Date of Award

Spring 4-18-2013

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Bethany L. Turner

Second Advisor

Frank L. Williams

Third Advisor

Jeffrey B. Glover


The medieval period in Denmark (11th-16th century) was a time of great social and economic change. The current study seeks to analyze dietary patterns of individuals from a medieval site in Holbæk, Denmark who lived during this historically dynamic and tumultuous period. A previous isotopic analysis indicated a mixed terrestrial C3 based diet with varying amounts of marine foods (Jørkov 2007). This study compares the existing isotopic data with collected data from dental microwear, macrowear, and caries in order to provide a more complete picture of diet and subsistence patterns of these individuals during their latter years. Results suggest that there were some dietary and behavioral differences between males and females with a lack of change in diet over time that run counter to expectations given the historical record. A subset of males were also discovered with entirely different dietary patterns. This study contributes a better understanding of variation in medieval European populations.