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Environmental Reconstruction at La Quemada, Zacateca, Mexico Through Stable Isotope Analysis of Leporid Bones

Author(s): Andrew D. Somerville ; Cheyenne Butcher ; Margaret J. Schoeninger ; Ben A. Nelson

Year: 2015

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Reconstructing the interactions between past environments and the expansion and secession of complex societies plays an important role in our understanding of their social development. Stable isotope analysis of faunal bone is a useful tool in reconstructing past environments and can give insight into the social-environmental dynamics of past civilizations. In this poster we present results from the stable isotope analysis of leporid bones (N=79) excavated from stratified midden deposits in the archaeological site of La Quemada, Zacatecas, Mexico. The results of δ13C and δ18O in bone apatite and δ13C and δ15N in collagen were used to create a profile of the local environment and to explore possible temporal changes. Our results suggest significant environmental changes taking place throughout the Epiclassic Period (600-900 AD). These results improve our understanding of the cultural history of La Quemada and increase our knowledge of social-environmental dynamics across the northern frontier of Mesoamerica.

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Environmental Reconstruction at La Quemada, Zacateca, Mexico Through Stable Isotope Analysis of Leporid Bones. Cheyenne Butcher, Andrew D. Somerville, Ben A. Nelson, Margaret J. Schoeninger. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397958)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -107.271; min lat: 12.383 ; max long: -86.353; max lat: 23.08 ;

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