Hydrogen Isotopes in Archaeological Bone Collagen: Potential Combined Influence of Meteoric Water and Protein Intake
Hydrogen isotopes in archaeological bone collagen (i.e. δ2H-collagen) are poorly understood, but can potentially facilitate new understanding of the complex relationship between trophic level (i.e. animal protein consumption) and meteoric water controls on hydrogen isotopes in omnivorous humans. These concurrent influences on human δ2H-collagen values were examined in 11 North American archaeological sites. The δ2H-collagen values were compared to bone hydroxyapatite oxygen isotopes (i.e. δ18O-HAP) and bone collagen nitrogen isotopes (i.e. δ15N-collagen), which are proxies for meteoric water influence and amount of consumed protein, respectively. Pooled site data yield moderate correlation between δ2H-collagen and δ18O-HAP and moderate correlation between δ2H-collagen and δ15N-collagen. Conversion of δ2H-collagen and δ18O-HAP to meteoric water values yielded a similarly moderate correlation with a δ2H/δ18O slope below 8, the expected value observed in meteoric water. Conversion to theoretical hydrogen isotope values free of trophic level influences resulted in a weak correlation with δ15N-collagen, suggesting that direct trophic level enrichment/depletion is not controlling the disparity between expected and measured values. The deviations are hypothetically caused by non-local food sources and a decoupling of expected δ2H/δ18O relationships as individuals consumed more meat and decreased in vivo non-essential amino acid production.
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Hydrogen Isotopes in Archaeological Bone Collagen: Potential Combined Influence of Meteoric Water and Protein Intake. Christine France, Haiping Qi. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 443050)
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min long: -168.574; min lat: 7.014 ; max long: -54.844; max lat: 74.683 ;
Abstract Id(s): 21242