A Glimpse of the People of Altica: Osteological and Isotopic/Radiocarbon Analysis

Author(s): Rebecca Storey; Gina Buckley; Douglas Kennett

Year: 2017


Altica is the earliest-known settled village in the Teotihuacan Valley, and perhaps the only first-farming village site in the Basin of Mexico that has survived to modern times. Thus, it provides a rare glimpse into life during the Early-Middle Formative period. While only four burials comprising four individuals were recovered from pits dug into bedrock, each tells a unique story.Two individuals are older-aged females, the third, a middle-aged male, was accompanied by prestigious nonperishable goods. The final individual presents a mystery. This individual was a young male buried in a deviant manner, suggesting possible foul play. While all individuals have indicators of periods of poor health, stable isotopic evidence of carbon and nitrogen paint a more complete picture of the types of food these individuals consumed over their lifetime. In addition, radiogenic strontium and oxygen isotope analysis of tooth enamel help us to understand from where these individuals originated and then lived throughout late adolescence. In addition, AMS radiocarbon dating completes this story, by providing a chronology of occupation in this early farming village.

Cite this Record

A Glimpse of the People of Altica: Osteological and Isotopic/Radiocarbon Analysis. Rebecca Storey, Gina Buckley, Douglas Kennett. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429687)

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16199