July 2021

Talamo et al. 2021

New publication!

We are excited to announce a new paper by Talamo et al.:

“Here we go again”: the inspection of collagen extraction protocols for 14C dating and palaeodietary analysis

Abstract

Archaeological bone collagen is highly useful for radiocarbon (14C) dating and palaeodietary reconstruction. However, collagen preservation and carbon contamination are essential considerations when extracting collagen, becoming especially crucial close to the limit of the method (50,000 years before present = BP). Strong progress has been achieved in the past two decades by 14C and stable isotopic laboratories in removing contamination from archaeological bones, but different pretreatment protocols have been proven to produce varying results. Here we compare three collagen extraction protocols used for palaeodietary studies and 14C dating, considering collagen yield, elemental and stable isotopic data, FTIR analysis, and 14C dates. We focus on the impact of ultrafiltration on the yield and quality of the extracted material. The results again underline the importance of rigorous decontamination methods to gain accurate 14C dates and demonstrate that different protocols have significant effects on the quality and yield of extracted collagen.

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Chanca et al. 2021

New article out!

"Food and diet of the pre-Columbian mound builders of the Patos Lagoon region in southern Brazil with stable isotope analysis" by Chanca et al. 2021

Abstract

A constant and intense debate in South American archaeology stands on the origin and patterns of food production of ancient populations and the correlation of both aspects with demographic growth and social complexity. Some studies associated population growth with the shift from foraging to agricultural practices in hotspots on the continent. This association has been confronted by a number of studies performed in recent years that reconstructed dietary patterns for several tropical and subtropical areas of eastern South America. However, there is still a lack of information on the diet for Late Holocene populations in the wetlands of the Pampa Biome. In order to access the paleodiet of earthen-mound builders from southern Patos Lagoon (Brazil), this study combined bulk collagen stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes analysis of faunal and human remains with Bayesian Stable Isotope Mixing Models. The paleodiet of 20 human and one dog remains from six sites was reconstructed. The Bayesian mixing model on collagen δ13C and δ15N values revealed variable subsistence strategies with high consumption of marine/estuarine protein for some individuals. Other individuals’ diets relied on terrestrial/freshwater resources as protein sources. In southeastern South America, such patterns reinforce the resource-rich aquatic environment as a facilitator for the endurance of mixed economies. In addition, our results suggest that the Patos Lagoon surroundings was a “hub of interactivity” characterised by a remarkable intra-site dietary variability.

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Laura Tassoni

Welcome Laura!

We are happy to announce the arrival of our new RESOLUTION team member and BRAVHO lab technician Laura Tassoni! 

You can read more about her background and her role in the RESOLUTION team on the "Team core" page, and find her contact details here.