The Dietary Importance of Maize and Aquatic Resources during the Regional Development Period at El Dornajo, Southwest Ecuador
Earlier studies of subsistence at the site of El Dornajo in southwestern Ecuador examined faunal, macro- and macro-botanical remains. These studies indicated that residents consumed large quantities of shellfish and marine fish during both the Formative and Regional Development periods (2800 BC – 700 AD), with a marked decrease and differential access based on socioeconomic status in the later period. It has been hypothesized that site residents increased their reliance on domesticated plant foods, especially maize, in order to compensate for decreased consumption of marine foods. While no physical evidence for maize has been found, there exists a chance for bias based on poor preservation and sampling.
In order to better address dietary practices at the site and test the maize hypothesis, stable isotope and elemental analysis of 16 elite and non-elite individuals from the Regional Development period were conducted. Bone collagen carbon and nitrogen, and bone apatite and tooth enamel carbon and oxygen isotope ratios were determined, along with calcium, strontium, and barium elemental values.The isotopic results reinforce previous conclusions concerning diet at El Dornajo, including the lack of evidence for maize. We, therefore, conclude that any increased reliance on plant foods focused on other indigenous plant resources.
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The Dietary Importance of Maize and Aquatic Resources during the Regional Development Period at El Dornajo, Southwest Ecuador. Sarah Taylor, Robert H. Tykot. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 442836)
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min long: -82.441; min lat: -56.17 ; max long: -64.863; max lat: 16.636 ;
Abstract Id(s): 19892