tDAR Logo tDAR digital antiquity

Stable isotope analysis of permafrost-preserved human hair and faunal remains from Nunalleq, Alaska: dietary variation, climate change and the pre-contact Arctic food-web

Author(s): Kate Britton ; Rick Knecht ; Ellen McManus ; Mike Richards ; Olaf Nehlich

Year: 2015

» Downloads & Basic Metadata

Summary

The reconstruction of diet and subsistence strategies is integral to understanding past societies and human-environment interactions. Here we present stable carbon, nitrogen and sulphur isotope data from non-mortuary human hair and faunal remains from the site of Nunalleq, Alaska. Spanning the Little Ice Age (c.1350 to 1650 AD), this large, complex and well-preserved site offers a near-unique opportunity to reconstruct the pre-contact Arctic food-web and to explore temporal and site-spatial variations in human diet and subsistence. Overall data suggest a mixed diet (including marine and terrestrial protein), but inter-individual isotopic variations suggest intra-group differences in the consumption of higher trophic level foods. The analysis of longer strands of hair, permitting the reconstruction of time-series dietary information, indicates both seasonal dietary homogeneity and heterogeneity amongst different individuals. The implications for our understanding of geographical, temporal and socio-cultural complexity in pre-contact Arctic subsistence will be explored.

SAA 2015 abstracts made available in tDAR courtesy of the Society for American Archaeology and Center for Digital Antiquity Collaborative Program to improve digital data in archaeology. If you are the author of this presentation you may upload your paper, poster, presentation, or associated data (up to 3 files/30MB) for free. Please visit http://www.tdar.org/SAA2015 for instructions and more information.


This Resource is Part of the Following Collections


Cite this Record

Stable isotope analysis of permafrost-preserved human hair and faunal remains from Nunalleq, Alaska: dietary variation, climate change and the pre-contact Arctic food-web. Kate Britton, Ellen McManus, Rick Knecht, Olaf Nehlich, Mike Richards. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395826)


Keywords

Geographic Keywords
Arctic


Spatial Coverage

min long: -178.41; min lat: 62.104 ; max long: 178.77; max lat: 83.52 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America