YAVORSKAYA L.V., ANTIPINA E.E., ENGOVATOVA A.V., ZAYTSEVA G.I. The Stable Isotopes of Carbon and Nitrogen in the Bones of Domestic Animals from three Cities of the European Part of Russia: First Results and Interpretations

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2015.1.6 

Yavorskaya Liliya Vyacheslavovna

Candidate of Historical Sciences, Researcher, Laboratory of Natural Science Methods in Archaeology,

Institute of Archaeology of RAS

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Ulyanova St.,19, 117036 Moscow, Russian Federation

Antipina Ekaterina Evstafyevna

Candidate of Biological Sciences, Senior Researcher, Laboratory of Natural Science Methods in Archaeology

Institute of Archaeology of RAS

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Ulyanova St.,19, 117036 Moscow, Russian Federation

Engovatova Asya Viktorovna

Candidate of Historical Sciences, Deputy Director

Institute of Archaeology of RAS

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Ulyanova St.,19, 117036 Moscow, Russian Federation

Zaytseva Ganna Ivanovna

Candidate of Сhemical Sciences, Senior Researcher, Laboratory of Archaeological Technology

Institute of History of Material Culture of RAS

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Dvortsovaya Emb., 18, 191186 Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation


Abstract. The paper outlines the results of first purposeful research on isotopic composition (carbon 13С and nitrogen 15N) in the bones collagen of domestic and wild animals from medieval towns at the European part of Russia. The published information about δ 13С и δ 15N was obtained from 61 samples of osteological collections of Yaroslavl, Rostov and Bolgar. The average values of carbon isotope in cattle bones are almost the same in all three cities. By contrast, these values for horses and pigs from Rostov and Bolgar are higher than for Yaroslavl animals. Unusual similarity for δ13С in the bones of sheep, camels and dogs among themselves from the Bolgar collection were fixed. The comparative analysis of the values δ13С in bones of domestic and wild animals allowed us to propose the hypothesis that sheep, camels and dogs appeared in Bolgar from the southern arid areas. The data on δ15N showed the inexplicably high accumulation of the nitrogen stable isotope in sheep and camel bones from the collection of Bolgar and in beaver bones from Rostov samples. This is probably due to the peculiarities of the diet of these dogs, enriched by the entrails of domestic ungulates or fish. The minimum values of δ15N in the bones of dogs from Bolgar reflect the specific diet of herding dogs with a minimal volume of meat. Simultaneously the data of 15N in sheep and camel bones from Bolgar collection and in beaver bones from Rostov samples howed the inexplicably high level of nitrogen stable isotope accumulation.

Key words: stable isotopes 13С и 15N from bone collagen, domestic and wild animals, palaeodiet, medieval towns at the European part of Russia, osteologic collections.

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The Stable Isotopes of Carbon and Nitrogen in the Bones of Domestic Animals from three Cities of the European Part of Russia: First Results and Interpretations by YAVORSKAYA L.V., ANTIPINA E.E., ENGOVATOVA A.V., ZAYTSEVA G.I. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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