Sourcing nonnative mammal remains from Dos Mosquises Island, Venezuela: new multiple isotope evidenceReportar como inadecuado

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Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences

pp 1–17

First Online: 27 December 2016Received: 10 May 2016Accepted: 09 December 2016DOI: 10.1007-s12520-016-0453-6

Cite this article as: Laffoon, J.E., Sonnemann, T.F., Antczak, M.M. et al. Archaeol Anthropol Sci 2016. doi:10.1007-s12520-016-0453-6


Archeological excavations of Amerindian sites on Dos Mosquises Island, Los Roques Archipelago, Venezuela, uncovered a wide range of evidence reflecting seasonal exploitation of local resources and multiple ritual depositions of large quantities of ceramic figurines, lithics, and faunal remains. Zooarchaeological analysis revealed the presence of modified and unmodified bones and teeth from numerous imported mammal species. Local geographic and environmental conditions preclude permanent establishment of terrestrial mammal populations and as such, there are no native mammalian taxa on the island itself or the surrounding oceanic archipelago. The presence of these faunal remains on Dos Mosquises can be attributed to the intentional movement of animal resources from the mainland to Los Roques by indigenous groups in the Late Ceramic Age ~AD 1200–1500. Despite attributions to a mainland source region, little else is known about the origins of these unique specimens. Here, we apply strontium Sr-Sr, oxygen δO, and carbon δC isotope analyses of tooth enamel from various archeologically recovered taxa including deer, peccary, tapir, ocelot, margay, opossum, fox, and weasel to investigate their geographic origins via comparisons with macro-regional models of precipitation δO and bioavailable Sr-Sr. The Sr-Sr results are highly variable both for the overall assemblage and between specimens within the same taxa, indicating origins from different geochemical environments of mainland South America. The combined archeological and isotopic evidence are consistent with origins within the late pre-colonial Valencioid Sphere of Interaction which encompassed the Lake Valencia Basin, surrounding regions, and several offshore island groups including Los Roques archipelago.

KeywordsCaribbean archeology Strontium isotope Oxygen isotope Carbon isotope Exchange Provenance Paleomobility Mammals Valencioid  Download fulltext PDF

Autor: Jason E. Laffoon - Till F. Sonnemann - Marlena M. Antczak - Andrzej Antczak


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