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Reconstructing the Paleodiet of the Caddo through Stable Isotopes

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2017

Diane Wilson
Affiliation:
Wilson Associates, Inc., 20 Rascally Rabbit Rd., Marstons Mills, MA 02648 (dewilson@capecod.net)
Timothy K. Perttula
Affiliation:
Archeological & Environmental Consultants, LLC, 10101 Woodhaven Dr., Austin, TX 78753

Abstract

Maize agriculture is often regarded as a key component in understanding and evaluating the Mississippian culture and related cultures. It is becoming clear that the spread and intensification of maize agriculture relates to the dissemination of Mississippian cultural traits in a variety of ways, rather than through a set trajectory. In this article, we focus on the Caddo, who have been postulated to have subsisted on smaller amounts of maize than other Mississippian-like groups to their east and northeast. The use of stable isotope analysis provides a direct means of comparing the amounts of maize consumed among various Mississippian-related cultures. We synthesize the results of Caddo stable isotope studies to compare the process of maize agricultural intensification among the Caddo to other archaeological cultures that shared Mississippian traits. We find that the Caddo consumed less maize throughout the prehistoric sequence than their neighbors.

Resumen

Resumen

La agricultura de maίz es a menudo considerada como un componente clave en el entendimiento y la evaluación del Mississippiano y sus culturas relacioadas. Es evidente que la extensión y la intensificación de la agricultura de maίz están relacionadas con la diseminación de los rasgos culturales del Mississippiano en una variedad de sentidos y costumbras, en lugar de ser a traves de una trayectoria establecida. En este document nos concentramos en Caddo, quienes se han postulados por haber subsistido en cantidades más pequeñas de maίz que otros grupos parecidos a Mississipiano encontrados a su este y nordeste. El uso del análisis de isótopo estable proporciona un medio directo para comparar las cantidades del maίz consumido entre varios Mississipianos y sus culturas relacionadas. En este document nos interesa sintetizar utilizando los resultados de los studios de los isotopes estables de Caddo para comparar el proceso de la intensificación del maίz Agricola entre Caddo y otras culturas arqueológicas que compartieron rasgos de Mississippiano. Encontramos que Caddo consumió menos maίz en todas partes de la secuencia prehistoric en comparación con sus vecinos.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © The Society for American Archaeology 2014

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