Reconstruction of Late Holocene California Tule Elk Populations Using Ancient DNA and Stable Isotopes: An Update on Ongoing Analyses
This is an abstract from the "SAA 2019: General Sessions" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.
Zooarchaeological analyses have for some time suggested that California tule elk (Cervus elaphus nannodes) populations were depressed by late Holocene hunters, and more recent preliminary analyses focused on aDNA and stable isotopes (carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen) have supported that conclusion. This work indicated a significant decrease over time in genetic diversity, consistent with a declining elk population, but absent changes in stable isotopes that suggested climate change did not play a role. We present here further tests using this approach based on two sites in central California that have produced large samples of archaeological tule elk: the Emeryville Shellmound (CA-ALA-309), located in the San Francisco Bay area, and the King Brown site (CA-SAC-29), located in the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta. From a collection of over 80 individual elk from the two sites we derived radiocarbon assays, stable isotopes, and attempted extractions, amplifications, and sequencing of a 172-bp fragment of the mitochondrial D-Loop. This poster provides an update of our ongoing analyses of these materials.
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Reconstruction of Late Holocene California Tule Elk Populations Using Ancient DNA and Stable Isotopes: An Update on Ongoing Analyses. Lydia Sykora, Justin Tackney, R. Kelly Beck, Dennis H. O'Rourke, Jack M. Broughton. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 449997)
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min long: -124.189; min lat: 31.803 ; max long: -105.469; max lat: 43.58 ;
Abstract Id(s): 25916