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Inferences from the human skeletal material of the Early Iron Age cemetery at Agios Dimitrios, Fthiotis, Central Greece

Authors
Journal
Journal of Archaeological Science
0305-4403
Publisher
Elsevier
Volume
40
Issue
7
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2013.02.027
Keywords
  • Stable Isotopes
  • Early Iron Age
  • Greece
Disciplines
  • Archaeology
  • Biology
  • Medicine

Abstract

Abstract The Geometric cemetery of Agios Dimitrios (850–740 B.C.) yielded a human osteological sample, with an MNI of 51 and equal numbers of males and females and adults and subadults. This site is of significant archaeological importance, as it provides information on human health status, diet, and activity patterns as well as mortuary behavior for a little studied time period. The results, including a) stable carbon and nitrogen isotopic data suggesting a C3 low-protein plant diet, b) relatively high infant mortality, c) low stature estimates, d) significant prevalence of possible anemic conditions, and e) high dental infection and loss rates, all point to a rapidly increasing, stressed, and relatively malnourished population which did not exploit nearby marine resources, experienced suboptimal living conditions, and could not reach its biological potential. Furthermore, the study of this group provides evidence of equal burial treatment of all age and sex categories, no dietary differences in terms of sex and status, and no sex differentiation in pathological conditions.

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