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Diet and Social Status During the Tène Period in Bohemia - Carbon and Nitrogen Stable Isotope Analysis of Bone Collagen from Kutná Hora-Karlov and Radovesice.

By Jonathan D. Le Huray and Holger Schutkowski


NoBone collagen carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios were obtained from three La Tène period inhumation cemeteries in the Czech Republic (Kutná Hora-Karlov, Radovesice I and Radovesice II) and 16 Hallstatt period inhumations in northern Austria. Results indicate that during the La Tène period in Bohemia, overall diet was based on animal protein and plant foods following the C3 photosynthetic pathway, although ¿13C values for two individuals from Kutná Hora-Karlov indicate at least some contribution from C4 plant foods, most likely millet. At Kutná Hora-Karlov, more positive ¿15N values for male individuals buried with items of iron weaponry indicate the existence of a differential dietary system within the male population based on individual ¿warrior¿ status. A comparison with data from a number of Hallstatt period inhumations in northern Austria and a previously published study of a Hallstatt period site in Slovenia [Murray, M.L., Schoeninger, M.J., 1988. Diet, status, and complex social structure in Iron Age Central Europe: Some contributions from bone chemistry. In: Gibson, D.B., Geselowitz, M.N. (Eds.), Tribe and Polity in Late Prehistoric Europe: Demography, Production and Exchange in the Evolution of Complex Social Systems. Plenum Press, New York, pp. 155¿176] enables an examination of the spread of millet as a major dietary component. This data will be of use to studies of diet in prehistoric Europe and provides evidence for dietary divisions relating to social stratification during the La Tène B¿C, a period often seen as less complex than the preceding Hallstatt period

Topics: La Tène, Bohemia, Social status, Palaeodiet, Carbon, Nitrogen, Stable isotopes
Year: 2005
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.jaa.2004.09.002
OAI identifier:
Provided by: Bradford Scholars
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