Dietary reconstruction and reservoir correction of 14C dates on bones from pagan and early Christian graves in Iceland: Proceedings of the 20th International Radiocarbon Conference

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftKonferenceartikel

Árný E Sveinbjörnsdóttir, Jan Heinemeier, Jette Arneborg, Niels Lynnerup, Gudmundur Ólafsson, Gudný Zoëga

In this study, ?13C and ?15N of bone samples from 83 skeletons (79 humans, 2 horses, and 2 dogs) excavated from pagan and early Christian graves from 21 localities in Iceland are used to reconstruct diet of the early settlers in Iceland and possible differences in diet depending on the distance between the excavation site and the seashore. We have radiocarbon dated 47 of these skeletons and used the carbon isotopic composition (?13C) to estimate and correct for the marine reservoir effect (the 14C difference between terrestrial and mixed marine organisms). The reservoir-corrected ages lie in the range of AD 780?1270 (68.2% probability). Reservoir age corrections were checked by comparing 14C dates of a horse (terrestrial diet), a dog (highly marine diet), and a human (mixed diet) from the same burial. The range in measured marine protein percentage in individual diet is from about 10% up to 55%, mostly depending on the geographical position (distance from the sea) of the excavation site. We had access to the skeleton (AAR-5908) of the Sk?lholt bishop P?ll J?nsson whose remains are enshrined at the Episcopal residence in Sk?lholt, southern Iceland. According to written sources, the bishop died in AD 1211. Using our dietary reconstruction, his bones were about 17% marine, which is within the range of human skeletons from the same area, and the reservoir-corrected calibrated 14C age of the skeleton is in accord with the historical date.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftRadiocarbon: An International Journal of Cosmogenic Isotope Research
Vol/bind52
Udgave nummer2
Sider (fra-til)682-696
Antal sider15
ISSN0033-8222
StatusUdgivet - 2010
Begivenhed20th International Radiocarbon Conference - Big Island; Hawaii, USA
Varighed: 31 maj 20095 jun. 2009

Konference

Konference20th International Radiocarbon Conference
LandUSA
ByBig Island; Hawaii
Periode31/05/200905/06/2009

Bibliografisk note

© 2010 by the Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona
Proceedings of the 20th International Radiocarbon Conference, edited by A J T Jull

RADIOCARBON, Vol 52, Nr 2–3, 2010, p 682–696

Árný E Sveinbjörnsdóttir1 • Jan Heinemeier2 • Jette Arneborg3 • Niels Lynnerup4 •Gudmundur Ólafsson5 • Gudný Zoëga6

1Institute of Earth Sciences, University of Iceland, Sturlugata 7, IS-101 Reykjavík, Iceland. Email: arny@raunvis.hi.is.
2AMS 14C Dating Centre, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Aarhus University, Ny Munkegade 120, DK-8000
Aarhus C, Denmark. Email: jh@phys.au.dk.
3National Museum of Denmark, Frederiksholms Kanal 12, DK-1220 Copenhagen K, Denmark.
4Laboratory of Biological Anthropology, Panum Institute, Blegdamsvej 3, DK-2200 Copenhagen N, Denmark.
5National Museum of Iceland, Sudurgata 41, IS-101 Reykjavík, Iceland.
6Skagafjordur Heritage Museum, 560 Varmahlíd, Iceland.

© 2010 by the Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona
Proceedings of the 20th International Radiocarbon Conference, edited by A J T Jull
RADIOCARBON, Vol 52, Nr 2–3, 2010, p 682–696

ID: 33923559