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Palaeodiet in Virginia and North Carolina as Determined by Stable Isotope Analysis of Skeletal Remains

Trimble, Carmen Carreras
Thesis/Dissertation; Online
Trimble, Carmen Carreras
Goodell, Grant
Hantman, Jeffrey
Macko, Stephen
Shugart, Herman H
The high molecular weight organic fraction of bone or tooth from 139 individuals from twelve archaeological sites in Virginia and three sites in North Carolina was isolated via a dialysis procedure and analyzed for stable nitrogen and carbon isotopic composition. The sites represent three physiographic provinces: the Coastal Plain, the Piedmont, and the Appalachian Valley. Three time periods were examined: the Middle Woodland (0 - A.D. 900), the first part of the Late Woodland (A.D. 900 - 1400), and the second part of the Late Woodland (1400 - 1600). The δ<sup>13</sup>C values for six of the sites reflect a strong C<sub>3</sub> plant component of the diet; the remaining sites had a strong C<sub>4</sub> plant component. A shift from predominantly C<sub>3</sub> plants in the Middle Woodland period to predominantly C<sub>4</sub> plants at the start of the Late Woodland was observed. The δ<sup>15</sup>N values suggest a diet rich in terrestrial animal proteins for all three time periods. Piedmont sites had the most diverse diet; Appalachian Valley sites had the least diverse. Coastal Plain sites reflected a substantial marine or aquatic influence in the diet. The temporal patterns observed for δ<sup>13</sup>C values are consistent with the general trends seen throughout the eastern part of North America. Note: Abstract extracted from PDF file via OCR.
University of Virginia, Department of Environmental Sciences, MS, 1996
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Digitization of this thesis was made possible by a generous grant from the Jefferson Trust, 2015. Thesis originally deposited on 2016-03-14 in version 1.28 of Libra. This thesis was migrated to Libra2 on 2017-03-23 16:37:55.
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