• Isotopic dietary analysis and molecular sex identification of adults and juveniles from medieval Great Moravia

      Halffman, Carrin M. (2012)
      Like many complex agricultural societies, medieval European society was strongly patriarchal, with men favored in terms of property rights, political status, and household authority. However, it is unclear whether male dominance in medieval society was manifested in unequal access to food resources between the sexes. In this pilot study, we examine the pattern of sex-related differences in diet through biomolecular analyses of skeletal remains from Kostelisko, a suburban area within the early medieval Great Moravian site of Mikulčice. Mikulčice was a prominent center of Great Moravia, an early Slavic state that existed in the 9th and early 10th centuries AD, and was situated on the lower Morava River valley in the south-eastern corner of what is today the Czech Republic . Previous bioarchaeological studies of skeletal material from Mikulčice have revealed activity differences between males and females (Havelková et al., 2010), as well as health differences according to socioeconomic status (Velemínský et al., 2009). Here we present dietary reconstructions based on bone collagen carbon and nitrogen stable isotope analyses, and we evaluate a new method of molecular sex identification using high resolution melting analysis of ancient DNA.