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Assessment of Paleonutrition from Skeletal Remains

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... Floral and faunal remains typically are recovered in contexts where food is processed and prepared (e.g., the hearth or kitchen floor) and discarded (e.g., middens and fill). To exzmine consumption, archaeologists should focus on data that provide direct evidence of consumption, such as skeletal analysis (e.g., Brown, 1981; Bumsted, 1985; DeNiro, 1987; Larsen, 1987; Pate, 1994; Price, ...
... Earlier populations showed minimal health problems, whereas populations during the Late Intermediate Period demonstrated health differences between elites and commoners, with nonelites exhibiting more dietary stress (Verano, 1992). In contrast, a variety of chemical studies among complex societies in the Eastern Woodlands suggests that, at some sites, status did not greatly affect diet (Brown and Blakely, 1985; Blakely and Beck, 1981; Lambert et al., 1979). At the Dallas site in Tennessee, however, elite diet apparently was more balanced and included more iron and protein than commoner diet (Hatch and Geidel, 1985). ...
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Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Massachusetts, 1975. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 243-280). Photocopy.
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The carbon-13/carbon-12 ratios of the carbonate and collagen fractions of bone of the sympatric hyrax species Procavia johnstoni and Heterohyrax brucei indicate that the former obtains most of its diet by grazing while the latter is primarily a browser. The carbon-13/carbon-12 ratios of these fractions in fossil bone will record information about diet if they have not been altered during diagenesis.
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The strontium content of bone is a function of the strontium content of the ingested food. Under favorable conditions of fossilization it can be used for the determination of feeding habits of extinct terrestrial vertebrates. Homogeneous samples of fossil biotic communities are a prerequisite for significant results.
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