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Ref ID: 26971
Ref Type: Journal Article
Authors: Richards, Michael P.
West, Eric
Rolett, Barry
Dobney, Keith
Title: Isotope analysis of human and animal diets from the Hanamiai archaeological site (French Polynesia)
Date: 2009
Source: Archaeology in Oceania
Abstract: We report the first palaeodietary stable isotope study of humans and animals from an East Polynesian archaeological site. The Hanamiai Dune in the Marquesas Islands of French Polynesia has a long stratigraphy (ca. 1025 AD to 1850 AD). We obtained carbon and nitrogen isotope values for a wide range of terrestrial and marine species from different cultural layers. We also analyzed four human teeth representing four different individuals. Pigs, rats and dogs from the initial occupation phases had isotope signatures indicating marine protein consumption, probably linked to the consumption, and subsequent extinction, of indigenous seabirds. We found evidence of different pig husbandry practices, with some pigs having an almost entirely marine diet. Humans, surprisingly, did not have a mainly marine diet but likely derived the majority of their protein from eating terrestrial mammals such as pigs, as well as perhaps dogs and rats.
Date Created: 10/16/2017
Volume: 44
Page Start: 29
Page End: 37