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Department of Archaeology

Friday, 3 March, 2023 - 13:15
Event speaker: 
Corrie Hyland, University of Oxford

Previous paired dating studies of early hunter-gatherer-fisher populations from the Upper Lena and Little Sea Microregions surrounding Lake Baikal have identified large freshwater reservoir offsets. However, each microregion has a different relationship between the bulk stable carbon and nitrogen isotope values from human bone collagen and known freshwater reservoir offset ages. The freshwater and terrestrial food sources in these microregions have large within-species variability and overlapping bulk δ13C and δ15N values that diminish the precision of FRE correction equations. Amino Acid specific stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analyses were applied in a small pilot study to determine if these techniques could better distinguish freshwater from terrestrial contributions to human diets and provide stronger correlations to known paired dating offsets. This research examined sample Δ13CGly-Phe, Δ13CVal-Phe, δ13CPhe vs δ13CVal values and found no clear, direct relationship to FRE offset ages. Our current research highlights the importance of understanding local baseline values when interpreting amino acid-specific stable isotope values and the dangers of interpreting these results solely on direct comparisons to the Honch et al. 2012 average human diets.

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Event location: 
McDonald Seminar Room
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