In recent years, the ever more frequent studies on the Bronze Age in northern Italy have shown the importance of this area for cultural and economic exchanges between central and southern Europe. The aim of the present multidisciplinary study was to define the health, behaviour and dietary habits in an Early-Middle Bronze Age skeletal sample from the Ballabio necropolis (Lecco, Italy). Skeletal remains were found in two adjacent funerary structures, interpreted as primary burials and as places of secondary deposition. Studies on the health and diet of the individuals were based on dental-alveolar features, and carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios. The individuals exhibit a low prevalence of caries, abscesses and ante-mortem tooth loss, but do exhibit high calculus and alveolar resorption rates, suggesting a subsistence pattern based on pastoralism more than agriculture. Stable isotope ratios indicate a mixed diet and support the hypothesis of a protein intake based on terrestrial resources, with an appreciable amount of animal foodstuffs. There are no statistically significant sex or age differences, although adolescents and young adults (15–25 years old) seem to have consumed more animal protein. The isotope data from Ballabio are similar to other Early Bronze Age data collected from other sites in northern Italy. However, the pattern changed during the Middle Bronze Age, suggesting complex agricultural modifications in this area impacted by new crops such as millet.

A combined analysis of dietary habits in the Bronze Age site of Ballabio (northern Italy)

Masotti, Sabrina
Primo
;
Gualdi-Russo, Emanuela
Ultimo
2019

Abstract

In recent years, the ever more frequent studies on the Bronze Age in northern Italy have shown the importance of this area for cultural and economic exchanges between central and southern Europe. The aim of the present multidisciplinary study was to define the health, behaviour and dietary habits in an Early-Middle Bronze Age skeletal sample from the Ballabio necropolis (Lecco, Italy). Skeletal remains were found in two adjacent funerary structures, interpreted as primary burials and as places of secondary deposition. Studies on the health and diet of the individuals were based on dental-alveolar features, and carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios. The individuals exhibit a low prevalence of caries, abscesses and ante-mortem tooth loss, but do exhibit high calculus and alveolar resorption rates, suggesting a subsistence pattern based on pastoralism more than agriculture. Stable isotope ratios indicate a mixed diet and support the hypothesis of a protein intake based on terrestrial resources, with an appreciable amount of animal foodstuffs. There are no statistically significant sex or age differences, although adolescents and young adults (15–25 years old) seem to have consumed more animal protein. The isotope data from Ballabio are similar to other Early Bronze Age data collected from other sites in northern Italy. However, the pattern changed during the Middle Bronze Age, suggesting complex agricultural modifications in this area impacted by new crops such as millet.
Masotti, Sabrina; Varalli, Alessandra; Goude, Gwenaëlle; Moggi-Cecchi, Jacopo; Gualdi-Russo, Emanuela
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
Masotti2019_Article_ACombinedAnalysisOfDietaryHabi.pdf

solo gestori archivio

Descrizione: Full text editoriale
Tipologia: Full text (versione editoriale)
Licenza: NON PUBBLICO - Accesso privato/ristretto
Dimensione 1.32 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
1.32 MB Adobe PDF   Visualizza/Apri   Richiedi una copia

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11392/2380254
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 10
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 8
social impact