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Reconstructing Mobility in the San Francisco Bay Area: Strontium and Oxygen Isotope Analysis at two California Late Period sites, CA-CCO-297 and CA-SCL-919

Author(s): Alex DeGeorgey ; Jelmer Eerkens ; Jeff Rosenthal ; Laura Brink

Year: 2015

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Summary

Stable isotope analysis can reconstruct individual mobility of prehistoric California on a scale that can distinguish movement between different parts of the San Francisco Bay Area. This study uses strontium and oxygen isotope analysis to compare individual mobility patterns of two Late Period sites, CA-CCO-297 and CA-SCL-919. Three life stages are used for comparison, including early childhood from first molars, early adolescence from third molars, and adulthood/time of death from bone. Isotopic ratios from bone resulted in consistent and site-specific signatures for both sites, while enamel ratios were much more variable, suggesting higher mobility during childhood and adolescence than during adulthood. CA-SCL-919 is composed mainly of non-local individuals born in a wide variety of locations, while many individuals interred at CA-CCO-297 were born locally. Both sites revealed mobility shifts from childhood to adolescence, possibly due to post- or pre-martial residence changes. The data also suggest sexual differences in movement patterns, which may inform on post-marital residence patterns. This work gives insight into ancient kinship organization in the San Francisco Bay Area, differentiates site-specific mobility patterns from life-history mobility signatures, and provides testable hypotheses on the structure of post-marital residence patterns during the Late Period of the San Francisco Bay Area.

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Reconstructing Mobility in the San Francisco Bay Area: Strontium and Oxygen Isotope Analysis at two California Late Period sites, CA-CCO-297 and CA-SCL-919. Laura Brink, Jelmer Eerkens, Alex DeGeorgey, Jeff Rosenthal. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396115)


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Spatial Coverage

min long: -125.464; min lat: 32.101 ; max long: -114.214; max lat: 42.033 ;

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