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Analysis of microbotanical remains from dental calculus: a new approach for ancient diet studies.

Author(s): Julia Pérez Pérez ; Carmen Cristina Adriano-Moran ; Ximena Maria Chávez Balderas

Year: 2017

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Paleodiet analysis from individuals found inside the Great Temple ritual deposits have been succesfully conducted by analyzing carbon and nitrogen isotopes, with the aim of distinguishing between marine and terrestrial diets.

Recently, we incorporated microbotanical analysis of dental calculus to these studies in order to search for plants remains, with the goal of having a broad picture of ancient diet and paramasticatory use of the oral cavity.

For this purpose we selected individuals with severe dental calculus (plaque). Inside these residues we can find microbotanical remains, such as grains starch, pollen, phytoliths and fibers.

In this paper we will present preliminary results on the analysis of five individuals found inside Offering 20, all of them presenting severe dental calculus, when comparing to other skeletons discovered inside other ritual deposits.

At this point we have identified the presence of Agave sp. fibers and cells, proving that this plant was consumed not only as an alcoholic beverage during certain ceremonies, but also the maguey's heart or pine, was utilized as part of the diet.

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Analysis of microbotanical remains from dental calculus: a new approach for ancient diet studies.. Julia Pérez Pérez, Carmen Cristina Adriano-Moran, Ximena Maria Chávez Balderas. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430306)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 17633

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