Friday, May 6, 2022

Medieval English Diets Even For Elites Had Very Few Animal Products

Analysis in a new paper (here) of the remains of two thousand medieval British people from the pre-Norman Anglo-Saxon era, to determine the makeup of their diets based upon their bone chemistry, show that no one in that era, even elite aristocrats, ate much meat, dairy, or eggs. Many people approached vegan status, based upon what their remains showed that they ate.

This was unexpected, because many food animals were listed on documentation of tribute requirements of royal subjects that survive from that era. If the tributes were authentic and collected, then that means that the feasts that the meats collected at that time for, were infrequent and usually would have included many hundreds of basically ordinary people, and maybe almost everyone in the community.

An author of the paper explains more in a blog post with this money quote: 

We’re looking at kings travelling to massive barbecues hosted by free peasants, people who owned their own farms and sometimes slaves to work on them.

The related papers are:

S. Leggett & T. Lambert, "Food and Power in Early Medieval England: a Lack of (Isotopic) Enrichment", Anglo-Saxon England (2022). 
DOI: 10.1017/S0263675122000072

S. Leggett & T Lambert, "Food and Power in Early Medieval England: Rethinking Feorm", Anglo-Saxon England (2022). 
DOI: 10.1017/S0263675122000084


neo said...

neo said...

what is your thoughts on Edward Witten A true believer

You would think that having an untestable theory on your hands would mean that you would try something else, anything else, but Witten seems convinced that whatever its problems, it’s the only way forward:

[About the second superstring revolution and M-theory] It’s satisfying to know that there was only one candidate for superunification. There’s only one reasonable candidate now for the theory that combines gravity and quantum mechanics. Before 1995, there was more than one. It’s more satisfying to know that the theory seems to have a lot of possible manifestations, in terms of approximate vacuum states, but at a fundamental level, there’s only one fundamental theory or system of equations, that we admittedly don’t understand very well. That’s got to be an advance of some kind…

A true believer

andrew said...

Witten is wrong. A career of supersymmetry and string theory dominated work has left him with blinders on. There are assumptions buried there that are contrary to nature.

andrew said...

You Tube link didn't work.

neo said...

Roe v. Wade Cold Open - SNL

After Justice Samuel Alito's leaked draft opinion to overturn Roe v. Wade, a flashback to 13th century England shows the exact moment three men (Benedict Cumberbatch, Andrew Dismukes, James Austin Johnson) vote to outlaw abortion.

neo said...

plenty of string theoretical physicist in academia

Woit single out Witten

andrew said...

Woit singles out several string theorists including Witten, who is one of the most prominent among them.

andrew said...

"a flashback to 13th century England"

Alito's draft opinion does reference a 13th century precedent.

neo said...

that is why Roe v. Wade Cold Open - SNL comedy skit refer to it