Lydia Collyns

2022 McNair Scholar, Lydia Collyns

University of New Hampshire
McNair Scholar, 2022
Major: Anthropology
Mentor: Dr. Les Fitzpatrick
Research Title: Stable Isotopic Analysis of Archaeological Human Remains from Spain and Croatia: An Analysis of Diet, Mobility, and Societal Stratification

Stable isotope analysis of carbon, nitrogen and oxygen is commonly used in anthropological studies to provide support for hypotheses related to an individual’s geographic origin and mobility as well as their dietary profile. Within this study, stable oxygen, carbon, and nitrogen analysis will be performed on samples (n= 30) collected from sites in Spain and Croatia. The sites are both geographically and temporally disparate. The remains recovered from Spain were from a site along the religious pilgrimage site along the Camino de Santiago, with a likely date during the late-Medieval Period. For the Croatian remains, the recovered individuals are from several sites likely dating to the Roman Era occupation of the region. For all individuals examined within this study, their geographic origin and dietary profile will be assessed through stable isotope analysis to provide insights into the lives of the individuals (as a population subset) that may be extrapolated to form hypotheses related to the population as a whole. Due to a lack of written records for these populations, the information gained through this study will provide details related to social stratification providing a unique insight into the social, political, and economic structures of past cultures.

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