Palaeodietary Study of Iron Age Population from Gohar Tepe (Iran)

Document Type: Research Paper


1 Department of Archaeology, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Medicine, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran

3 Research Manager of Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism , Mazandaran, Iran


Human and animal skeletal remains can provide information about the food chain of inhabitant’s nutrition of archaeological
sites. The food chain which at it minerals and organic materials transferred from soil to the plants, from plants to the
animals, and from herbivores animals to the carnivores, is the benchmark system in ancient diet. Although Chemical
interactions between soils, animal and human remains should not be disregarded, chemical data can provide useful
information about the paleodiet. In present paper, the concentration of Chemical elements was analyzed in eight premolar
teeth of mature individuals as well as a teenager without discrimination of their sex, from discovered graves of Iron Age
of Gohar Tepe. The site had been populated until the Iron Age. In addition, we have investigated the ratios of Sr, Ba, Ca,
P, with the purpose of studying the food chain from animal to human by analyzing discovered animal teeth in the site.
To control diagenetic processes, the calcium/phosphorus (Ca/P) index was used. Furthermore the amount of chemical
element in teeth and peripheral soil was compared. Concentration level of Chemical elements was measured by atomic
absorption spectroscopy (AAS). The Strontium content and the Ba/Sr ratios show that the human population in Gohar
Tepe used products of animal origin somewhat more than plants and terrestrial food more than seafood in their diet.

Paleodiet; Tooth; AAS; Gohar Tepe; Chemical elements