Isotope evidence for diet and migrations in Bronze Age (Minoan/Mycenaean) Greece

Date & time

1–2pm 26 April 2018


Jaeger 1 Seminar Room, RSES


Michael Richards (Simon Fraser University)

Event series


 Adele Morrison

This talk presents the results of almost 20 years of research into human diet and migration in Bronze Age Greece using isotope analysis. This time period and region has a very long history of archaeological study, originally prompted by 19th century archaeologists seeking to find the places and people named by Homer in the Odyssey and the Iliad.  More recent archaeological research has applied modern archaeological methods to understand Mycenanean (primarily on mainland Greece) and Minoan (primarily on Crete) societies.  Our study has focussed on analysing the bone chemistry (isotopes) of humans from many sites in Greece to better understand the diets of people at this time, and especially look for social or status dietary differences.  A second part of the research has been to look at Minoan Crete in particular to explore how people moved around the island (using strontium and sulphur isotopes), and especially to see if there was evidence of movements to the island at the end (often called ‘collapse’) of the Minoan period.

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