Matching Items (20)

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A Comparison of the Interactions between Tiwanaku and Chen Chen Based on Dietary and Isotopic Analyses

Description

Paleodietary analysis through the interpretation of stable isotopic analyses can be used to determine the approximate diet consumed at archaeological sites. The following question was investigated through the course of

Paleodietary analysis through the interpretation of stable isotopic analyses can be used to determine the approximate diet consumed at archaeological sites. The following question was investigated through the course of this research: What are the differences between the Middle Horizon capital of Tiwanaku and the associated colony of Chen Chen; and what do these differences, including those associated with paleodiet, suggest about interactions between the two sites? The main hypothesis suggested a similar dietary analysis between the two sites with two possible explanations. First, it is possible that similarities between the sites were due to the exchange and consumption of goods at both locations, perhaps through trade. Secondly, it is possible that the similarities were due to the acquisition of similar goods through local sourcing or limited trade. To assess this, an analysis was conducted based on δ13Cdiet (VPDB) values in the comparison of the city center Tiwanaku and the agricultural site of Chen Chen. Archaeological bone samples were processed from a diverse group of individuals at Chen Chen and combined with published values by Tomczak (2001), then compared against δ13C from Tiwanaku, published by Berryman (2010). After conversion to δ13Cdiet (VPDB) as described by Kellner and Schoeninger (2007), it was determined that there was no statistically significant difference between the δ13Cdiet (VPDB) values from either site, suggesting a similar ratio of goods consumed. These values were then compared to baseline values from the region to determine an approximate ratio of C3 to C4 flora or dependent fauna consumed. These data most likely support the second explanation of the main hypothesis, that both sites had access to similar goods through local sourcing or limited trade as an explanation for their similarity. However, because a similar ratio of foods consumed was determined in this analysis, it is still possible that trade occurred in both directions between Tiwanaku and Chen Chen. Additional isotopic analyses would be required to support the first claim, which can be addressed in future research projects.

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  • 2015-05

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Estimating Age at Death of Archaeological Remains: A Comparison of Transition Analysis and Traditional Estimation Methods

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Objectives: The objective of this research is to develop a better understanding of the ways in which Transition Analysis estimates differ from traditional estimates in terms of age-at-death point estimation

Objectives: The objective of this research is to develop a better understanding of the ways in which Transition Analysis estimates differ from traditional estimates in terms of age-at-death point estimation and inter-observer error. Materials and methods: In order to achieve the objectives of the research, 71 adult individuals from an archaeological site in northern Sudan were subjected to Transition Analysis age estimation by the author, a beginner-level osteologist. These estimates were compared to previously produced traditional multifactorial age estimates for these individuals, as well as a small sample of Transition Analysis estimates produced by an intermediate-level investigator. Results: Transition Analysis estimates do not have a high correlation with traditional estimates of age at death, especially when those estimates fall within middle or old adult age ranges. The misalignment of beginner- and intermediate-level Transition Analysis age estimations calls into question intra-method as well as inter-method replicability of age estimations. Discussion: Although the poor overall correlation of Transition Analysis estimates and traditional estimates in this study might be blamed on the relatively low experience level of the analyst, the results cast doubt on the replicability of Transition Analysis estimations, echoing the Bethard's (2005) results on a known-age sample. The results also question the validity of refined age estimates produced for individuals previously estimated to be in the 50+ age range by traditional methods and suggest that Transition Analysis tends to produce younger estimates than its traditional counterparts. Key words: age estimation, Transition Analysis, human osteology, observer error

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Date Created
  • 2017-05

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Environmental Impacts on Light Stable Isotope Systems

Description

Isotopic analyses of archaeological and modern materials are commonly used to reconstruct diet, climate, and habitat. This study analyzes 15 camelid samples from three sites (two archaeological, one modern) in

Isotopic analyses of archaeological and modern materials are commonly used to reconstruct diet, climate, and habitat. This study analyzes 15 camelid samples from three sites (two archaeological, one modern) in South America to determine their carbon and nitrogen isotopic values to further explore the relationship between stable isotopes and environments. Camelid individuals in the modern site of Cuenca, Ecuador had a diet of almost entirely C3 vegetation, while those in Chen Chen, Peru had slightly higher values, still consistent with C3 plants. Those in the higher altitude site of Pumapunku, Bolivia had higher δ13C values than expected, indicating they may have been foddered with a mixed diet. These isotopic data indicate that vegetation, and therefore herbivore diets, are influenced by altitude. Additionally, it was found that a positive linear relationship exists between δ15N values and aridity of a site. Results indicate that aspects of the environment such as aridity are reflected in isotopic signatures. These results contribute to the increasing amount of data on isotopic variation in South American camelids, both modern and archaeological.

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  • 2016-05

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An Archaeological Oxygen Isoscape of the Central Andes

Description

Accurately predicting local ranges of isotopic signatures in human populations is essential for answering questions about past migrations and mobility. While local ranges of δ18O can be estimated using

Accurately predicting local ranges of isotopic signatures in human populations is essential for answering questions about past migrations and mobility. While local ranges of δ18O can be estimated using modern baseline samples and precipitation models, there are many environmental and anthropogenic drivers that can cause these ranges to deviate from the ranges seen in human populations. This study performs a geostatistical meta-analysis on a large dataset (n = 1,370) of spatially contextualized archaeological δ18O samples from 30 publications in order to generate a predictive model of local human δ18O ranges in the Central Andes. Two models were generated, one using archaeological samples of both humans and fauna, and the other using only humans. The model using only human samples makes more accurate predictions, cautioning against the incorporation of faunal δ18O samples in studies of human provenance. The models are also compared against a model of δ18O values found in precipitation across the study area, and significant differences lead to the conclusion that precipitation models are insufficient for predicting local human δ18O ranges.

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Date Created
  • 2020-05

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Mortuary Theory in Context: A Bioarchaeological Analysis of a Late Woodland Burial Feature

Description

The present analysis sought to determine the relationship between Middle Woodland (ca. 2000-1700 BP) and Late Woodland (ca. 1700-1100 BP) mortuary practices in the Lower Illinois Valley. It applies alternative

The present analysis sought to determine the relationship between Middle Woodland (ca. 2000-1700 BP) and Late Woodland (ca. 1700-1100 BP) mortuary practices in the Lower Illinois Valley. It applies alternative mortuary theories to elucidate larger social implications and the relationship between these practices. This was accomplished by first reconstructing a Late Woodland mortuary feature from the Helton Site in the Lower Illinois Valley (HN 20-36). The reconstructed feature was then assessed to identify if Middle Woodland mortuary practices were continuous with those of the Late Woodland. Lastly, the feature was interpreted in accordance with processualist, post-processualist and individual identity theories on mortuary behavior to determine the larger social implications of the funerary practices associated with the feature. From this analysis, it was concluded that Late Woodland mortuary practices exhibited elements of both continuity with, and change from their Middle Woodland predecessors. Further, the theoretical interpretations reveled that Late Woodland social systems existed as an evolved and reorganized extension of those systems that were present during the Middle Woodland period.

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  • 2016-05

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Comparison in the Uses of Isotopic Analysis in Bioarchaeology and Forensic Anthropology

Description

This paper will cover a variety of stable isotope systems, both light and heavy, that are used to interpret isotopic analysis in two different disciplines: bioarchaeology and forensic anthropology. To

This paper will cover a variety of stable isotope systems, both light and heavy, that are used to interpret isotopic analysis in two different disciplines: bioarchaeology and forensic anthropology. To begin, I will give short histories of both bioarchaeology and forensic anthropology, including what is considered to be the beginning of the disciplines as well as the founders of said disciplines. Following the histories of the disciplines, there will be a short background in isotopes and isotopic analysis, including an introduction to isoscapes and how isotopic data can be collected for further interpretation. There will then be an introduction to light isotopes, focusing on the ones used for this thesis, which will lead into the background of each light isotope. Following the light isotopes is an introduction to the heavy isotopes and the backgrounds of each of the heavy isotopes. Finally, this thesis will end in the conclusions section.

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Date Created
  • 2021-05

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Analysis of Native American Scalping from the Chavez Pass Population

Description

Scalping has been practiced by the Native Americans since pre-Columbian times in North America and is observed as cut-marks in the form of a rough circle on the superior aspect

Scalping has been practiced by the Native Americans since pre-Columbian times in North America and is observed as cut-marks in the form of a rough circle on the superior aspect of the cranium of the individual. For this study, there are 7 crania with cut-marks evident of scalping from the Southwest population of Chavez Pass. These crania were excavated from the site of Nuvakwewtaqa located in north-central Arizona, in the middle of the Coconino National Forest. Unfortunately, the site was heavily looted through pot-hunter activity, leading to a large collection of commingle remains. The objectives of this study are summarized into three basic question words: Who? Where? And, How? More specifically: [1] whether there is a relationship between age or sex and being a victim of scalping; [2] whether there is a relationship between the burial location and having been scalped; and, [3] whether the age or sex of an individual affected the manner in which they were scalped. For this analysis of scalping, three statistical tests were used: Fisher's exact test, Chi-Square test and two-sample t-tests.

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Date Created
  • 2014-05

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A Case Study in the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease of Two Ancient Andean Agriculturalists

Description

As a child passes through the birth canal, they become inoculated with vital gram positive and gram-negative bacteria, aerobes and anaerobes. Breast milk helps to support this growing microbiome by

As a child passes through the birth canal, they become inoculated with vital gram positive and gram-negative bacteria, aerobes and anaerobes. Breast milk helps to support this growing microbiome by providing oligosaccharides that support its proliferation. Breast milk can be considered the most nutritious source of food available to a growing infant by providing the necessary nutrients, growth hormones and antibodies to promote digestive health, growth, and a strong immune system. The Developmental Origins of Health and Disease Theory (DOHaD) is a theory that suggests a growing fetus and nursing child's nutrients and immune system are dependent on the mother's exposure to nutrients and toxins. Studies have shown a positive correlation between the length of nursing and a child's overall health through life. In addition, consuming an enriched diet after weaning builds a strong immunological and nutritional basis from which the child can grow. This leads to improvements in a child's overall health, which has beneficial long-term effects on morbidity and mortality. This project applied the theory to two Middle Horizon (AD500-1100) individuals from Akapana, Tiwanaku, in the Lake Titicaca Basin, Bolivia. Stable nitrogen and carbon isotope analysis was applied to first molar serial samples of these two individuals to determine weaning age and early childhood diet. Both individuals were male; one male died in adolescence between the age of 9-15 years, and the other died as an elderly adult around the age of 50-59 years. The results showed that the male who died in adulthood was provisioned with supplemental and post-weaning foods high in animal protein, and received breast milk until around 37 months of age. The adolescent male was weaned between 11-12 months and consumed a diet dominated by C4 plants \u2014 most likely maize \u2014 with much less protein. The correlation between prolonged access to breast milk and a healthier and more nutritious childhood diet and longevity are consistent with the theory discussed above.

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Date Created
  • 2018-12

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Creating community: ancient Maya mortuary practice at mid-level sites in the Belize River Valley, Belize

Description

This research focuses upon the intersection of social complexity and leadership among commoners in complex societies as expressed through mortuary ritual. I study how ideology, materialized through treatment of the

This research focuses upon the intersection of social complexity and leadership among commoners in complex societies as expressed through mortuary ritual. I study how ideology, materialized through treatment of the deceased body, was a potential source of power among commoners in ancient Maya society and how this materialization changed through time. Mortuary data are drawn from mid-level settlements of the Belize River Valley, located in western Belize within the eastern Maya lowlands. The primary research question addresses whether mid-level leaders in the Belize River Valley targeted certain human bodies for ancestral veneration through tomb re-entry and ritual interaction with skeletal remains. The ritual-political strategy of mid-level leaders is measured using archaeothanatology, an analysis of grave taphonomy based on forensic data, to reconstruct cultural beliefs about death based on treatment of deceased bodies, radiogenic strontium isotope analysis to reconstruct residential history, and analysis of dental metrics to assess biological kinship. While preservation of osseous material was poor, results indicate that the frequency of disarticulated and secondary burials was higher in eastern structures than in other locales, although eastern structures were not the only loci of these types of deposits. Overall, it does not seem like secondary burials were regularly and purposefully created for use as ritual objects or display. Radiogenic strontium isotope data enrich this analysis by showing that eastern structures were not a burial locale exclusive to individuals who spent their childhood in the Belize Valley. Data from upper-level eastern structures also suggests that within that part of society local birth did not guarantee interment in a local manner; perhaps the social network created during one's life shaped treatment in death more than residential origin. Biological distance analyses were inconclusive due to missing data. Comparison of mortuary practices to nearby regions shows distinct mortuary patterning across space and time. This is consistent with reconstructions of ancient Maya sociopolitical organization as regionally diverse and moderately integrated.

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Date Created
  • 2015

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Family, "foreigners [untitled]: a bioarchaeological approach to social organization at late classic Copan

Description

In anthropological models of social organization, kinship is perceived to be fundamental to social structure. This project aimed to understand how individuals buried in neighborhoods or patio groups were affiliated,

In anthropological models of social organization, kinship is perceived to be fundamental to social structure. This project aimed to understand how individuals buried in neighborhoods or patio groups were affiliated, by considering multiple possibilities of fictive and biological kinship, short or long-term co-residence, and long-distance kin affiliation. The social organization of the ancient Maya urban center of Copan, Honduras during the Late Classic (AD 600-822) period was evaluated through analysis of the human skeletal remains drawn from the largest collection yet recovered in Mesoamerica (n=1200). The research question was: What are the roles that kinship (biological or fictive) and co-residence play in the internal social organization of a lineage-based and/or house society? Biodistance and radiogenic strontium isotope analysis were combined to identify the degree to which individuals buried within 22 patio groups and eight neighborhoods, were (1) related to one another and (2) of local or non-local origin. Copan was an ideal place to evaluate the nuances of migration and kinship as the site is situated at the frontier of the Maya region and the edge of culturally diverse Honduras.

The results highlight the complexity of Copan’s social structure within the lineage and house models proposed for ancient Maya social organization. The radiogenic strontium data are diverse; the percentage of potential non-local individuals varied by neighborhood, some with only 10% in-migration while others approached 40%. The biodistance results are statistically significant with differences between neighborhoods, patios, and even patios within one neighborhood. The high level of in-migration and biological heterogeneity are unique to Copan. Overall, these results highlight that the Copan community was created within a complex system that was influenced by multiple factors where neither a lineage nor house model is appropriate. It was a dynamic urban environment where genealogy, affiliation, and migration all affected the social structure.

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Date Created
  • 2015