Elemental signatures of human diets from the Georgia Bight


  • Joseph A. Ezzo,

    Corresponding author
    1. Statistical Research, Inc., Tucson, Arizona 85751-1865
    • Statistical Research, Inc., P.O. Box 31865, Tucson, AZ 85751-1865
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  • Clark Spencer Larsen,

    1. Department of Anthropology and Research Laboratories of Anthropology, The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599-3120
    2. Department of Anthropology, The American Museum of Natural History, New York, New York 10024
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  • James H. Burton

    1. Laboratory for Archaeological Chemistry, Department of Anthropology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin 53706-1373
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Multielement analysis was performed on bone samples extracted from the femora of 39 adults from three mortuary sites (Johns Mound, Santa Catalina de Guale, and Santa Catalina de Guale de Santa Meria) and time periods (late preagricultural, early contact, and late contact) in the Georgia Bight. This study was used to investigate whether elemental analysis would support or contradict other lines of data regarding diets and dietary change previously generated for the region. The data are in agreement with an earlier interpretation, based on stable isotopes, that dietary maize increases through time but fails to support the idea that marine resources decreased in importance. Rather, it appears that the wild plant food component of the diets decreases as maize increases in importance; throughout the sequence, marine resources comprise a significant portion of the diets. © 1995 Wiley-Liss, Inc.