor.author Walser III, Joe
dc.contributor.author Kristjánsdóttir, Steinunn
dc.contributor.author Gröcke, Darren R.
dc.contributor.author Gowland, Rebecca L.
dc.contributor.author Jakob, Tina
dc.contributor.author Nowell, Geoff M.
dc.contributor.author Ottley, Chris J.
dc.contributor.author Montgomery, Janet
dc.date.accessioned 2021-03-26T14:20:11Z
dc.date.available 2021-03-26T14:20:11Z
dc.date.issued 2019-12-13
dc.identifier.citation Walser, JW, Kristjánsdóttir, S, Gröcke, DR, et al. At the world's edge: Reconstructing diet and geographic origins in medieval Iceland using isotope and trace element analyses. Am J Phys Anthropol. 2020; 171: 142– 163. https://doi.org/10.1002/ajpa.23973
dc.identifier.issn 0002-9483
dc.identifier.issn 1096-8644 (eISSN)
dc.identifier.uri https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11815/2519
dc.description.abstract Objectives A multi‐isotope study was conducted on individuals buried at Skriðuklaustur monastery (AD 1493–1554) to investigate their geographic origins and dietary composition. Comparative material from individuals excavated from Skeljastaðir, an inland farm site was also analyzed. Materials and methods Bone collagen was extracted from 50 humans (Skriðuklaustur and Skeljastaðir) and 25 animals (Skriðuklaustur) and analyzed for δ13C, δ15N, and δ34S. Dental enamel samples from 31 individuals (Skriðuklaustur) were also analyzed for 87Sr/86Sr, δ18O, δ13C, and trace elements (Pb, Sr, Zn, Ba). Results The mean value determined from individuals from Skriðuklaustur (n = 36) was δ13C = −18.7 ± 0.8‰, δ15N = 12.8 ± 1.1‰, and δ34S = 9.0 ± 1.6‰, whereas at Skeljastaðir (n = 14), it was δ13C = −20.5 ± 0.8‰, δ15N = 7.8 ± 0.9‰, and δ34S = 9.4 ± 1.6‰. At Skriðuklaustur, human dental enamel samples (n = 31) provided a 87Sr/86Sr range of 0.7060–0.7088, δ18Ophosphate from 13.9 to 16.1‰ and δ13Ccarbonate from −16.6 to −12.9‰. Inferred drinking water (δ18Odw) values range from −12.3 to −8.9‰. Sr concentrations range from 25.8 to 156.7 ppm, Ba from 0.11 to 0.81 ppm, Zn from 43.8 to 145.8 ppm, and Pb from 0.13 to 9.40 ppm. Discussion A combination of results indicates that the people from Skriðuklaustur were born in Iceland, but some lived inland during childhood while others lived closer to the coast. Since Skriðuklaustur was a hospital, these individuals may have sought medical treatment at the monastery. The δ13C and δ15N values determined from bone collagen indicate that the people residing at Skriðuklaustur consumed a diet high in marine protein, while those residing at Skeljastaðir exhibit values more consistent with terrestrial resources.
dc.description.sponsorship This research was financed by Fornminjasjóður (the Archaeology Fund), Háskólasjóður Eimskipafélags Íslands (the Eimskip University Fund), and the Stable Isotope Biogeochemistry Laboratory (SIBL).
dc.format.extent 142-163
dc.language.iso en
dc.publisher Wiley
dc.relation.ispartofseries American Journal of Physical Anthropology;171(1)
dc.rights info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess
dc.subject Bioarchaeology
dc.subject Diet
dc.subject Isotopes
dc.subject Palaeopathology
dc.subject Provenance
dc.subject Fornleifarannsóknir
dc.subject Mataræði
dc.subject Samsætur
dc.subject Líkamsmannfræði
dc.title At the world's edge: Reconstructing diet and geographic origins in medieval Iceland using isotope and trace element analyses
dc.type info:eu-repo/semantics/article
dcterms.license This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited
dc.description.version Peer Reviewed
dc.identifier.journal American Journal of Physical Anthropology
dc.identifier.doi 10.1002/ajpa.23973
dc.contributor.department Sagnfræði- og heimspekideild (HÍ)
dc.contributor.department Faculty of History and Philosophy (UI)
dc.contributor.school Hugvísindasvið (HÍ)
dc.contributor.school School of Humanities (UI)

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