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Investigating the nature and timing of the earliest human occupation of North America using a novel integration of biogeochemistry and micromorphology

Author(s): Lisa-Marie Shillito ; Tom Stafford ; Dennis Jenkins ; Ian Bull

Year: 2017

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Summary

Paisley Caves, Oregon, is one of the key sites in current debates surrounding the peopling of the Americas. Ancient DNA evidence for human occupation of the cave has been debated, and coprolites have been said to be visually dissimilar to human faeces. This has implications for how we understand early occupation and migration in this part of North America. Our project will contribute to this debate, using a novel integration of biogeochemistry and sediment microstratigraphy. The aim is to assess the taphonomy of faecal biomarkers within the cave sediments, alongside secure dating through compound specific 14C of lipid residues. By analysing lipid biomarkers, this project will identify the species of a large collection of coprolites from the cave, as well as investigating the dietary evidence contained within them. Compound specific 14C will provide very precise dates for occupation, which can be linked with the dietary evidence to assess seasonality of occupation and resource use.


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Investigating the nature and timing of the earliest human occupation of North America using a novel integration of biogeochemistry and micromorphology. Lisa-Marie Shillito, Tom Stafford, Dennis Jenkins, Ian Bull. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 428833)


Keywords


Spatial Coverage

min long: -122.761; min lat: 29.917 ; max long: -109.27; max lat: 42.553 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 13225

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