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Strontium and oxygen isotope evidence for Maritime Archaic mobility patterns at the site of Port au Choix-3, Newfoundland

Author(s): Vaughan Grimes ; Alison Harris ; Ana Duggan ; Stephanie Marciniak ; Hendrik Poinar

Year: 2017

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Recent archaeological and biomolecular investigations of the burial assemblage from the Maritime Archaic cemetery at Port au Choix-3, Newfoundland, reveal intriguing patterns of variability. New bone collagen stable isotope evidence supports significant dietary variation between individuals, and artifact-based analyses appear to indicate the site functioned as a meeting ground for different Maritime Archaic ethnic groups from within Newfoundland and the Atlantic region. When combined with previous osteological research on this burial assemblage that suggested non-specific exogamy, these new data may reflect human mobility that potentially ranged across Newfoundland and into the mainland of Atlantic Canada. To test these ideas, we measured strontium and phosphate oxygen isotopes in tooth enamel from individuals representing all burial loci at Port au Choix-3. Our strontium and oxygen data suggests a differential pattern of mobility within the burial assemblage that appears to lend support to these new theories. Here we will present these results and discuss the implications for interpreting this important Maritime Archaic site.

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Strontium and oxygen isotope evidence for Maritime Archaic mobility patterns at the site of Port au Choix-3, Newfoundland. Vaughan Grimes, Alison Harris, Ana Duggan, Stephanie Marciniak, Hendrik Poinar. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429682)


Geographic Keywords
North America - Northeast

Spatial Coverage

min long: -80.815; min lat: 39.3 ; max long: -66.753; max lat: 47.398 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 17563

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