INSTITUTO ARGENTINO DE NIVOLOGIA, GLACIOLOGIA Y CIENCIAS AMBIENTALES
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
Rheidae Egg Human Exploitation and Stable Isotopes: Trends from West Central Argentina
GIARDINA, M.; NEME, G; GIL, A
International Journal of osteoarchaeology
John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Lugar: Chichester; Año: 2014 vol. 24 p. 166 - 186
Rheidae eggshells are abundant in the archaeological record of West Central Argentina. As with many other Ratite species around the world, the importance of the eggs in human diet was more than the bird meat itself. Currently, two species inhabit the south and central areas of Argentina and Chile (Rhea pennata and Rhea americana) with different geographical distributions and diet, but with similar behavior. In this paper, we use δ13C and δ18O isotopes from Rheidae eggshells to explore the spatial differences in the archaeological record, discuss their importance in human diet, and as a way to approach human mobility in hunter-gatherer societies from northern Patagonia. The spatial tendencies of the isotopes´ data in the archaeological record show a significant correlation between both δ13C as well as δ18O isotope data and the Rheidae species´ distribution in the landscape, showing differences in their diet and territoriality. On the other hand, the unexpected δ13C and δ18O isotope values in the Altoandina desert area suggest human transport of the Rheidae eggs to these locations. The eggs need to be incorporated in the isotope ecology of the region in order to understand the human diet. Its signal is not enriched in δ13C, but the variation can be considered in order to improve our understanding of human diet and mobility.