By the same authors

The application of stable isotope analysis to explore diets in late medieval Spain

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter



Publication details

Title of host publicationDemografía, Paleopatología y Desigualdad Social en la Edad Media en el Norte Peninsular
DatePublished - 2016
Number of pages16
PublisherUniversidad del Pais Vasco
Place of PublicationBilbao
EditorsJuan Antonio Quirós Castillo
Original languageEnglish
ISBN (Print)9788490824375

Publication series

NameDocumentos de Arqueología Medieval
PublisherUniversidad del País Vasco


This paper explores the application of carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ13N) stable isotope analysis to human and animal populations from archaeological sites to explore diets in late medieval Spain (10th-16th centuries AD). Until recently, most isotopic studies of medieval diet have focussed on northern areas of Western Europe, however, the Mediterranean, and Spain in particular, is drawing increasing attention. Medieval Iberia provides a novel setting for the study of diet, where, over much of the peninsular, communities of Muslims, Christians and Jews coexisted under first Muslim and then later Christian political rule. This review explores some trends in diet and resource exploitation that are beginning to emerge from the growing number of dietary isotope studies. Dietary variability in relation to faith, status and geographical location are discussed, with a particular focus on the exploitation of C4 crops. Potential avenues for future research are also highlighted.

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