Reconstruction of diet and mobility patterns in human remains, bone and teeth, from a mortuary cave (Cueva de la Sepultura) in Tamaulipas, northeastern Mexico through stable isotope analysis
Bone and teeth were analyzed from multiple burials from a mortuary cave in the North of Mexico, dated around 1400 and 400 BC. Samples from 14 jawbones were analyzed to obtain the δ13C and δ15N of the bone collagen as well as δ13C and δ18O in bone bioapatite; M2 or M3 from the jawbones were cut into a series of layers to obtain multiple isotopic signatures from enamel, structural carbonate and collagen from the dentine of each tooth, representing different periods in the life of the individual.
δ13C of both dietary components shows a heavy reliance on C4 and CAM resources and probably maize with seasonal variations. Unusually high δ15N may represent high levels of hunting activity as well as high δ15N from 15N enriched soils or CAM plants.
The isotopic analysis supports the possibility of a mixed economy for the individuals from the mortuary cave with changes in diet related to hunting, fishing, recollecting local wild plants, as well as adopting low intensity agriculture of domesticated plants to different degrees.
Cite this Record
Reconstruction of diet and mobility patterns in human remains, bone and teeth, from a mortuary cave (Cueva de la Sepultura) in Tamaulipas, northeastern Mexico through stable isotope analysis. Isabel Casar, Pedro Morales, Ernesto Velasco, Abigail Meza. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430044)
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min long: -107.271; min lat: 12.383 ; max long: -86.353; max lat: 23.08 ;
Abstract Id(s): 16540