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Capturing Roman dietary variability in the catastrophic death assemblage at Herculaneum

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Capturing Roman dietary variability in the catastrophic death assemblage at Herculaneum. / Craig, Oliver Edward.

In: Journal of Archaeological Science Reports, 10.08.2017, p. 1-7.

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Harvard

Craig, OE 2017, 'Capturing Roman dietary variability in the catastrophic death assemblage at Herculaneum', Journal of Archaeological Science Reports, pp. 1-7. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jasrep.2017.08.008

APA

Craig, O. E. (2017). Capturing Roman dietary variability in the catastrophic death assemblage at Herculaneum. Journal of Archaeological Science Reports, 1-7. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jasrep.2017.08.008

Vancouver

Craig OE. Capturing Roman dietary variability in the catastrophic death assemblage at Herculaneum. Journal of Archaeological Science Reports. 2017 Aug 10;1-7. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jasrep.2017.08.008

Author

Craig, Oliver Edward. / Capturing Roman dietary variability in the catastrophic death assemblage at Herculaneum. In: Journal of Archaeological Science Reports. 2017 ; pp. 1-7.

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@article{d393281769f548aa8be5dddbe139f8d8,
title = "Capturing Roman dietary variability in the catastrophic death assemblage at Herculaneum",
abstract = "Here we present a comparative study of stable carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) isotope data from 81 individuals from the catastrophic death assemblage at Herculaneum (79 CE) and compare these with the attritional sites of Velia (Salerno, Italy, 1st–2nd century CE) and Isola Sacra (Rome, Italy, 1st–2nd century AD). The instantaneous deposition of the Herculaneum assemblage highlights some interesting differences in our contextual and methodological understanding of stable dietary isotopes, suggesting that isotopic variation between sites may sometimes be a result of greater temporal variability rather than truly comparable differences. Our results suggest that the people of Herculaneum obtained a relatively small proportion (ca. 30%) of their dietary carbon from marine foods; the majority originating from terrestrial foodstuffs of a similar carbon isotopic composition, most likely cereals. Also observed is a generally greater dietary isotopic enrichment in male individuals than females. We infer that males had greater access to fish which may be reflective, in part, of the sociodemographic framework characteristic of Roman society. Finally, we highlight the methodological challenges which may be faced when undertaking comparisons of δ13C and δ15N data between the various age-related strata of a population, particularly due to the slow and variable rate of collagen turnover.",
author = "Craig, {Oliver Edward}",
note = "{\textcopyright} 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher{\textquoteright}s self-archiving policy. ",
year = "2017",
month = aug,
day = "10",
doi = "10.1016/j.jasrep.2017.08.008",
language = "English",
pages = "1--7",
journal = "Journal of Archaeological Science Reports",
issn = "2352-409X",
publisher = "Elsevier BV",

}

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TY - JOUR

T1 - Capturing Roman dietary variability in the catastrophic death assemblage at Herculaneum

AU - Craig, Oliver Edward

N1 - © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy.

PY - 2017/8/10

Y1 - 2017/8/10

N2 - Here we present a comparative study of stable carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) isotope data from 81 individuals from the catastrophic death assemblage at Herculaneum (79 CE) and compare these with the attritional sites of Velia (Salerno, Italy, 1st–2nd century CE) and Isola Sacra (Rome, Italy, 1st–2nd century AD). The instantaneous deposition of the Herculaneum assemblage highlights some interesting differences in our contextual and methodological understanding of stable dietary isotopes, suggesting that isotopic variation between sites may sometimes be a result of greater temporal variability rather than truly comparable differences. Our results suggest that the people of Herculaneum obtained a relatively small proportion (ca. 30%) of their dietary carbon from marine foods; the majority originating from terrestrial foodstuffs of a similar carbon isotopic composition, most likely cereals. Also observed is a generally greater dietary isotopic enrichment in male individuals than females. We infer that males had greater access to fish which may be reflective, in part, of the sociodemographic framework characteristic of Roman society. Finally, we highlight the methodological challenges which may be faced when undertaking comparisons of δ13C and δ15N data between the various age-related strata of a population, particularly due to the slow and variable rate of collagen turnover.

AB - Here we present a comparative study of stable carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) isotope data from 81 individuals from the catastrophic death assemblage at Herculaneum (79 CE) and compare these with the attritional sites of Velia (Salerno, Italy, 1st–2nd century CE) and Isola Sacra (Rome, Italy, 1st–2nd century AD). The instantaneous deposition of the Herculaneum assemblage highlights some interesting differences in our contextual and methodological understanding of stable dietary isotopes, suggesting that isotopic variation between sites may sometimes be a result of greater temporal variability rather than truly comparable differences. Our results suggest that the people of Herculaneum obtained a relatively small proportion (ca. 30%) of their dietary carbon from marine foods; the majority originating from terrestrial foodstuffs of a similar carbon isotopic composition, most likely cereals. Also observed is a generally greater dietary isotopic enrichment in male individuals than females. We infer that males had greater access to fish which may be reflective, in part, of the sociodemographic framework characteristic of Roman society. Finally, we highlight the methodological challenges which may be faced when undertaking comparisons of δ13C and δ15N data between the various age-related strata of a population, particularly due to the slow and variable rate of collagen turnover.

U2 - 10.1016/j.jasrep.2017.08.008

DO - 10.1016/j.jasrep.2017.08.008

M3 - Article

SP - 1

EP - 7

JO - Journal of Archaeological Science Reports

JF - Journal of Archaeological Science Reports

SN - 2352-409X

ER -