Hard Time Diets: Modern Genetic Archeology Throws A Light

In harder times, diet depended less on meat, and the change of diet could be brutal. Diet in the age of Pericles was grain based, with long healthy lifespans, but the plutocratic dictatorship put in place by the Macedonians 120 years later was meat-laden, with much shorter lifespans. At least so say the historical sources.

Genetical archeology is a new scientific discipline: it is enlightening up the world. For example: “Anglo-Saxon Kings Made Sure to Eat Their Vegetables, Study Shows
Contrary to popular belief, the ruling classes gorged on meat only on rare occasions, according to an analysis of more than 2,000 skeletons buried during medieval times… The findings are based on an analysis of more than 2,000 skeletons whose remains were buried in England from the fifth to 11th centuries.

These were hard times, starting by the withdrawal in 406 CE of the three Roman legions which protected England by preventing encroachment from various Celts, Picts, Scots, etc (to try to help out the Franks to mitigate the German invasions of the 406 winter solstice)… As England was left defenseless, Anglo-Saxons invasions followed and the highly organized and productive Roman society collapsed in slow motion until the remaining Roman forces resisted in the hills or fled en masse to Armorica which came to be known as “Britanny” (late 6C). Centuries of war and resistance was ideal ground for the Vikings who invaded next, sometimes overruning all of England (begining of the Eleventh Century). Discipline and advanced civilization were re-established only through the Reconquista of the Normand Dux William and his Frankish barons, starting in 1066 CE.  

Paradoxically, during the hard times, diet was eminently correct. And also society was more equalitarian than what would happen during the middle age renaissances.

Anglo-Saxon kings have long reigned in unproven lore, as rapacious meat lovers, eagerly feasting on thick slabs of mutton and beef, washed down with copious amounts of mead and ale.

Science shows otherwise. Their diet leaned more toward vegetables, cereal and bread, according to a study in Anglo-Saxon England. This shows that, in diet as in everything else, medieval times were more subtle than menu choices at modern-day restaurants claiming to replicate medieval times have it.

There is no sign that elite people were disproportionately eating more meat,” Tom Lambert, a historian at the University of Cambridge, one of the study’s two authors, said. “When they were not having these big public feasts,” he said, “they were eating a vegetable broth with their bread like everyone else was.”[1]

The Vikings, appearing in 800 CE, were different: they ate much protein, especially fish. Norway exported from its far north massive amounts of dry salted cod to medieval Europe. 

Heavy meat associated diets and associated gout were much in evidence in the later middle ages (and nobles knew they got gout from eating too much venison). This is when kings used to hunt every day in gigantic royal preserves, and plutocracy based inequality ruled. 

The disintegration of the Roman state and its remaining republican structures brought a demographic collapse and very hard times. The “Renovation of the Roman Empire” culminating in 800 CE was followed by civil wars and the simultaneous invasions of Vikings, Hungarians and Islamists… The wealthiest parts of Europe (north-west Francia) would recover the wealth they knew under Rome only during the Eleventh Century… but then with increasing inequality. Only then did the unbalanced diet appear, according to historical records. 

Then the nobles of the middle ages started to become taller and healthier, to the point that they looked as if they belonged to a different ethnicity. 

General and systematic studies on hundreds of thousands of individuals over 3,000 years will be enlightening. 

A archeo-genetic study published in Science in Nov 2019 showed that the population of Rome got replaced 3 times over 3,000 years: another surprise. “Many imperial Romans had roots in the Middle East, genetic history shows. At the height of Rome’s power, city residents showed little European DNA.

That doesn’t mean Middle Easterners are imperially superior… far from it, as the fascist empire was on a ballistic trajectory of ineluctable degeneracy… In part cause by the importation of Middle Eastern-Hydraulic Dictatorship ideologies such as the deification of leaders and Abrahamism…

Patrice Ayme

Typical Anglo Saxon house: we are far from the advanced dwellings the Romans used to have, and those who would follow when civilization got re-established in full force. West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village, an archaeological site and open-air museum in Suffolk, eastern England. Anglo-Saxon kings and other elites consumed no more meat than the rest of the population


[1] Sam Legget, the other author, said she analyzed the bones of 300 people for nitrogen isotopes, which indicate animal protein consumption, and examined published data on the bones of about 1,700 other people buried at around the same time. Dr. Leggett then determined the social class of the people she examined by cross-referencing her findings with evidence of status, such as whether jewelry and ornate weaponry had been buried in the graves.

This showed that the consumption of animal protein was no greater in the remains of people who most likely belonged to the ruling class, including men, who have been widely believed to be greater consumers of meat, according to the study. Once again only from the 5C to 11C, a time of continual wars and invasions…

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2 Responses to “Hard Time Diets: Modern Genetic Archeology Throws A Light”

  1. Gmax Says:

    Nice. So we shall live from water and bread alone.
    More details on the roman change of population would be appreciated


  2. D'Ambiallet Says:

    This Roman replacement of population sounds like Zemmour. Very interesting essay in any case


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