Download the full-sized PDF of Taking a Bite out of History: Hellenistic Dietary Reconstruction and Population Mobility at the Site of New Halos, Thessaly, GreeceDownload the full-sized PDF



Permanent link (DOI):


Export to: EndNote  |  Zotero  |  Mendeley


This file is in the following communities:

Graduate Studies and Research, Faculty of


This file is in the following collections:

Theses and Dissertations

Taking a Bite out of History: Hellenistic Dietary Reconstruction and Population Mobility at the Site of New Halos, Thessaly, Greece Open Access


Other title
Stable Isotopes
Hellenistic Period
Oxygen Isotopes
New Halos
Carbon Isotopes
Strontium Isotopes
Nitrogen Isotopes
Thessaly Greece
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Sparkes, Hillary A
Supervisor and department
Garvie-Lok, Sandra (Anthropology)
Haagsma, Margriet (History and Classics)
Examining committee member and department
Willoughyby, Pamela (Anthropology)
Anne Keenleyside (Anthropology)
Losey, Robert (Anthropology)
Harrington, Lesley (Anthropology)
Department of Anthropology

Date accepted
Graduation date
2017-06:Spring 2017
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
The Hellenistic site of New Halos in Thessaly Greece was founded around 302 BC and was occupied for a short period of time until it was destroyed by an earthquake. The short occupation makes New Halos an ideal site for study because it represents a snapshot of rural Hellenistic life. Both the site of New Halos and an associated Hellenistic cemetery were excavated prior to this research. Skeletal remains from 98 individuals were collected for stable isotope analysis. Stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes from bone collagen and enamel carbonate were used to analyze diet composition. Mobility patterns were studied using strontium and oxygen isotopes from enamel apatite. The goals of this study were to investigate dietary habits at New Halos and understand dietary preferences. This study evaluated the importance of marine resources at New Halos. New Halos is situated close to the coast and during the excavations many marine shellfish were recovered suggesting they were an important dietary resource. The majority of the individuals at New Halos were consuming a C3 terrestrial based diet. Some individuals showed signs of marine input while others appear to have consumed a diet whose protein was drawn primarily from domesticated animal products. A second thread of investigation involved examining migration patterns and population composition. During the Hellenistic period many new settlements were established, but it is unclear where the population of these new settlements came from. The strontium and oxygen isotope results were able to identify that the population of New Halos was a mixture of both local and non-local individuals. It appears that the majority of non-local individuals were from areas to the west of New Halos towards the Othris mountain chain; others could have come from further afield. The isotopic investigation at New Halos has provided exciting results about this population.
This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for the purpose of private, scholarly or scientific research. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
Citation for previous publication

File Details

Date Uploaded
Date Modified
Audit Status
Audits have not yet been run on this file.
File format: pdf (PDF/A)
Mime type: application/pdf
File size: 6476720
Last modified: 2017:06:13 12:28:51-06:00
Filename: Sparkes_Hillary_A_201702_PhD.pdf
Original checksum: 3e41cdc4224d8153d4e0d13efcee1bee
Activity of users you follow
User Activity Date