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Isotopic analysis of Micropogonias furnieri otoliths were used to get insight into palaeoceanographic conditions in the Guanabara Bay and Saquarema Lagoon, Rio de Janeiro state (RJ), located on the southeastern coast of Brazil, under upwelling influence of the Cabo Frio system. Archaeological otoliths come from two Holocene shellmounds (or sambaquis): Galeão and Beirada. For the first time, radiocarbon analysis using high accuracy techniques were performed at Galeão. Age range was determined to be between 5820 and 4980 cal BP, which extends the chronology of human settlement in the Guanabara Bay. Micro-samples of the otoliths were collected sequentially from the core to the edge, to provide continuous δ18O and δ13C isotopic profiles over the lifetime of the individual fish. Derived-δ18Ooto palaeotemperature estimates vary according to seasonality, resulting in a palaeoceanographic variation between 8 to 31°C for Guanabara Bay and 8 and 28°C for the Saquarema Lagoon. Our data indicate that whitemouth croakers were captured during the Middle Holocene from the Guanabara Bay and Saguarema Lagoon and resided in cooler temperatures compared to temperatures of current conditions.
This article reconstructs the final diet of sacrificed domestic camelids from Huanchaquito-Las Llamas to understand whether feeding was part of the ritual practice. The site is situated on the northern coast of Peru and is dated to the fifteenth century AD (Late Intermediate period; LIP). It was used by the Chimús to kill and bury a large number of camelids, mostly juveniles. We reconstructed the final meal of 11 of the sacrificed individuals by analyzing starch grains derived from the associated gut contents and feces. The starch grains were well preserved and allowed for the determination of five plant taxa. The comparison with previously published and new stable isotope analyses, which provide insights into long-term diet, indicates that the Chimús managed their herds by providing maize as fodder and allowing them to graze on natural pasture; yet they reserved special treatment for sacrificial animals, probably bringing them together a few hours or days before the sacrificial act. We show for the first time the consumption of unusual food products, which included manioc, chili peppers, and beans, as well as cooked foods. Our study provides unique information on Chimú camelid ritual and herding practices.
Renewed in-depth multi-disciplinary investigation of a large coastal mound settlement in Peru has extended the occupation back more than 7000 years to a first human exploitation ~13720 BP. Research by the authors has chronicled the prehistoric sequence from the activities of the first maritime foragers to the construction of the black mound and the introduction of horticulture and monumentality. The community of Huaca Prieta emerges as innovative, complex and ritualised, as yet with no antecedents.
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