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Title: Shrouded in History: Unveiling the lives of the first Muslim population in Santarém, Portugal
Authors: MacRoberts, Rebecca Anne
Liberato, Marco
Roca-Rada, Xavier
Valente, Maria João
Relvado, Cláudia
Matos Fernandes, Teresa
Barrocas Dias, Cristina
Llamas, Bastien
Vasconcelos Vilar, Hermínia
Schöne, Bernd R.
Ribeiro, Sara
Santos, José Francisco
Teixeira, João
Maurer, Anne-France
Issue Date: 2024
Publisher: PLos ONE
Citation: MacRoberts RA, Liberato M, Roca-Rada X, Valente MJ, Relvado C, Matos Fernandes T, et al. (2024) Shrouded in history: Unveiling the ways of life of an early Muslim population in Santarém, Portugal (8th– 10th century AD). PLoS ONE 19(3): e0299958.
Abstract: In around 716 AD, the city of Santarém, Portugal, was conquered by the Berber and Arab armies that swept the Iberian Peninsula and went on to rule the region until the 12th century. Archaeological excavations in 2007/08 discovered an Islamic necropolis (Avenida 5 de Outubro #2–8) that appears to contain the remains of an early Muslim population in Santarém (8th– 10th century). In this study, skeletal material from 58 adult individuals was analysed for stable carbon (δ13Ccol; δ13Cap), nitrogen (δ15N) and sulphur (δ34S) isotope ratios in bones, and stable oxygen (δ18O), carbon (δ13Cen) and radiogenic strontium (87Sr/86Sr) isotopes in tooth enamel. The results of this study revealed a dietary pattern of predominantly C3-plant and domestic C3-fed herbivore consumption during adulthood (δ13Ccol and δ15N, respectively) but a higher proportion of C4-plant input during childhood (δ13Cen) for some individuals—interpreted as possible childhood consumption of millet porridge, a common practice in North Africa—in those with unorthodox burial types (Groups 1 and 2) that was not practiced in the individuals with canonical burials (Group 3). In this first mobility study of a medieval Muslim population in Portugal, δ18ODW values revealed greater heterogeneity in Groups 1 and 2, consistent with diverse origins, some in more humid regions than Santarém when compared to regional precipitation δ18O data, contrasting the more homogenous Group 3, consistent with the local precipitation δ18O range. Ancient DNA analysis conducted on three individuals revealed maternal (mtDNA) and paternal (Y-chromosome) lineages compatible with a North African origin for (at least) some of the individuals. Additionally, mobility of females in this population was higher than males, potentially resulting from a patrilocal social system, practiced in Berber and Arab communities. These results serve to offer a more detailed insight into the ancestry and cultural practices of early Muslim populations in Iberia.
Type: article
Appears in Collections:BIO - Publicações - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais Com Arbitragem Científica

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