MONDINI Nora Mariana
congresos y reuniones científicas
First isotopic evidence in southern Puna camelids throughout the Holocene.
Congreso; 11th Conference of the International Council for Archaeozology; 2010
Camelid bones from archaeological site Cueva Salamanca 1 (3560 masl), in the Puna of Catamarca, Argentina, have been analyzed to assess prehistoric camelid isotopic ecology and diet as indicated by 13C values. They comprise 11 stratigraphic levels, of ca. 8100-3500 BP. Wild camelids in the region are the vicuña (Vicugna vicugna) and the larger guanaco (Lama guanicoe). In the more recent layers the potential presence of the domestic llama (Lama glama) also should be considered. The mean carbon isotope value (13C) is -15.4 ‰ ± 2.3 ‰, samples ranging from -18.3‰ to -9.4‰. The last value is actually an outlier. It corresponds to an apparently small individual dated to sometime between 7620-8100 BP. Otherwise, most values range -18.3‰ to -13.5‰, with smaller individuals generally having 13C < -16‰ and larger ones, 13C > -16‰ –although most specimens correspond to indeterminate-sized individuals. No stratigraphic pattern is observed, so there is no apparent correlation with temporal variations. The analyses suggest that the consumption of C4 and C3 plants has been on average 43% and 57%, respectively. This estimation is in agreement with the distribution of both types of resources in the environment and altitudinal level where the site is located. Further analyses will be carried out both on bones and hair to confirm these apparent patterns so as to understand the ecology of these staple prey of Puna hunter-gatherers throughout the Holocene.