A snapshot of subsistence in Iron Age Iberia: The case of La Hoya village
Fernández-Crespo, T, Ordoño, J, Bogaard, A, Llanos, A, Schulting, R
Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports
© 2019 Elsevier Ltd Excavations at the Iron Age settlement of La Hoya in north-central Iberia, which was attacked between the mid-4th and the late 3rd centuries BC, provided fossilized scenes of devastation and death but also an extraordinary opportunity to analyze lifeways. Here, we conduct stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analyses of human, animal and plant remains to reconstruct aspects of subsistence. The results indicate a mainly C3-based subsistence economy, focused on the cultivation of cereals and the herding of domestic animals, particularly pigs, as the archaeological data support. Although C4 plants are less abundant, they may have played a key role in infant and child feeding practices. Inferred differences in livestock management, as well as in manuring intensity and management in relation to water resources between crops, suggest a well-established farming economy. Inter-household variability in crop-cultivation and land-use suggests household production and subsistence autonomy, and suggests the existence of socio-economic inequalities within the community.