The 81st Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2012)

Radiogenic strontium isotope analysis from the Hopewell affiliated Brown’s Bottom site and baseline data for the central Scioto River Valley, OH


School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Arizona State University

Thursday All day, Plaza Level Add to calendar

Radiogenic strontium isotope and elemental concentration analyses of archaeological faunal and human remains from two Hopewell affiliated sites were undertaken. The faunal remains from Brown’s Bottom and McGraw were analyzed to determine a bioavailable 87Sr/86Sr baseline range for the central Scioto River Valley of Ohio. The 87Sr/86Sr values of two human individuals interred at Brown’s Bottom were determined to assess paleomobility. These individuals are unusual because they were buried at a domestic, rather than a ceremonial, site. The faunal samples from Brown’s Bottom (n=7) were composed of deer (Odocoileus virginianus), and one beaver (Castor canadensis) . The faunal samples from McGraw (n=8) were also primarily deer, with one dog (Canis lupus) and one raccoon (Procyon lotor).

The results of the elemental analysis did not indicate that diagenetic processes had affected the samples. The “local” radiogenic strontium isotope ratio for each site is identified through the use of archaeological faunal samples, and the “local” range for the Brown’s Bottom fauna is 87Sr/86Sr=0.703-0.723 and for McGraw fauna is 87Sr/86Sr=0.705-0.716. These baseline data have a sizeable range, which is hypothesized to result from the hunting and/or migration patterns of deer. The three other mammal samples have a different average and smaller standard deviation (x̅=0.709; σ=0.0002; n=3) than the deer samples (x̅=0.713; σ=0.004; n=12) and possibly reflect conditions immediately around the two sites. The values for both human individuals buried at Brown’s Bottom are 87Sr/86Sr=0.71013 and 87Sr/86Sr=0.70992. Based on these data the human individuals cannot be classified as “non-local”.

Support for this research was provided by the Office of the Vice-President for Research and Economic Affairs, the Graduate Research Support Program, and the Graduate College at Arizona State University.

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