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Title: Paleodietary analysis of the prehistoric population of the Canary Islands inferred from stable isotopes (carbon, nitrogen and hydrogen) in bone collagen
Authors: Arnay-de-la-Rosa, M.
González-Reimers, E.
Yanes, Y.
Velasco Vázquez, Francisco Javier 
Romanek, C. S.
Noakes, J. E.
UNESCO Clasification: 550405 Prehistoria
550501 Arqueología
Keywords: Bone collagen hydrogen
carbon and nitrogen isotopes
Paleodiet Tenerife
El Hierro
Gran Canaria, et al
Issue Date: 2010
Publisher: 0305-4403
Journal: Journal of Archaeological Science 
Abstract: Nitrogen and carbon isotope compositions were measured in the bone collagen from a total of 86 prehispanic samples of the Canary Islands, and hydrogen in 70, all of them with enough amount of bone collagen, and adequate N and C content. These samples belong to prehistoric population of El Hierro (n = 27), Tenerife (n = 18), and Gran Canaria (n = 41). Isotope compositions were also obtained for prehistoric and modern food resources that were likely consumed by these people. Marked differences were observed among the three islands regarding the three isotopes analyzed: the δ15N values were highest among the population of Gran Canaria (10.8‰ ± 0.9‰), who also showed the highest δD values (7 ± 8‰). The population of El Hierro showed the highest δ13C values (−18.6‰ ± 0.7‰). These data suggest a high consumption of marine products by the population from El Hierro, and also an important consumption of terrestrial meat or marine, piscivore fish, by the population from Gran Canaria, together with domesticated C3 plants (barley and/or wheat), fruits of Ficus carica and other wild species, and goat products. Additionally, marked differences were observed between men and women, which suggest that women consumed a more vegetal-based diet, a finding which is in agreement with the higher proportion of teeth with carious lesions among women. In our study, a high δD is associated with a high δ15N, suggesting a relation with animal protein (either marine or terrestrial) consumption.
ISSN: 0305-4403
DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2010.01.009
Source: Journal of Archaeological Science[ISSN 0305-4403],v. 37, p. 1490-1501
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