CORES: Comparing regionality and sustainability in Pisidia, Boeotia, Picenum and NW Gaul between Iron and Middle Ages (1,000 BC - AD 1,000)

IAP P7/09

Archaeozoological, macrobotanical and archaeo-anthropological analyses are carried out in the study regions, in order to reconstruct a broad regional and diachronic picture of the long-term evolution of human subsistence and the relative importance of the various food items, the organisation of provisioning through local production and exchange, differential access to luxury food and the evolution of the status of both consumers and food items.

The provisioning with animal protein is studied by exploring the changing reliance on cattle, its use in arable and pastoral agriculture, and the change in size of the domestic stock through time. This workpackage verifies how the study regions evolved in this respect and to what extent the patterns in West and East are comparable.

To this purpose new faunal data from Pisidia and NW Gaul are generated and explored, and added to the already published data. Attention is paid to diachronic changes in species composition, the evolution of slaughtering patterns and the size of the domestic species (using both raw measurements and the log-ratio method). The faunal data - from rural sites, vici and towns -  are used to document how food provisioning was organised, to better understand the phenomenon of surplus production and to illustrate interactions between producers and consumers.

Similarly, macrobotanical analyses in NW Gaul and Pisidia focus on the evolution of the staple crops used through time. The import of new plant species (including condiments and spices) and imported animals (salted and fresh fish mainly) are documented through time for sites of different status, and will shed light on temporal changes in the access to these items and therefore also on the evolution of the luxury status of the products involved. More specifically, the attitude towards fish consumption is studied using both existing and new data, allowing a wider, regional survey of fish consumption through time.

The relative contribution of plant and animal food is analysed with the aid of stable isotope analyses of plant remains, animal and human bone. Next to C and N, S isotopes will now also be analysed in human bones, allowing to address in more detail the issue of fish consumption. Isotope analysis will also be used to document, in combination with the size analysis, multiple provenances of domestic animals and therefore indirectly aid in identifying possible regional breeds.

Related publications

  • Fuller B. T., De Cupere B., Marinova E., Van Neer W., Waelkens M. & Richards M., 2012. Isotopic reconstruction of human diet and animal husbandry practices during the classical-Hellenistic, Imperial and Byzantine periods at Sagalassos, Turkey American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 149:157-171.
  • Ottoni C., Flink L. G., Evin A., Geörg C., De Cupere B., Van Neer W., Bartosiewicz L., Linderholm A., Barnett R., Peters J., Decorte R., Waelkens M., Vanderheyden N., Ricaut F., Çakırlar C., Çevik, Hoelzel A. R., Mashkour M., Karimlu A. F. M., Seno S. S., Daujat J., Pinhasi R., Hongo H., Perez-Enciso M., Rasmussen M., Frantz, L., Megens H., Crooijmans R., Groenen M., Arbuckle B., Benecke N., Vidarsdottir U. S., Burger J., Cucchi T., Dobney K. & Larson G., 2013. Pig Domestication and Human-Mediated Dispersal in Western Eurasia Revealed through Ancient DNA and Geometric Morphometrics Molecular Biology and Evolution, 30:824-832.
Internal member(s)
Wim Van Neer
Bea De Cupere
Wim Wouters
Fabienne Pigière
Quentin Goffette
Mircea Udrescu
Elena Marinova
Koen Deforce
Sidonie Preiss
Kim Quintelier
Alexandre Chevalier
Caroline Polet
Other member(s)
Laurent Verslype (UCL)
Gert Verstraeten (KUL)
Frank Vermeulen (UG)
Johan Vanheesch (KBR)
John Bintliff (Univ Leiden)
Anton Ervynck (Agentschap Onroerend Erfgoed)
IAP project funded by BELSPO Budget from KBIN-IRSNB
Partners and sponsors
Go to top