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The first dietary stable isotope data from the Čunkāni-Dreņģeri Iron Age population (seventh–eleventh centuries CE) from Latvia

Pētersone-Gordina, Elīna; Gerhards, Guntis; Vilcāne, Antonija; Millard, Andrew; Moore, Joanna


Elīna Pētersone-Gordina

Guntis Gerhards

Antonija Vilcāne

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Joanna Moore
Isotope Research Technician


The main aim of this research was to study diet and possible social stratification in the Iron Age population of Čunkāni-Dreņģeri from Latvia through burial practice and dietary isotope analysis. This research also used previously published comparative dietary isotope data from archaeological populations in Latvia of various periods of time, not only Iron Age, to see if and how Iron Age populations were different. Carbon and nitrogen dietary isotope analysis showed that the diet for all groups and individuals (N = 29) at Čunkāni-Dreņģeri was largely homogenous, regardless of their gender, or social status as expressed by grave goods. Archaeological evidence for increased social stratification in this population occurs from the tenth–eleventh centuries CE, probably in response to changes in trade. Isotopically the Čunkāni-Dreņģeri population was different than the contemporary comparative population from Latvia, indicative of differential subsistence strategies. The mean δ15N value in the Čunkāni-Dreņģeri population was the lowest yet observed in Latvia, and the lowest among other archaeological populations from the wider region used in this study, which might be indicative of reliance on animal protein sources with lower δ15N values, or lower local δ15N baseline compared to other regions.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 16, 2023
Online Publication Date Nov 15, 2023
Publication Date 2023-12
Deposit Date Dec 13, 2023
Publicly Available Date Nov 16, 2024
Journal Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences
Print ISSN 1866-9557
Electronic ISSN 1866-9565
Publisher Springer
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 15
Issue 12
Article Number 185
Keywords Archeology; Anthropology; Archeology
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