New radiocarbon dates and isotope analysis of Neolithic human and animal bone from the Fontbrégoua Cave (Salernes, Var, France)

J Anthropol Sci. 2010;88:167-78.


This article presents the results of stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis carried out on 12 human and 13 animal bones from the Neolithic cave of Fonbrégoua located in southern France. The stable isotope data shows that the humans had diets in which the protein sources were mainly from terrestrial animals. Six new radiocarbon dates on human bone indicate that the deposition of human remains at the site occurred during the Cardial phase (ca. 5450-5100 BCE cal.) as well as through to the transition to the middle Neolithic (ca. 5100-4800 BCE cal.). The isotopic human dietary patterns at Fontbrégoua are similar to other Neolithic sites in the South-east of France and in Liguria (Italy), indicating similar dietary adaptations in this area during this period. Radiocarbon dates on humans from the site indicate that human burial practices at this site occurred over a long time period.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cannibalism
  • Carbon Isotopes
  • Diet
  • Dietary Proteins
  • Fossils*
  • France
  • History, Ancient
  • Humans
  • Radiometric Dating*


  • Carbon Isotopes
  • Dietary Proteins