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Cuban Archaeology in the Caribbean$
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Ivan Roksandic

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781683400028

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9781683400028.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021

Human Mobility and Dietary Patterns in Precolonial Puerto Rico

Human Mobility and Dietary Patterns in Precolonial Puerto Rico

Integrating Multiple Isotope Data

(p.147) 9 Human Mobility and Dietary Patterns in Precolonial Puerto Rico
Cuban Archaeology in the Caribbean

Jason E. Laffoon

University Press of Florida

The study presented in chapter 9 focuses on inferring patterns of human mobility and diet in ancient Puerto Rico from multiple isotope evidence. Strontium isotope results from a recent long-term, inter-disciplinary research project investigating human paleomobility from a Circum-Caribbean perspective indicate that human migrations occurred at varying scales: intra-island, inter-island, and mainland-island over time. These data are combined with published bone carbon and nitrogen isotope data from various precolonial sites in the Antilles and newly generated enamel carbon isotope data to explore the possible relationships between geographic origins and dietary practices amongst indigenous populations of the Caribbean. The increased interpretative power of such an integrated, multiple isotope approach will be highlighted by focusing on a well-researched burial population from the multiple component, Ceramic Age site of Maisabel, Puerto Rico. The explicit combination of isotope results with archaeological and bioarchaeological evidence permits comparative analysis of local and migrant groups within this population, and a more nuanced exploration of individual geographic origins than would be possible based on a single isotope system alone. In combination, the inferred mobility and dietary patterns have important implications for various archaeological hypotheses, assumptions, and models concerning Caribbean prehistory at multiple spatial and social scales.

Keywords:   Puerto Rico, Paleomobility, Antilles, Ceramic Age, Maisabel, Migrations

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