The University of Arizona

Dating Human Remains from the Historical Period in Belgium: Diet Changes and the Impact of Marine and Freshwater Reservoir Effects

Anton Ervynck, Mathieu Boudin, Tess van den Brande, Mark Van Strydonck


An overview will be presented of stable isotope data (δ13C and δ15N) available from animal and human bones from Roman to post-Medieval Belgian sites. The data will be used to assess trends in the human diet and evaluate the possible impact of reservoir effects originating from the consumption of fish derived from marine or freshwater environments. Historical and archaeozoological data demonstrate drastic changes in fish consumption throughout the last 2 millennia and thus suggest that fluctuations through time of the impact of the reservoir effects can be expected. However, the present stable isotope data set does not support this suggestion.

DOI: 10.2458/56.16939


reservoir effect, stable isotopes, humans, bone collagen, historical period, Belgium

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