Trace elements analysis, as an indicator of ancient diets, has been carried out to the human skeletal remains from the necropolis of RH5 and RH10 of Qurum (Sultanate of Oman, 3700-3200 B.C.). Soil samples from the inner part of the burials, shells, fish, turtles and herbivorous remains have been analyzed. Regarding the human bones, a first set (ribs) was related to 26 females and 41 males while a second set (femurs) was related to 22 females and 34 males. Four trace elements, among the most common indicators of diet, have been taken into consideration (barium, strontium, zinc and copper) for their stability to diagenetic effects. Manganese has been analyzed to determine the incidence of diagenesis. Data from the two sets of human bones show a narrower range of values for the femurs than for the the ribs, in agreement with a lower incidence of diagenesis in compact bones. A wider range of values from the animal samples show a higher incidence of diagenetic effects in these remains. Low levels of variability can be stressed for the soil samples. Post-mortem exchange could have more likely occurred in the outer parts of spongy bones, as manganese seems to show. The wide range of values from the ribs and, on the contrary, the narrow range from the femur indicate that an accurate choice of sample can reduce the effects of diagenesis. Regarding the alimentary habits of the groups from Qurum, the human samples (both males and females) show high rates of strontium, similar to the herbivorous. This could be associated to an aquatic diet. It is unlikely that the high levels of strontium could be linked to a high incidence of vegetables in the diet. Also archeological data seem to stress a prevalence of aquatic food in the diet. Not always do statistical analyses applied to groups with different anthropological or chronological characteristics give clear answers to the identification of ranges of values, but they have always been a valid support for the interpretation of data.
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|Titolo:||Problems of an aquatic diet in trace element analysis: The coastal site of Qurum RH5 (Sultanate of Oman, 3.700-3.200 b.C.)|
|Data di pubblicazione:||1994|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|