edoc

4000 years of human dietary evolution in central Germany, from the first farmers to the first elites

Münster, Angelina and Knipper, Corina and Oelze, Vicky M. and Nicklisch, Nicole and Stecher, Marcus and Schlenker, Björn and Ganslmeier, Robert and Fragata, Matthias and Friederich, Susanne and Dresely, Veit and Hubensack, Vera and Brandt, Guido and Döhle, Hans-Jürgen and Vach, Werner and Schwarz, Ralf and Metzner-Nebelsick, Carola and Meller, Harald and Alt, Kurt W.. (2018) 4000 years of human dietary evolution in central Germany, from the first farmers to the first elites. PLOS ONE, 13 (3). e0194862.

[img] PDF - Published Version
Available under License CC BY (Attribution).

11Mb

Official URL: https://edoc.unibas.ch/62698/

Downloads: Statistics Overview

Abstract

Investigation of human diet during the Neolithic has often been limited to a few archaeological cultures or single sites. In order to provide insight into the development of human food consumption and husbandry strategies, our study explores bone collagen carbon and nitrogen isotope data from 466 human and 105 faunal individuals from 26 sites in central Germany. It is the most extensive data set to date from an enclosed geographic microregion, covering 4,000 years of agricultural history from the Early Neolithic to the Early Bronze Age. The animal data show that a variety of pastures and dietary resources were explored, but that these changed remarkably little over time. In the human δ15N however we found a significant increase with time across the different archaeological cultures. This trend could be observed in all time periods and archaeological cultures (Bell Beaker phenomenon excluded), even on continuously populated sites. Since there was no such trend in faunal isotope values, we were able largely to exclude manuring as the cause of this effect. Based on the rich interdisciplinary data from this region and archaeological period we can argue that meat consumption increased with the increasing duration of farming subsistence. In δ13C, we could not observe any clear increasing or decreasing trends during the archaeological time periods, either for humans or for animals, which would have suggested significant changes in the environment and landscape use. We discovered sex-related dietary differences, with males of all archaeological periods having higher δ15N values than females, and an age-related increasing consumption of animal protein. An initial decrease of δ15N-values at the age of 1-2 years reveals partial weaning, while complete weaning took place at the age of 3-4 years.
Faculties and Departments:03 Faculty of Medicine > Departement Biomedical Engineering
05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Integrative Prähistorische und Naturwissenschaftliche Archäologie (IPNA)
UniBasel Contributors:Alt, Kurt W. and Nicklisch, Nicole
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Public Library of Science
e-ISSN:1932-6203
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Language:English
Related URLs:
Identification Number:
Last Modified:18 Jan 2019 16:21
Deposited On:18 Jan 2019 16:15

Repository Staff Only: item control page