A Palaeodietary Study of Stable Isotope Analysis from a High-status Burial in the Copper Age: The Montelirio Megalithic Structure at Valencina de la Concepción–Castilleja de Guzmán, Spain

Maria Fontanals-Coll, Marta Díaz-Zorita Bonilla, Eulàlia Subirà

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his palaeodietary study presents carbon and nitrogen stable isotope data from human and faunal skeletal remains from the Copper Age settlement of Valencina de la Concepción–Castilleja de Guzmán, located inSeville, Spain. Montelirio, the only Valencina–Castilleja human group from which we have obtained reliable palaeodietary results, had a diet based on C3terrestrial resources, including both plants and animals. The protein component of the diet consisted mainly of meat, milk and dairy products from livestock as well asC3plant protein from cereals and pulses. This study compares data from Montelirio, the Copper Age group from Valencina–Castilleja, with the published data from other Iberian Late Neolithic–Copper Age (LN-CA) societies. This comparison reveals a homogeneous diet with some exceptions. Overall, the LN-CA diet in theIberian Peninsula consisted mainly of animal proteins from meat, milk and dairy products from livestock as well as C3 plant sources from the characteristic agriculture of the societies of these periods. This study also demonstrates the minor use of aquatic resources from the Neolithic to the Copper Age period in the Iberian Peninsula.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)447-459
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Osteoarchaeology
Early online date6 Mar 2015
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 Mar 2015


  • Copper Age
  • Carbon
  • Nitrogen
  • Stable isotopes
  • Valencina de la Concepción-Castilleja de Guzmán

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