Introducing δ88/86Sr analysis in archaeology: A demonstration of the utility of strontium isotope fractionation in paleodietary studies

Kelly Knudson, Hope M. Williams, Jane Buikstra, Paula D. Tomczak, Gwyneth Gordon, Ariel Anbar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

52 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Isotopic methods are widely used in archaeology to investigate paleodiet. Here, we present a new method to identify trophic level in archaeological human populations and to investigate paleodiet. We demonstrate that strontium isotope compositions (reported as δ88/86Sr) vary in a mass-dependent manner with increasing trophic level and can elucidate paleodiet in archaeological human populations. We present new mass-dependent strontium isotope data from tooth enamel and bone from individuals buried during the Late Intermediate Period (c. AD 1000-1300) in the large cemeteries of Chiribaya Alta, Chiribaya Baja, San Gerónimo, and El Yaral in the Ilo and Moquegua Valleys of southern Peru. We compare these data to radiogenic strontium isotope data (87Sr/86Sr) and light stable isotope data (δ15Ncol and δ13Ccol) from the same individuals to investigate geologic variability in strontium sources as well as marine food consumption among the Chiribaya. Our results demonstrate the utility of measurements of strontium isotope fractionation as a new tool for archaeological investigation of paleodiet. Importantly, this new technique can be used to generate paleodietary (δ88/86Sr) and paleomobility (87Sr/86Sr) data from the same specimen, minimizing destructive analyses of invaluable archaeological material, and provides a new way to examine paleodiet through hydroxyapatite, which is particularly important when collagen is poorly preserved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2352-2364
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science
Volume37
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2010

Fingerprint

archaeology
food consumption
cemetery
Peru
Fractionation
Archaeology
Paleodiet
Strontium Isotopes
Chiribaya
Trophic Level
87Sr/86Sr

Keywords

  • Andes
  • Biogeochemistry
  • Bone chemistry
  • Chiribaya
  • Radiogenic strontium
  • South America
  • Stable strontium
  • Trophic level

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Archaeology

Cite this

@article{35940b47325e481a8dd42bd6c6e7a406,
title = "Introducing δ88/86Sr analysis in archaeology: A demonstration of the utility of strontium isotope fractionation in paleodietary studies",
abstract = "Isotopic methods are widely used in archaeology to investigate paleodiet. Here, we present a new method to identify trophic level in archaeological human populations and to investigate paleodiet. We demonstrate that strontium isotope compositions (reported as δ88/86Sr) vary in a mass-dependent manner with increasing trophic level and can elucidate paleodiet in archaeological human populations. We present new mass-dependent strontium isotope data from tooth enamel and bone from individuals buried during the Late Intermediate Period (c. AD 1000-1300) in the large cemeteries of Chiribaya Alta, Chiribaya Baja, San Ger{\'o}nimo, and El Yaral in the Ilo and Moquegua Valleys of southern Peru. We compare these data to radiogenic strontium isotope data (87Sr/86Sr) and light stable isotope data (δ15Ncol and δ13Ccol) from the same individuals to investigate geologic variability in strontium sources as well as marine food consumption among the Chiribaya. Our results demonstrate the utility of measurements of strontium isotope fractionation as a new tool for archaeological investigation of paleodiet. Importantly, this new technique can be used to generate paleodietary (δ88/86Sr) and paleomobility (87Sr/86Sr) data from the same specimen, minimizing destructive analyses of invaluable archaeological material, and provides a new way to examine paleodiet through hydroxyapatite, which is particularly important when collagen is poorly preserved.",
keywords = "Andes, Biogeochemistry, Bone chemistry, Chiribaya, Radiogenic strontium, South America, Stable strontium, Trophic level",
author = "Kelly Knudson and Williams, {Hope M.} and Jane Buikstra and Tomczak, {Paula D.} and Gwyneth Gordon and Ariel Anbar",
year = "2010",
month = "9",
doi = "10.1016/j.jas.2010.04.009",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "37",
pages = "2352--2364",
journal = "Journal of Archaeological Science",
issn = "0305-4403",
publisher = "Academic Press Inc.",
number = "9",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Introducing δ88/86Sr analysis in archaeology

T2 - A demonstration of the utility of strontium isotope fractionation in paleodietary studies

AU - Knudson, Kelly

AU - Williams, Hope M.

AU - Buikstra, Jane

AU - Tomczak, Paula D.

AU - Gordon, Gwyneth

AU - Anbar, Ariel

PY - 2010/9

Y1 - 2010/9

N2 - Isotopic methods are widely used in archaeology to investigate paleodiet. Here, we present a new method to identify trophic level in archaeological human populations and to investigate paleodiet. We demonstrate that strontium isotope compositions (reported as δ88/86Sr) vary in a mass-dependent manner with increasing trophic level and can elucidate paleodiet in archaeological human populations. We present new mass-dependent strontium isotope data from tooth enamel and bone from individuals buried during the Late Intermediate Period (c. AD 1000-1300) in the large cemeteries of Chiribaya Alta, Chiribaya Baja, San Gerónimo, and El Yaral in the Ilo and Moquegua Valleys of southern Peru. We compare these data to radiogenic strontium isotope data (87Sr/86Sr) and light stable isotope data (δ15Ncol and δ13Ccol) from the same individuals to investigate geologic variability in strontium sources as well as marine food consumption among the Chiribaya. Our results demonstrate the utility of measurements of strontium isotope fractionation as a new tool for archaeological investigation of paleodiet. Importantly, this new technique can be used to generate paleodietary (δ88/86Sr) and paleomobility (87Sr/86Sr) data from the same specimen, minimizing destructive analyses of invaluable archaeological material, and provides a new way to examine paleodiet through hydroxyapatite, which is particularly important when collagen is poorly preserved.

AB - Isotopic methods are widely used in archaeology to investigate paleodiet. Here, we present a new method to identify trophic level in archaeological human populations and to investigate paleodiet. We demonstrate that strontium isotope compositions (reported as δ88/86Sr) vary in a mass-dependent manner with increasing trophic level and can elucidate paleodiet in archaeological human populations. We present new mass-dependent strontium isotope data from tooth enamel and bone from individuals buried during the Late Intermediate Period (c. AD 1000-1300) in the large cemeteries of Chiribaya Alta, Chiribaya Baja, San Gerónimo, and El Yaral in the Ilo and Moquegua Valleys of southern Peru. We compare these data to radiogenic strontium isotope data (87Sr/86Sr) and light stable isotope data (δ15Ncol and δ13Ccol) from the same individuals to investigate geologic variability in strontium sources as well as marine food consumption among the Chiribaya. Our results demonstrate the utility of measurements of strontium isotope fractionation as a new tool for archaeological investigation of paleodiet. Importantly, this new technique can be used to generate paleodietary (δ88/86Sr) and paleomobility (87Sr/86Sr) data from the same specimen, minimizing destructive analyses of invaluable archaeological material, and provides a new way to examine paleodiet through hydroxyapatite, which is particularly important when collagen is poorly preserved.

KW - Andes

KW - Biogeochemistry

KW - Bone chemistry

KW - Chiribaya

KW - Radiogenic strontium

KW - South America

KW - Stable strontium

KW - Trophic level

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=77954242598&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=77954242598&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.jas.2010.04.009

DO - 10.1016/j.jas.2010.04.009

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:77954242598

VL - 37

SP - 2352

EP - 2364

JO - Journal of Archaeological Science

JF - Journal of Archaeological Science

SN - 0305-4403

IS - 9

ER -