You know these guys seem to eat an extraordinary amount of meat and animal products, and a surprisingly low amount of fruits and vegetables.
I would guess that's a function of an economy based on herding--much like the more modern Mongolians. A mountainous country with relatively less area for large-scale agriculture in times when supply-chain infrastructure was more primitive. The Med was not always safe either. Pirates, etc. There must have been a greater concentration of people living in the hills.