Palaeodiet in Virginia and North Carolina as determined by stable isotope analysis of skeletal remains

Trimble, Carmen Carreras, Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia
Macko, Stephen, Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia
Goodell, Grant, Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia
Shugart, Herman H., Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia
Hantman, Jeffrey, Department of Anthropology, University of Virginia

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 δ13C values for six of the sites reflect a strong C3 plant component of the diet; the remaining sites had a strong C4 plant component. A shift from predominantly C3 plants in the Middle Woodland period to predominantly C4 plants at the start of the Late Woodland was observed. The δ15N 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 δ13C values are consistent with the general trends seen throughout the eastern part of North America.

Note: Abstract extracted from PDF file via OCR.

MS (Master of Science)

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.

All rights reserved (no additional license for public reuse)
Issued Date: