Multi-isotopic analysis of dietary habits and mobility at third millennium BC Bakla Tepe, West Anatolia

Irvine B., ERDAL Y. S.

ARCHAEOLOGICAL AND ANTHROPOLOGICAL SCIENCES, vol.12, no.6, 2020 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 12 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s12520-020-01078-2
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, IBZ Online
  • Keywords: Early Bronze Age, Turkey, Bioarchaeology, Carbon-13, Nitrogen-15, Sulphur-34, BONE-COLLAGEN, STABLE-ISOTOPES, AGE, PALAEODIETARY, CONSUMPTION, INDICATORS, TURNOVER, NITROGEN, MARINE, HUMANS
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


This paper examines the dietary habits and mobility of an Early Bronze Age (3000-2000 BCE) population from Bakla Tepe (West Anatolia in the Izmir region). The research utilises the results of stable isotope analyses of carbon (delta C-13), nitrogen (delta N-15), and sulphur (delta S-34) from human bone collagen in conjunction with published archaeological data. Intra-population issues of dietary habits such as possible social divisions (e.g. between sexes, ages, and socio-economic status) were addressed. The sample population from Bakla Tepe consists of 19 adults and no subadults. In total, there are 8 males (42.1%) and 11 females (57.9%). There are two distinct and separate period cemeteries; from the Early Bronze Age I period, 7 individuals were sampled, with 12 individuals sampled from the Early Bronze Age II/III period. The results show that during the 3rd millennium BCE, dietary habits were generally homogeneous and became more so in the latter part of the millennium. Diets were predominantly terrestrial C-3 based. There is one individual whose delta S-34 value suggests that she moved to the settlement from a location further inland and another whose delta S-34 value suggests that she may have moved to the settlement from nearer the coast.