Studying Human Diet

Robert Hedges

in The Oxford Handbook of Archaeology

Published in print March 2009 | ISBN: 9780199271016
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Archaeology

 Studying Human Diet

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  • Classical Studies
  • History and Theory of Archaeology


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This article examines human diet in the context of archaeology. It discusses the nutritional goals of diet, the recognition and interpretation of evidence for diet in the past, and the application of isotopic traces to dietary reconstruction in archaeology. It considers the demands due to human nutritional biology and evaluates how these may be met through the supply of nutritional resources from the environment. It explores the human nutritional constraints involved in diet and analyses how the availability of environmental resources were modified by human technique.

Keywords: human diet; archaeology; nutritional goals; isotopic traces; nutritional biology; nutritional resources; human technique

Article.  14436 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; History and Theory of Archaeology

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