Food and power in Early Medieval England: A lack of (isotopic) enrichment

Sam Leggett, Tom Lambert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

This work tackles long held assumptions in both archaeology and history surrounding elite diets in early medieval England i.e., that higher status individuals had a more meat-heavy diet and that this was especially true for males. We utilise the largest isotopic dataset on early medieval diets to date to show that not only were high protein diets extremely rare in England before Scandinavian settlement, but that dietary differences cannot be linked to gender or social status from the funerary record. Comparisons with the calculations made in our companion article and the bioarchaeological evidence demonstrate further that the lists of food demanded by eighth-century kings were not the basis for regular elite diet, and that these texts probably represent the supplies for infrequent feasts.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAnglo-Saxon England
Early online date20 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished - 20 Apr 2022


Dive into the research topics of 'Food and power in Early Medieval England: A lack of (isotopic) enrichment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this