Stable isotopic evidence of diet in a Greek colonial population from the Black Sea
- ISSN: 03054403
- DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2005.12.008
Archaeological and literary sources indicate that the ancient Greeks relied heavily on terrestrial resources and that their access to certain types of foods varied by sex and status. Human and faunal remains from the Greek colonial site of Apollonia (5th to 2nd century BC) on the Black Sea coast of Bulgaria were analyzed for stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes in order to reconstruct the diet of this population, investigate the relative importance of marine vs. terrestrial resources, and explore variations in diet with respect to age, sex, and burial type. The results of this study indicate that the colonists of Apollonia relied on a mixed diet of terrestrial and marine foods, and that there was little or no variation in diet by age, sex, or burial type. The relationship between delta13C and delta15N data for these samples suggests that while marine foods were an important source of nitrogen, much of the carbon used to construct amino acids came from terrestrial foods.