The Balearic Islands occupy a
central space in the western Mediterranean, at the maritime crossroads between
North Africa, the Iberian Peninsula and the rest of southwestern Europe. As
such it is well placed to investigate changes in subsistence practices
associated with the major cultural transitions following the arrival of Islamic
rule. Stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis was carried out on bone
collagen from the Islamic cemetery (ca. AD 950 – 1150) population excavated at
the site of the

modern Sindicatos building, 33 Bartomeu
Vicent Ramon, Ibiza, including human (n=42) and faunal remains (n=3). Stable
oxygen and carbon isotope analysis was also undertaken on human tooth enamel
carbonate (n=6), and five humans were directly radiocarbon dated, confirming
the presence of two distinct burial phases. The collagen results emphasise a
C3-based diet, with variable but generally minor contributions from marine
and/or C4 foods. However, the enamel carbonate results indicate a greater
importance of C4 crops than suggested by the collagen results. In keeping with

previous studies of the region and period, the
dietary contribution of marine protein is probably limited. A small number of
outliers in both collagen and carbonate isotope results are identified,
suggesting the presence of individuals originating elsewhere. The results are
compared with those from previous investigations on the Balearics and the
Spanish mainland, highlighting the complexity of factors – both cultural and
methodological – affecting inter-regional dietary investigation.

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