January 20, 2009

Roman Diet

I'm sure that you, like me, have been waiting with bated breath to find out what my Romans were eating. Unfortunately, we'll have to wait a bit longer for full results. But today I found out the results from the dental apatite (the inorganic component of enamel) for most of my sample. Although it seems that there are a couple outliers (people who were eating different foods from everyone else), for the most part everyone falls within an average range (although each person is, of course, different). Unlike the Sr samples, the C/N samples were taken from cross-sections of femoral midshaft, which means the results represent the average diet a person was eating in the last 5-10 years of his/her life. What is very interesting about the δ13Cap results is that the people from Castellaccio seem to have been eating more marine foods and possibly more millet (a C4 food). I have to wait on the collagen results, though, to make more sense of the apatite and to find out for sure what contribution marine resources made to the diet. And then I'll set to work on figuring out if women and men, kids and adults, and immigrants and locals were eating different foods.


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