INSTITUTO ARGENTINO DE NIVOLOGIA, GLACIOLOGIA Y CIENCIAS AMBIENTALES
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
Variation in camelid d13C and d15N values in relation to geography and climate: Holocene patterns and archaeological implications in central western Argentina
OTAOLA, CLARA; LUMILA MENENDEZ; UGAN, ANDREW; GIARDINA, MIGUEL; GIL, ADOLFO; NEME, GUSTAVO
JOURNAL OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL SCIENCE
ACADEMIC PRESS LTD-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD
Lugar: Amsterdam; Año: 2016 vol. 66 p. 7 - 7
Camelids are among the largest wild and domestic faunas in South America and represent one of themost important taxa to pre-hispanic South America human populations. Stable isotope data from theseanimals play an important role in improving our understanding of human paleodiet, past human-animalinteractions, Holocene environmental change, and modern camelid management. This paper presentsd13C and d15N values taken from 91 camelid specimens distributed across western Argentina between30 and 37 S. These samples come from three desert environments (Andean, Patagonia, and Monte) andinclude both modern and prehistoric samples. Camelid d13C values range between 20.3? and 10.7?,while d15N values vary between 2? and 10.2?. Mean isotope values differ by environmental context,with significant difference in d13C and d15N between Patagonian and Monte or Andean deserts. Camelidisotope values also vary with latitude, altitude and longitude, though differences in d15N are weak, andthese geographic differences are tied to climatic variables such as annual mean temperature, annualprecipitation, and season of precipitation. When comparing camelid d13C values from Central-westernArgentina with those from Northwest Argentina and Patagonia, we see a latitudinal trend ofdecreasing d13C values, with the most negative values occurring in southern Patagonia and the mostpositive values in Northwest Argentina. Variation in camelid stable isotope values and their associationwith particular environmental contexts shows their value as a geographic marker and possibly as apaleoecological proxy. These results highlight the need to consider the geographic origin of camelidisotope values when using them to reconstruct human diet.