Graduation Year

2005

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.A.

Degree Granting Department

Anthropology

Major Professor

Dr. Robert H. Tykot.

Co-Major Professor

Co-adviser:

Keywords

Isotope, South America, Tehuelche, Carbon, Nitrogen

Abstract

This study investigates the isotopic signatures of human skeletal remains that were recovered from several sites along the coast and inland in the north-central Patagonian region of Argentina. Human skeletal remains, dating from 2500 BP through the early historic period, are examined to determine the relative significance of terrestrial and aquatic food resources and subsequently, the extent to which coastal food resources were exploited by indigenous Argentinians. Carbon and nitrogen isotopes contained within human bone collagen and apatite are measured quantitatively to determine the relative significance of marine and terrestrial foods. This study, one of the first isotopic studies of indigenous diet on the Atlantic coast of Argentina, is significant because it provides initial results to be used for the reconstruction of aboriginal subsistence patterns prior to and after European contact.

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