ResearchPad - isotope-analysis https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Zinc isotope variations in archeological human teeth (Lapa do Santo, Brazil) reveal dietary transitions in childhood and no contamination from gloves]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14585 Zinc (Zn) isotope ratios of dental enamel are a promising tracer for dietary reconstruction in archeology, but its use is still in its infancy. A recent study demonstrated a high risk of Zn contamination from nitrile, and latex gloves used during chemical sample preparation. Here we assess the potential impact of the use of such gloves during enamel sampling on the Zn isotope composition of teeth from a population of early Holocene hunter gatherers from Lapa do Santo, Lagoa Santa, Minas Gerais, Brazil. We first examined the amount of Zn and its isotopic composition released from the gloves used in this study by soaking them in weak nitric acid and water. We compared Zn isotope ratios obtained from teeth that were sampled wearing nitrile, latex or no gloves. Finally, we performed a linear mixed model (LMM) to investigate post hoc the relationship between the gloves used for sampling and the Zn isotope variability in dental enamel. We found that the gloves used in this study released a similar amount of Zn compared to previous work, but only in acidic solution. Zn isotope ratios of teeth and the LMM identified no sign of significant Zn coming from the gloves when teeth were handled for enamel sampling. We hypothesize that Zn in gloves is mostly released by contact with acids. We found that the main source of Zn isotope variability in the Lapa do Santo population was related to the developmental stage of the tooth tissues sampled. We report identical results for two individuals coming from a different archeological context. Tooth enamel formed in utero and/or during the two first years of life showed higher Zn isotope ratios than enamel formed after weaning. More work is required to systematically investigate if Zn isotopes can be used as a breastfeeding tracer.

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<![CDATA[A mass sacrifice of children and camelids at the Huanchaquito-Las Llamas site, Moche Valley, Peru]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c897756d5eed0c4847d2a4c

Here we report the results of excavation and interdisciplinary study of the largest child and camelid sacrifice known from the New World. Stratigraphy, associated artifacts, and radiocarbon dating indicate that it was a single mass killing of more than 140 children and over 200 camelids directed by the Chimú state, c. AD 1450. Preliminary DNA analysis indicates that both boys and girls were chosen for sacrifice. Variability in forms of cranial modification (head shaping) and stable isotope analysis of carbon and nitrogen suggest that the children were a heterogeneous sample drawn from multiple regions and ethnic groups throughout the Chimú state. The Huanchaquito-Las Llamas mass sacrifice opens a new window on a previously unknown sacrificial ritual from fifteenth century northern coastal Peru. While the motivation for such a massive sacrifice is a subject for further research, there is archaeological evidence that it was associated with a climatic event (heavy rainfall and flooding) that could have impacted the economic, political and ideological stability of one of the most powerful states in the New World during the fifteenth century A.D.

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<![CDATA[Age structure of the Australian lungfish (Neoceratodus forsteri)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c52180fd5eed0c484796f65

The Australian lungfish has been studied for more than a century without any knowledge of the longevity of the species. Traditional methods for ageing fish, such as analysis of otolith (ear stone) rings is complicated in that lungfish otoliths differ from teleost fish in composition. As otolith sampling is also lethal, this is not appropriate for a protected species listed under Australian legislation. Lungfish scales were removed from 500 fish from the Brisbane, Burnett and Mary rivers. A sub–sample of scales (85) were aged using bomb radiocarbon techniques and validated using scales marked previously with oxytetracycline. Lungfish ages ranged from 2.5–77 years of age. Estimated population age structures derived using an Age Length Key revealed different recruitment patterns between river systems. There were statistically significant von Bertalanffy growth model parameters estimated for each of the three rivers based on limited sample sizes. In addition, length frequency distributions between river systems were also significantly different. Further studies will be conducted to review drivers that may explain these inter-river differences.

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<![CDATA[Dorset Pre-Inuit and Beothuk foodways in Newfoundland, ca. AD 500-1829]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3d0114d5eed0c4840381ce

Archaeological research on the Canadian island of Newfoundland increasingly demonstrates that the island’s subarctic climate and paucity of terrestrial food resources did not restrict past Pre-Inuit (Dorset) and Native American (Beothuk) hunter-gatherer populations to a single subsistence pattern. This study first sought to characterize hunter-gatherer diets over the past 1500 years; and second, to assess the impact of European colonization on Beothuk lifeways by comparing the bone chemistry of Beothuk skeletal remains before and after the intensification of European settlement in the early 18th century. We employed radiocarbon dating and stable carbon and nitrogen isotope ratio analysis of bulk bone collagen from both Dorset (n = 9) and Beothuk (n = 13) cultures, including a naturally mummified 17th century Beothuk individual. Carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis of 108 faunal samples from Dorset and Beothuk archaeological sites around the island were used as a dietary baseline for the humans. We combined our results with previously published isotope data and radiocarbon dates from Dorset (n = 12) and Beothuk (n = 18) individuals and conducted a palaeodietary analysis using Bayesian modelling, cluster analysis and comparative statistical tests. Dorset diets featured more marine protein than those of the Beothuk, and the diets of Beothuk after the 18th century featured less high trophic level marine protein than those of individuals predating the 18th century. Despite inhabiting the same island, Dorset and Beothuk cultures employed markedly different dietary strategies, consistent with interpretations of other archaeological data. Significantly, European colonization had a profound effect on Beothuk lifeways, as in response to the increasing European presence on the coast, the Beothuk relied more extensively on the limited resources of the island’s boreal forests and rivers.

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<![CDATA[Bioarchaeological evidence of decapitation from Pacopampa in the northern Peruvian highlands]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3e4f32d5eed0c484d72cf7

Little is known about the precise date of the emergence of decapitation in a ritual context and the presence of systematic postmortem modification patterns in the ancient Central Andes. The ceremonial complex at Pacopampa in the northern Peruvian highlands provides early osteological evidence of decapitation in six individuals dating to the latter half of the Late–Final Formative Periods (500–50 BC) and to the Early Cajamarca Period (AD 200–450). Based on osteological evidence, and when taken together with archaeological settings and settlement patterns, researchers can be certain that those whose heads were disembodied were not likely to have been involved in organized battles. In addition, the similarities in the cut-mark distribution, direction, and cross-sectional morphology of each individual's remains, as well as the characteristics of selected individuals, imply that the decapitated individuals were carefully prepared using a standardized method and that those who modified the heads may have been professional decapitators. This study offers indisputable bioarchaeological evidence of ritualistic offerings of human skulls and systematic postmortem modification patterns, which is consistent with a contemporaneous iconographic motif of decapitation and extends the chronology of this practice back to the Formative Period in the northern Peruvian highlands.

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<![CDATA[Flows of people in villages and large centres in Bronze Age Italy through strontium and oxygen isotopes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3fa5e7d5eed0c484ca9ecb

This study investigates to what extent Bronze Age societies in Northern Italy were permeable accepting and integrating non-local individuals, as well as importing a wide range of raw materials, commodities, and ideas from networks spanning continental Europe and the Mediterranean.

During the second millennium BC, the communities of Northern Italy engaged in a progressive stabilization of settlements, culminating in the large polities of the end of the Middle/beginning of the Late Bronze Age pivoted around large defended centres (the Terramare). Although a wide range of exotic archaeological materials indicates that the inhabitants of the Po plain increasingly took part in the networks of Continental European and the Eastern Mediterranean, we should not overlook the fact that the dynamics of interaction were also extremely active on local and regional levels.

Mobility patterns have been explored for three key-sites, spanning the Early to Late Bronze Age (1900–1100 BC), namely Sant’Eurosia, Casinalbo and Fondo Paviani, through strontium and oxygen isotope analysis on a large sample size (more than 100 individuals). The results, integrated with osteological and archaeological data, document for the first time in this area that movements of people occurred mostly within a territorial radius of 50 km, but also that larger nodes in the settlement system (such as Fondo Paviani) included individuals from more distant areas. This suggests that, from a demographic perspective, the process towards a more complex socio-political system in Bronze Age Northern Italy was triggered by a largely, but not completely, internal process, stemming from the dynamics of intra-polity networks and local/regional power relationships.

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<![CDATA[Tracing long-term demographic changes: The issue of spatial scales]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3667edd5eed0c4841a6986

This paper deals with the analysis of long-term changes in population densities at the regional and macro-regional scale and in the density of metapopulations. The following issues concerning estimations are addressed: chronological resolution of demographic changes, estimation of the weight of values for population density in order to transform the initial values included in the sample into the values that may be compared with each other at the regional scale, calibration of the transformed values into real population densities, and the estimation of the weight of values for population density at the scales of macro-regions and for the density of metapopulations. The proposed methods are tested on demographic changes in Central Europe, Southern Scandinavia, Southeastern Europe, and the Near East. The obtained results represent major trends in demographic development, while the proposed methodology could also be applied in other wide-scale demographic analyses.

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<![CDATA[Leprosy at the edge of Europe—Biomolecular, isotopic and osteoarchaeological findings from medieval Ireland]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c2d2e50d5eed0c484d9931e

Relatively little is known of leprosy in Medieval Ireland; as an island located at the far west of Europe it has the potential to provide interesting insights in relation to the historical epidemiology of the disease. To this end the study focuses on five cases of probable leprosy identified in human skeletal remains excavated from inhumation burials. Three of the individuals derived from the cemetery of St Michael Le Pole, Golden Lane, Dublin, while single examples were also identified from Ardreigh, Co. Kildare, and St Patrick’s Church, Armoy, Co. Antrim. The individuals were radiocarbon dated and examined biomolecularly for evidence of either of the causative pathogens, M. leprae or M. lepromatosis. Oxygen and strontium isotopes were measured in tooth enamel and rib samples to determine where the individuals had spent their formative years and to ascertain if they had undertaken any recent migrations. We detected M. leprae DNA in the three Golden Lane cases but not in the probable cases from either Ardreigh Co. Kildare or Armoy, Co. Antrim. M. lepromatosis was not detected in any of the burals. DNA preservation was sufficiently robust to allow genotyping of M. leprae strains in two of the Golden Lane burials, SkCXCV (12-13th century) and SkCCXXX (11-13th century). These strains were found to belong on different lineages of the M. leprae phylogenetic tree, namely branches 3 and 2 respectively. Whole genome sequencing was also attempted on these two isolates with a view to gaining further information but poor genome coverage precluded phylogenetic analysis. Data from the biomolecular study was combined with osteological, isotopic and radiocarbon dating to provide a comprehensive and multidisciplinary study of the Irish cases. Strontium and oxygen isotopic analysis indicate that two of the individuals from Golden Lane (SkCXLVIII (10-11th century) and SkCXCV) were of Scandinavian origin, while SkCCXXX may have spent his childhood in the north of Ireland or central Britain. We propose that the Vikings were responsible for introducing leprosy to Ireland. This work adds to our knowledge of the likely origins of leprosy in Medieval Ireland and will hopefully stimulate further research into the history and spread of this ancient disease across the world.

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<![CDATA[Fine Endmesolithic fish caviar meal discovered by proteomics in foodcrusts from archaeological site Friesack 4 (Brandenburg, Germany)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c0841b4d5eed0c484fca81b

The role of aquatic resources in ancient economies and paleodiet is important for understanding the evolution of prehistorical societies. Charred food remains from ancient pottery are valuable molecular evidence of dietary habits in antiquity. However, conventional archaeometric approaches applied in their analysis lack organismal specificity, are affected by abundant environmental contaminants, do not elucidate food processing recipes and are limited in the inland regions where diverse dietary resources are available. We performed proteomics analysis of charred organic deposits adhered on early ceramics from Mesolithic-Neolithic inland site Friesack 4 (Brandenburg, Germany). One of pots—a small coarse bowl radiocarbon dated to the end of the 5th millennium BC—was attributed to Endmesolithic pottery. Proteomics of foodcrust from this vessel identified fine carp roe meal and revealed details of a prehistorical culinary recipe. Ancient proteins were unequivocally distinguished from contemporary contaminants by computing deamidation ratios of glutamine residues. These data paint a broader picture of the site-specific exploitation of aquatic resources and contribute to better understanding of the dietary context of Neolithic transition in European inland.

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<![CDATA[The bat community of Haiti and evidence for its long-term persistence at high elevations]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5cab0ee8fa60be02c4

Accurate accounts of both living and fossil mammal communities are critical for creating biodiversity inventories and understanding patterns of changing species diversity through time. We combined data from from14 new fossil localities with literature accounts and museum records to document the bat biodiversity of Haiti through time. We also report an assemblage of late-Holocene (1600–600 Cal BP) bat fossils from a montane cave (Trouing Jean Paul, ~1825m) in southern Haiti. The nearly 3000 chiropteran fossils from Trouing Jean Paul represent 15 species of bats including nine species endemic to the Caribbean islands. The fossil bat assemblage from Trouing Jean Paul is dominated by species still found on Hispaniola (15 of 15 species), much as with the fossil bird assemblage from the same locality (22 of 23 species). Thus, both groups of volant vertebrates demonstrate long-term resilience, at least at high elevations, to the past 16 centuries of human presence on the island.

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<![CDATA[Across the Gap: Geochronological and Sedimentological Analyses from the Late Pleistocene-Holocene Sequence of Goda Buticha, Southeastern Ethiopia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db4fab0ee8fa60bdbb24

Goda Buticha is a cave site near Dire Dawa in southeastern Ethiopia that contains an archaeological sequence sampling the late Pleistocene and Holocene of the region. The sedimentary sequence displays complex cultural, chronological and sedimentological histories that seem incongruent with one another. A first set of radiocarbon ages suggested a long sedimentological gap from the end of Marine Isotopic Stage (MIS) 3 to the mid-Holocene. Macroscopic observations suggest that the main sedimentological change does not coincide with the chronostratigraphic hiatus. The cultural sequence shows technological continuity with a late persistence of artifacts that are usually attributed to the Middle Stone Age into the younger parts of the stratigraphic sequence, yet become increasingly associated with lithic artifacts typically related to the Later Stone Age. While not a unique case, this combination of features is unusual in the Horn of Africa. In order to evaluate the possible implications of these observations, sedimentological analyses combined with optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) were conducted. The OSL data now extend the radiocarbon chronology up to 63 ± 7 ka; they also confirm the existence of the chronological gap between 24.8 ± 2.6 ka and 7.5 ± 0.3 ka. The sedimentological analyses suggest that the origin and mode of deposition were largely similar throughout the whole sequence, although the anthropic and faunal activities increased in the younger levels. Regional climatic records are used to support the sedimentological observations and interpretations. We discuss the implications of the sedimentological and dating analyses for understanding cultural processes in the region.

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<![CDATA[The Development and Characteristics of Ancient Harbours—Applying the PADM Chart to the Case Studies of Ostia and Portus]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dab9ab0ee8fa60badf9d

Over the last 20 years, the geoarchaeology of ancient harbours has been a very active area of research around the Mediterranean basin, generating much palaeoenvironmental data from many sites, including estimations of sedimentation rates, the height of the ancient sea-level at different dates and palaeo-geographical reconstructions. Combining this information has proved a major challenge. This article proposes a new chart called the Palaeoenvironmental Age-Depth Model (PADM chart), that allows the researchers to combine all relevant indicators in order to estimate harbour potential of a given ancient port, and to generate comparable data between harbours in terms of degree of closure and water depth available against a synchronised chronology. This new approach, developed in the context of the ERC-funded RoMP Portuslimen project, takes into account estimations of water depths relating to differing Roman ship draughts at different periods. It is tested against the palaeoenvironmental evidence published over 10 years from two Roman harbours located at the mouth of the river Tiber: Ostia and Portus. This reveals that: (1) there has been an underestimate of the real sedimentation rates due to the margins of error of the radiocarbon dates; (2) there was effective control of the water column by dredging; (3) there were different periods of control of the sedimentation. We suggest that the navigability of the Ostia harbour by ships with shallower draughts was maintained until sometime between the 2nd c. BC and 1st c. AD, while at Portus it was retained until the 6th—7th c. AD.

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<![CDATA[An Enduring Shell Artefact Tradition from Timor-Leste: Oliva Bead Production from the Pleistocene to Late Holocene at Jerimalai, Lene Hara, and Matja Kuru 1 and 2]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da26ab0ee8fa60b80be9

In this paper, we describe 485 Oliva spp. shell beads recovered from four archaeological cave sites Jerimalai, Lene Hara, Matja Kuru 1, and Matja Kuru 2, located in Timor-Leste, Island Southeast Asia. While Pleistocene-aged examples of modified marine shells used for personal ornamentation are common in African and Eurasian assemblages, they are exceedingly rare in Southeast Asia, leading some researchers to suggest that these Modern Human societies were less complex than those found further west. In Timor-Leste, the lowest Oliva bead to be recovered was directly dated to ca. 37,000 cal. BP, making it the oldest piece of personal ornamentation in Southeast Asia. Morphometric, taphonomic, use wear, and residue analyses of these beads alongside modern reference specimens, and experimentally made examples indicate that the Oliva shells were modified to be strung consecutively (as in a necklace), and while their mode of production changed remarkably little over the thousands of years they were utilised, an increase in their deposition around 6,000 cal. BP suggests that there was a change in their use coinciding with sea-level stabilisation. These tiny beads demonstrate that early Island Southeast Asian societies produced the same kinds of symbolic material culture we have come to expect from the more intensively studied African/Eurasian region, and that limited sampling and poor recovery methods have biased our perspectives of this region.

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<![CDATA[Divergence in the evolution of Paleolithic symbolic and technological systems: The shining bull and engraved tablets of Rocher de l'Impératrice]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db50ab0ee8fa60bdbe38

The development of the Azilian in Western Europe 14,000 years ago is considered a “revolution” in Upper Paleolithic Archaeology. One of the main elements of this rapid social restructuring is the abandonment of naturalistic figurative art on portable pieces or on cave walls in the Magdalenian in favor of abstract expression on small pebbles. Recent work shows that the transformation of human societies between the Magdalenian and the Azilian was more gradual. The discovery of a new Early Azilian site with decorated stones in France supports this hypothesis. While major changes in stone tool technology between the Magdalenian and Azilian clearly mark important adaptive changes, the discovery of 45 engraved schist tablets from archaeological layers at Le Rocher de l’Impératrice attests to iconographic continuity together with special valorization of aurochs as shown by a “shining” bull depiction. This evidence suggests that some cultural features such as iconography may lag far behind technological changes. We also argue that eventual change in symbolic expression, which includes the later disappearance of figurative art, provides new insight into the probable restructuring of the societies.

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<![CDATA[Towards an Accurate and Precise Chronology for the Colonization of Australia: The Example of Riwi, Kimberley, Western Australia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da3fab0ee8fa60b8983d

An extensive series of 44 radiocarbon (14C) and 37 optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) ages have been obtained from the site of Riwi, south central Kimberley (NW Australia). As one of the earliest known Pleistocene sites in Australia, with archaeologically sterile sediment beneath deposits containing occupation, the chronology of the site is important in renewed debates surrounding the colonization of Sahul. Charcoal is preserved throughout the sequence and within multiple discrete hearth features. Prior to 14C dating, charcoal has been pretreated with both acid-base-acid (ABA) and acid base oxidation-stepped combustion (ABOx-SC) methods at multiple laboratories. Ages are consistent between laboratories and also between the two pretreatment methods, suggesting that contamination is easily removed from charcoal at Riwi and the Pleistocene ages are likely to be accurate. Whilst some charcoal samples recovered from outside hearth features are identified as outliers within a Bayesian model, all ages on charcoal within hearth features are consistent with stratigraphy. OSL dating has been undertaken using single quartz grains from the sandy matrix. The majority of samples show De distributions that are well-bleached but that also include evidence for mixing as a result of post-depositional bioturbation of the sediment. The results of the two techniques are compared and evaluated within a Bayesian model. Consistency between the two methods is good, and we demonstrate human occupation at this site from 46.4–44.6 cal kBP (95.4% probability range). Importantly, the lowest archaeological horizon at Riwi is underlain by sterile sediments which have been dated by OSL making it possible to demonstrate the absence of human occupation for between 0.9–5.2 ka (68.2% probability range) prior to occupation.

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<![CDATA[Queen Nefertari, the Royal Spouse of Pharaoh Ramses II: A Multidisciplinary Investigation of the Mummified Remains Found in Her Tomb (QV66)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da2cab0ee8fa60b82d5c

Queen Nefertari, the favourite Royal Consort of Pharaoh Ramses II (Ancient Egypt, New Kingdom, 19th Dynasty c. 1250 BC) is famous for her beautifully decorated tomb in the Valley of the Queens. Her burial was plundered in ancient times yet still many objects were found broken in the debris when the tomb was excavated. Amongst the found objects was a pair of mummified legs. They came to the Egyptian Museum in Turin and are henceforth regarded as the remains of this famous Queen, although they were never scientifically investigated. The following multidisciplinary investigation is the first ever performed on those remains. The results (radiocarbon dating, anthropology, paleopathology, genetics, chemistry and Egyptology) all strongly speak in favour of an identification of the remains as Nefertari’s, although different explanations—albeit less likely—are considered and discussed. The legs probably belong to a lady, a fully adult individual, of about 40 years of age. The materials used for embalming are consistent with Ramesside mummification traditions and indeed all objects within the tomb robustly support the burial as of Queen Nefertari.

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<![CDATA[Earliest Human Presence in North America Dated to the Last Glacial Maximum: New Radiocarbon Dates from Bluefish Caves, Canada]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9e7ab0ee8fa60b6bb4c

The timing of the first entry of humans into North America is still hotly debated within the scientific community. Excavations conducted at Bluefish Caves (Yukon Territory) from 1977 to 1987 yielded a series of radiocarbon dates that led archaeologists to propose that the initial dispersal of human groups into Eastern Beringia (Alaska and the Yukon Territory) occurred during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). This hypothesis proved highly controversial in the absence of other sites of similar age and concerns about the stratigraphy and anthropogenic signature of the bone assemblages that yielded the dates. The weight of the available archaeological evidence suggests that the first peopling of North America occurred ca. 14,000 cal BP (calibrated years Before Present), i.e., well after the LGM. Here, we report new AMS radiocarbon dates obtained on cut-marked bone samples identified during a comprehensive taphonomic analysis of the Bluefish Caves fauna. Our results demonstrate that humans occupied the site as early as 24,000 cal BP (19,650 ± 130 14C BP). In addition to proving that Bluefish Caves is the oldest known archaeological site in North America, the results offer archaeological support for the “Beringian standstill hypothesis”, which proposes that a genetically isolated human population persisted in Beringia during the LGM and dispersed from there to North and South America during the post-LGM period.

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<![CDATA[Animal Management at the Ancient Metropolis of Teotihuacan, Mexico: Stable Isotope Analysis of Leporid (Cottontail and Jackrabbit) Bone Mineral]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da04ab0ee8fa60b754b7

Human-animal interactions have played crucial roles in the development of complex societies across the globe. This study examines the human-leporid (cottontail and jackrabbit) relationship at the pre-Hispanic (AD 1–550) city of Teotihuacan in the Basin of Mexico and tests the hypothesis that leporids were managed or bred for food and secondary products within the urban core. We use stable isotope analysis (δ13Capatite and δ18Oapatite) of 134 leporid specimens from five archaeological contexts within the city and 13 modern specimens from across central Mexico to quantify aspects of leporid diet and ecology. The results demonstrate that leporids from Oztoyahualco, a residential complex associated with a unique rabbit sculpture and archaeological traces of animal butchering, exhibit the highest δ13Capatite values of the sample. These results imply greater consumption of human-cultivated foods, such as maize (Zea mays), by cottontails and jackrabbits at this complex and suggest practices of human provisioning. A lack of significant differences in δ18Oapatite values between ancient and modern leporids and between Oztoyahualco and other locations within Teotihuacan indicates generally similar relative humidity from sampled contexts. Results of this study support the notion that residents provisioned, managed, or bred leporids during the height of the city, and provide new evidence for mammalian animal husbandry in the ancient New World.

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<![CDATA[Measures of Relative Dentary Strength in Rancho La Brea Smilodon fatalis over Time]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da46ab0ee8fa60b8bdb8

The late Pleistocene megafaunal extinction of approximately 12,000 years ago, included the demise of Smilodon fatalis, a hypercarnivore from the Rancho La Brea deposits, which has been studied across time by looking at different deposits or pits to determine morphological size and shape changes and trends during this time. To better understand functional aspects of these changes, this study focused on a measure of jaw strength over time, which can give an indication of morphological changes within the jaw that cannot be seen using surface morphometrics. By radiographing dentaries, cortical bone can be seen, which provides an estimate of resistance to bending forces while biting, and can be measured and used as an indicator of jaw strength. Measurements were taken at repeatable locations on the dentary of the depth of the cortical bone, and of a standardized measure of cortical bone, which allows for the comparison between different individuals. Specimens included those of five different pits ranging from about 37 Kybp to 13 Kybp (just before the extinction of S. fatalis). No significant difference was found in the depth of jaws at any of the measurement points from any of the pits. However, significant differences were found in both the actual thickness of cortical bone, and the standardized thickness of cortical bone at the lower P4 between pit 13 (which had the lowest amount of bone) and pit 61/67 (which had the highest). These conclusions support other studies that have shown that individuals in pit 13 were under physiological and perhaps dietary stress, which may be reflected in the deposition of cortical bone, while the opposite trend is seen in the individuals in pit 61/67. Our results further support findings suggesting Smilodon did not appear to be morphologically most vulnerable right before its extinction.

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<![CDATA[The Arrival of Homo sapiens into the Southern Cone at 14,000 Years Ago]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9dbab0ee8fa60b67b33

The Arroyo Seco 2 site contains a rich archaeological record, exceptional for South America, to explain the expansion of Homo sapiens into the Americas and their interaction with extinct Pleistocene mammals. The following paper provides a detailed overview of material remains found in the earliest cultural episodes at this multi-component site, dated between ca. 12,170 14C yrs B.P. (ca. 14,064 cal yrs B.P.) and 11,180 14C yrs B.P. (ca. 13,068 cal yrs B.P.). Evidence of early occupations includes the presence of lithic tools, a concentration of Pleistocene species remains, human-induced fractured animal bones, and a selection of skeletal parts of extinct fauna. The occurrence of hunter-gatherers in the Southern Cone at ca. 14,000 cal yrs B.P. is added to the growing list of American sites that indicate a human occupation earlier than the Clovis dispersal episode, but posterior to the onset of the deglaciation of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) in the North America.

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