Diet and Migration in Coastal Oaxaca: Identifying Effects of Political and Social Collapse through the Utilization of Stable Isotope Analysis
This study reports on diet and mobility among people living in the lower Río Verde Valley, Oaxaca, Mexico, during the Late Classic (AD 500-800) and Early Postclassic (AD 800-1200) periods, specifically focusing on how political and social collapse affected subsistence practices, diet, and human migration. Archaeological evidence suggests that Río Viejo, the region’s largest urban center before AD 800, experienced multiple periods of political fragmentation and instability during its long history, specifically during the Early Classic (AD 250 - 500) and Early Postclassic periods, making it an ideal place to test these relationships. Stable carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen isotopic analyses of human bone and tooth samples were used to reconstruct diet and migration history. Samples were extracted from the skeletal remains of twelve Late Classic and eleven Early Postclassic individuals. Stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes provided insight into maize consumption. In addition, nitrogen values indicated the exploitation of aquatic resources. Stable oxygen isotopes determined whether individuals were locals, travelers, or foreigners. Results demonstrate collapse following the Classic period led to a dietary shift that included a wider variety of resources, specifically aquatic. Human mobility also increased during this time and suggest movement within the valley and along the coast.
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Diet and Migration in Coastal Oaxaca: Identifying Effects of Political and Social Collapse through the Utilization of Stable Isotope Analysis. Jacklyn Rumberger, Sarah Barber, Arthur Joyce, Tosha Dupras, Stacie King. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431063)
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min long: -107.271; min lat: 12.383 ; max long: -86.353; max lat: 23.08 ;
Abstract Id(s): 15096