General

New data uncovered on Bronze Age humans’ diet and the arrival of new crops in the Iberian Peninsula

Heritage Daily - Fri, 2015-06-26 13:09
Researchers from the universities of Granada, Santiago de Compostela and Reading (UK) have studied human skeletal remains from the Cova do Santo collective burial cave in northwestern Spain.

Remains found in the Sil river valley–in the province of Ourense–reveal a vegetable-based diet with little meat or fish content

Research undertaken by the universities of Granada, Santiago de Compostela and Reading (UK) has shed new light on Bronze Age man’s diet and the arrival of new crops in the Iberian Peninsula at that time.

The research–published in the Journal of Archaeological Science–studies human remains from the collective burial site at Cova do Santo in the Sil river valley, in the northwestern Spanish province of Ourense.

The cave held the remains of at least 14 individuals of both sexes, including children. Given the unstable condition of the burial cavity, the researchers could stay inside for just a few hours. Consequently, they only collected remains off the surface of the cave floor.

Subsequent analysis of stable isotopes in the bone collagen remains revealed that the Cova do Santo inhabitants ate a vegetable-based diet with little meat or fish content despite the site being close to the river Sil.

“There are no significant differences between individuals in terms of diet, so access to food resources must have been similar, regardless of sex or age,” says Olalla López-Costas, lead author of the study.

The researchers found no signs of millets or of millet consumption which means they cannot confirm millets were a part of Bronze Age man’s diet in northwestern Iberia. “We have compared our findings with publications on other sites and believe there are reasonable grounds for believing that summer crops could have been consumed in central Iberia earlier than previously believed,” says López-Costas.

Summer crops

These crops, called summer or spring crops and most commonly represented by millets, “give a high yield in a short time, which probably helped people become more sedentary and the excess of production could have contributed to the construction of a social hierarchy”.

However, it’s still difficult to say when millets were first introduced into the Iberian diet. Until recently, it was believed to have occurred in the Late Bronze Age but recent discoveries of seeds at archaeological sites seem to indicate that it could have been earlier.

Prehistoric burial caves are relatively common in northern and western Iberia. However, very few physical anthropology studies–like that described here–have been conducted. In terms of the number of burials, this would seem to be the largest prehistoric site in the northwest of thePeninsula. The remains found here have been dated at between 1800 and 1600 BC.

University of Granada

Categories: General

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BBC test - Fri, 2015-06-26 12:06
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BBC test - Fri, 2015-06-26 11:59
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BBC test - Fri, 2015-06-26 11:48
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BBC test - Fri, 2015-06-26 11:10
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Riverside Exchange – further insights into industrial Sheffield

Wessex Archaeology - Fri, 2015-06-26 10:42

The results of excavations at Riverside Exchange in the centre of Sheffield have just been published in our occasional paper series. Significant evidence of the city’s post-medieval industrial expansion and, in particular, unique remains relating to early steelmaking was revealed. Nothing of the medieval Town Mill survived but the goit which supplied water to the mill remained an important element within the site. Mid-17th-century tanning pits were followed by the Cutlers’ Wheel, built in the mid-18th century to provide a water-powered grinding workshop. Notable assemblages of cutlery, pottery and clay tobacco pipes were recovered. Marshall’s steelworks was established in the mid-1760s, an innovative, integrated works which combined cementation furnaces and the newly developed crucible steel process. The remains of three early cementation furnaces are of national significance and have been preserved in situ. Analysis of two crucibles has provided the earliest evidence for their composition and the Huntsman process, at a time when these were a closely guarded secret. From the 19th century, documentary, map and archaeological evidence combine to give a picture of the development of the Naylor Vickers works, which took over Marshall’s and later became one of Sheffield’s major steelworks. By Pippa Bradley - Quality & Publications Manager 
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The number of GPs seeking help for work-related stress and mental health problems is increasing, according to the former head of the Royal College of GPs.
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HH: Why 24 Hours yet 60 Minutes?

Heritage Daily - Fri, 2015-06-26 08:20

Welcome to Hidden Histories. In this series, we take a closer look at the world around us and explore the hidden depths of our shared history.

Today we take a look at the clock and explore why there are twenty four hours in a day, yet 60 minutes in an hour?

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Eighteen months after coming out, Tom Daley says he still finds it "weird" when he talks about having a boyfriend.
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As Compton Verney opens a brace of Arts and Crafts exhibitions and reveals its William Morris-inspired garden, we take a look at the numerous Arts and Crafts you can explore in the West Midlands and Cotswolds.
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Archaeologists begin digging at "incredible" prehistoric hillfort on outskirts of Cardiff

24 Hour Museum - Fri, 2015-06-26 00:00
Archaeologists have spoken of their excitement at returning to Caerau Hillfort, where they aim to double the number of public participants after attracting 2,000 people last year.
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BBC test - Thu, 2015-06-25 22:46
The distinguished broadcaster and naturalist, Sir David Attenborough, has been on a visit to the White House at the personal invitation of President Obama.
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BBC test - Thu, 2015-06-25 22:30
Actor Patrick Macnee, star of The Avengers TV series, has died in California at the age of 93.
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A retired seamstress who won more than £4m on the Lotto has said her first purchase following her success was a pair of slippers and some cheese.
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Zack Davies has been found of guilty of attempted murder after attacking a trainee dentist with a machete and a hammer in north Wales.
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VIDEO: Concern raised over inactive teens

BBC test - Thu, 2015-06-25 18:39
Teenagers should take an hour of exercise a day, but new figures suggest a mere 8% of girls aged 13 to 15 in England are meeting that target.
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