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Iron Age diet at Glastonbury Lake Village : the isotopic evidence for negligible aquatic resource consumption.

Jay, M. (2008) 'Iron Age diet at Glastonbury Lake Village : the isotopic evidence for negligible aquatic resource consumption.', Oxford journal of archaeology., 27 (2). pp. 201-216.


The British Iron Age site at Glastonbury Lake Village in Somerset is well known for the extensive and prolonged excavations, the comprehensive publications and the superb preservation of organic remains. The environmental material recovered has led to detailed discussion about the nature of the inhabitants' diet. In particular, the recovery of fish and bird bone has led to speculation about the consumption of foods from the wetlands. Previous carbon and nitrogen isotopic analysis of British Iron Age skeletal material has failed to detect significant levels of aquatic resources in the diet during this period, even where sites are located directly on the coast or close to river systems. There is also very little archaeological evidence to suggest that fishing was a major subsistence strategy. The isotopic analysis of skeletal material from Glastonbury Lake Village was undertaken with the hypothesis that if aquatic resources were to be found at significant levels in the diet of a British Iron Age community, this was a site which might reveal it. The results suggest that such consumption is not visible isotopically and was negligible.

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Record Created:11 Aug 2009 14:05
Last Modified:19 Aug 2009 13:40

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