Archaeology Magazine

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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Jerusalem's Byzantine Monks Ate Well

Thursday, December 27, 2012

JERUSALEM—Lesley Gregoricka of the University of South Alabama analyzed the bones of Byzantine monks who lived in Jerusalem’s St Stephen’s Monastery. She found that many of the bones were rich in nitrogen-15, suggesting that the monks, who were encouraged to live on meager rations, ate plenty of animal protein. “Only fallen, weak, mad and demonic monks ate meat,” commented Peter Hatlie of the University of Dallas.