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Multicomponent analyses of prehistoric Fijian diet: Stable isotopes of bone collagen and carbonate

Author(s): Amy Commendador ; John Dudgeon ; Rebecca Hazard ; Julie Field

Year: 2017

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Several studies have provided stable isotopic insights into prehistoric Fijian diet via carbon and nitrogen analyses of bone collagen, with recent reports suggesting a diet of predominantly C3 plants though with some individuals exhibiting significant input from lower trophic level marine resources. Here we add to these studies by incorporating both a larger sample size from several sites on Viti Levu and a combined analysis of isotope data obtained from human bone collagen and carbonate. The combined analyses of collagen and carbonate may provide a more accurate understanding of prehistoric subsistence, as collagen represents primarily protein intake while carbonates have been shown to record whole diet and may enhance our understanding of the incorporation of low protein sources. While bone carbonate data has the potential to clarify input from low protein sources, this matrix is more susceptible to diagenetic alteration. We also present ATR-FTIR analyses of all bone samples to understand potential diagenetic signatures and validate carbonate isotopic data. Lastly, prehistoric diet will be examined in light of a modern isotopic food web being developed for Viti Levu.

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Multicomponent analyses of prehistoric Fijian diet: Stable isotopes of bone collagen and carbonate. Amy Commendador, John Dudgeon, Rebecca Hazard, Julie Field. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431787)


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Spatial Coverage

min long: 111.973; min lat: -52.052 ; max long: -87.715; max lat: 53.331 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 17160

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