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After the Earthquake: Dietary Resource Use During the Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine Periods at Helike, Greece Open Access


Other title
stable nitrogen isotopes
stable isotope analysis
dietary reconstruction
stable carbon isotopes
dietary resource use
Helike, Greece
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
McConnan Borstad, Courtney A
Supervisor and department
Garvie-Lok, Sandra (Anthropology)
Examining committee member and department
Haagsma, Margriet (History and Classics)
Garvie-Lok, Sandra (Anthropology)
Harrington, Lesley (Anthropology)
Department of Anthropology

Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Arts
Degree level
After a devastating earthquake and tsunami destroyed the Classical city of ancient Helike in 373 BC, the surrounding coastal plain was resettled and was continuously inhabited from the Hellenistic to the Late Byzantine periods. Twenty-eight individuals associated with these post-earthquake periods were analyzed for their bone collagen stable carbon (∂13C) and nitrogen (∂15N) isotope values. The results suggest that diet at Helike was based mainly upon terrestrial C3 plants and animals, with evidence for varying amounts of marine resource use between the time periods. Temporal differences in the human stable isotope values are attributed to the seismic activity of the Helike region, which resulted in the emergence and disappearance of several lagoons during antiquity, including one that had formed directly as a result of the earthquake in 373 BC.
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