Investigating palaeodietary and social differences between twodifferentiated sectors of a Neolithic community, La Bòbila Madurell-CanGambús (north-east Iberian Peninsula)

Maria Fontanals-Coll, Eulàlia Subirà, Marta Díaz-Zorita Bonilla, Stéphanie Duboscq, Juan Francisco Gibaja

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This palaeodietary study presents new carbon and nitrogen isotope data for human and animal skeletal remains from the Middle Neolithic necropolis of Bòbila Madurell–Can Gambús (Vallès Occidental, Spain). The necropolisis divided into two sectors, Bòbila Madurell and Can Gambús, which differ in terms of their demography and the wealth of their tombs. This study examines each sector separately in order to assess how far these demographic and grave good differences also correspond to diversity in the community. The results show that a diet based onC3 terrestrial resources is found homogeneously in both sectors of the community. The protein component of the diet consisted mainly of meat, milk and other dairy products from livestock as well as C3 plant protein from the typical cereals and legumes grown in this period. The results also show the existence of slight intra-population sex and age differences in the Can Gambús sector, while these are not perceptible in the Bòbila Madurell sector.This allows inferences not only about the diet of the Neolithic communities that lived in the north-east of theIberian Peninsula but also about their customs, which would be reflected in social differentiation as regards the consumption of certain kinds of food. These are important data that can be added in future studies of socio-economic patterns in Neolithic societies in the rest of Europe
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)160-170
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science: Reports
Early online date16 Jun 2015
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Jun 2015


  • Middle Neolithic
  • Palaeodiet
  • Stable isotopes
  • Carbon
  • Nitrogen
  • North-east Iberian Peninsula

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