Holocene seasonality, mobility, and diet at Niah Cave (Sarawak, East Malaysia): new isotope results on rainforest foragers and farmers?
Assessment of fine-grained proxies to infer paleoclimate and paleoecology in tropical Southeast Asia is hampered by the coarseness of the archaeological record. Advances in technology, however, do permit fresh insights into past rainforest ecologies using isotope ratios from tooth enamel, albeit with very real spatial and temporal limitations. This is especially true for isotopic analysis of incremental growth layers in human tooth enamel. In this paper, oxygen and carbon isotope ratios are reported for ‘bulk’ and serially sampled molars recovered from Holocene deposits at Niah Cave (northern Borneo). These data are coupled with ‘bulk’ strontium and lead isotope ratios derived from the same tooth. Oxygen and carbon data, respectively, reflect sequential events of seasonality and diet of each individual sampled, whereas lead and strontium reflect inferred dietary catchment. The data show a complex pattern of life history for different individuals and groups of individuals interred at the site, and underscore diverse patterns of mobility and subsistence. Results are examined against Holocene climate variables in the region. For example, oxygen and carbon results of ‘Neolithic’ individuals show increased subannual variation, which may correlate with increased incidence of El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) variability during and after the Holocene thermal maximum.
Cite this Record
Holocene seasonality, mobility, and diet at Niah Cave (Sarawak, East Malaysia): new isotope results on rainforest foragers and farmers?. John Krigbaum, Lindsay Lloyd-Smith, Bryan Tucker, Benjamin Valentine, George Kamenov. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 402877)
This Resource is Part of the Following Collections
min long: 66.885; min lat: -8.928 ; max long: 147.568; max lat: 54.059 ;