Integrating isotopes and documentary evidence: Dietary patterns in a late medieval and early modern mining community, Sweden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This study explores the relationship between dietary patterns and social structure in a pre-industrial mining community in Salberget, Sweden c. 1470 to 1600 A.D. using a combination of different research approaches and tools, including archaeology, osteology, bone chemistry and history.
The correlation between demographic criteria (sex and age) and archaeological variables (burial type and burial location) shows that Salberget was a highly stratified community. Group diets were investigated through analyses of stable isotopes (carbon, δ13C, and nitrogen, δ15N) of bone collagen from a sub-sample of individuals buried at the site (n = 67), interpreted alongside data from human dental lesions and deficiencies, animal bone waste and information on eating habits extracted from the extensive historical documents regarding
mining activities at Salberget. These integrated analyses provide a clear association between social status and diet and confirm that social status, and to a lesser extent sex, gender and age, likely governed food choice and opportunity in this diverse community.

Details

Authors
  • Ylva Bäckström
  • Jan Mispelaere
  • Anne Ingvarsson-Sundström
  • Markus Fjellström
  • Kate Britton
Organisations
External organisations
  • University of Aberdeen
  • Riksarkivet
  • Stockholm University
  • Uppsala University
  • Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Archaeology

Keywords

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2075-2094
JournalArchaeological and Anthropological Sciences
Volume10
Issue number8
Early online date2017 Jul 12
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Dec
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes

Related research output

Price, D. T., Frei, R., Ylva Bäckström, Frei, K. M. & Ingvarsson-Sundstrom, A., 2017 Apr 1, In : Journal of Archaeological Science. 80, p. 1-13 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Ylva Bäckström & Price, T. D., 2016, In : Journal of Archaeological Science. 66, p. 154-168

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

View all (2)