Human Coprolite Diet Reconstruction Confirms Wetland Resource Use in the Coast of the Atacama Desert, 6580 cal. yr BP
It has been proposed that Chinchorro coastal people along the Atacama Desert in northern Chile had marginal access to plant food, a position refuted by recent scholars. The older perspective comes from bone chemistry analyses which showed a nearly exclusive reliance on marine animal resources. Newer analyses of mummy gut contents shows a substantial reliance on wetland plant resources, especially sedge rhizomes and seeds. Therefore, existing analyses present very different ideas of Chinchorro diet. We undertook the analysis of 16 coprolites from two Chinchorro sites. The analysis of pollen from these sites demonstrates two further uses of different plant communities beyond sedge wetlands. At one site, polleniferous cattail flower heads were eaten. The second site shows an exploitation of desert scrublands where mesquite, acacia and goosefoot were available. These data expand our knowledge of Chinchorro use of wetland and dryland plant communities.
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Human Coprolite Diet Reconstruction Confirms Wetland Resource Use in the Coast of the Atacama Desert, 6580 cal. yr BP. Karl Reinhard, Luz Ramirez de Bryson, Nicole Searcey, Isabel Teixeira-Santos, Calogero Santoro. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431016)
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min long: -93.691; min lat: -56.945 ; max long: -31.113; max lat: 18.48 ;
Abstract Id(s): 16764