Isotopes of Coastal Ecuador


A preliminary report is presented on research into the diet, health, and mobility patterns for prehistoric coastal Ecuador, based on an analysis of both modern data and archaeological data from Site 035 Salango. An assessment of dietary habits provides insight into a broad range of societal developments, such as the implementation and timing of maize agriculture. Additional insights are provided by an osteological evaluation of human remains, with a particular focus on evidence of pathologies associated with diet. Establishing whether the individuals were born locally, as well as the geographic place of origin for non-native individuals, yields insight into social and economic aspects from the past.

Starting with an isotopic baseline for the coastal region of Ecuador, derived from contemporary water, soil, flora, and fauna samples, together with selected archaeological samples, we can compare the isotopic content of human remains to draw conclusions about the deceased’s diet and residences. Preliminary results are presented based on archaeological samples of four individuals and contemporaneous fauna derived from three distinct tomb burials from the Manteno culture. Individual teeth and bone samples from the same individual are utilized to construct a comprehensive life history to provide insights into patterns of diet and migration.

Cite this Record

Isotopes of Coastal Ecuador. Laura Van Voorhis, Valentina Martinez, Nicole Jastremski, John Krigbaum. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429067)

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Coastal Ecuador Isotopes

Geographic Keywords
South America

Spatial Coverage

min long: -93.691; min lat: -56.945 ; max long: -31.113; max lat: 18.48 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15291