The effect of diet and sociopolitical change on physiological stress and behavior in Late Roman-Early Byzantine (300-700 AD) and Islamic (902-1235 AD) populations from Ibiza, Spain

Benjamin Osipov, Alexa Alaica, Catriona Pickard, Julieta G. Garcia-donas, Nicholas Marquez Grant, Elena Kranioti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives
This study evaluated chronological changes in physiological stress and levels of habitual loading of Ibizan populations from the Late Roman-Early Byzantine (LREB) to the Islamic period (300-1235 AD) using measures of body size and bone cross-sectional properties to compare Urban LREB, Urban Medieval Islamic, and Rural Medieval Islamic groups. It also explored the effect of diet, modeled using stable isotopes, on physiological stress levels and behavior.

Materials and Methods
The sample comprised individuals from three archaeological populations: Urban Late Roman- Early Byzantine (LREB) (300-700 AD), Medieval Urban Islamic (902-1235 AD), and Medieval Rural Islamic. Bone lengths, femoral head dimensions, and diaphyseal products and circumferences were compared to assess differences in body size and habitual loading in 222 adult individuals. Ordinary least squares regression evaluated the correlations between these measures and carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) stable isotope ratios in 115 individuals for whom both isotope values and osteological measures are available.

Results
The Medieval Rural Islamic group had shorter stature and reduced lower limb cross-sectional properties compared to the two urban groups. Limb shape differs between Urban LREB and Urban Medieval Islamic groups. Measures of body size length were positively correlated with δ13C values in all individuals and separately in the Urban LREB and Rural Medieval Islamic groups. δ15N showed a positive correlation with left humerus shape in the Urban LREB sample.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages41
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Anthropology
Early online date22 Apr 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Apr 2020

Keywords

  • stable isotopes
  • bone functional adaptation
  • behavior
  • Mediterranean
  • dietary reconstruction
  • Ibiza

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