American Journal of Physical Anthropology vol:143 issue:4 pages:512-522
To examine how dietary patterns may have changed in the western Mediterranean through time, stable carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios were measured on extracted bone collagen from fauna (n = 5 75) and humans (n = 135) spanning four distinct chronological periods: Chalcolithic (c.2100-1600 BC), Punic (6th-2nd/1st century BC), Late Antiquity-Early Byzantine (4th-7th century AD), and Islamic (c. 10th-13th century AD) on the islands of Ibiza and Formentera, Spain. The Chalcolithic, Punic, and Late Antiquity-Byzantine societies all showed evidence of a predominately C-3 terrestrial-based diet with a possible input of a small amount of marine and/or C-4 dietary resources. In contrast, the Islamic population on Ibiza had a subsistence strategy that was reliant on a significant amount of C-4 plants and/or animals fed a C-4 diet, likely millet. These results indicate a fairly constant C-3 terrestrial-based diet on the islands of Ibiza and Formentera through time, with a shift to C-4 dietary resources during the Islamic Period. Further research is needed from other Islamic populations in and around the Mediterranean to better understand this unique dietary adaptation. Am J Phys Anthropol 143:512-522, 2010. (C) 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.