Stable isotopic analysis of prehistoric human diet in the Mariana Islands, western Pacific

13th November 2013

Map showing location of Rota and Saipan, Mariana Islands (published in Australian Archaeology 52:1).

Map showing location of Rota and Saipan, Mariana Islands (published in Australian Archaeology 52:1).

F. Donald Pate, John Craib and Gary M. Heathcote

Introduction*

Stable isotopic analyses of human and faunal bones provide a valuable means to differentiate marine and terrestrial food use in prehistoric tropical island environments
(Keegan and DeNiro 1988; McGovern-Wilson and Quinn 1996; Ambrose et al. 1997). Because stable carbon (bi3C) and nitrogen (WN) isotope values in bone collagen are
quantitatively related to the isotopic composition of ingested foods (Schoeninger and Moore 1992; Pate 1994), isotopic analyses of archaeological human bone may provide quantitative information about past diet that enhances qualitative data derived from artefacts and floral and faunal remains.

*Note that an abstract was not included with this paper, and so the introductory paragraph has been included here instead of the abstract.

Pate, F.D., J. Craib and G.M. Heathcote
Stable isotopic analysis of prehistoric human diet in the Mariana Islands, western Pacific
2001
52
1–4
Article
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