ASSESSING PLANT CONSUMPTION AND USE AMONG MARINE HUNTER GATHERERS AND FISHERS THROUGH DENTAL CALCULUS STUDIES OF THE NORTHERN PATAGONIAN CHANNELS (41°30’- 47° S)
EVALUANDO EL CONSUMO Y USO DE PLANTAS ENTRE CAZADORES RECOLECTORES PESCADORES MARINOS A TRAVÉS DEL ESTUDIO DEL TÁRTARO DENTAL HUMANO EN LOS CANALES SEPTENTRIONALES DE PATAGONIA (41°30’- 47° S)
Carolina A. Belmar, Omar Reyes, Ximena Albornoz, Augusto Tessone, Manuel San Román, Flavia Morello and Ximena Urbina
This paper presents the results of the study of the microfossil content of the human dental calculus of 49 individuals from 17 archeological sites of the Chiloé and Los Chonos archipelago with chronologies between ~4400 to 300 years cal BP. The previousδ13C y δ15N stable isotope values of the inhabitants of this area revealed an eminently marine diet for these hunter gatherers. Nevertheless, in relation to their predominant diet, the consumption of plant resources has remained unseen. The integration of this type of evidence has allowed us to detect the consumption of seaweed, wild and domesticated plants, some with medicinal and psychoactive properties, in addition to the functional use of the oral cavity based on the presence of remains of plant stems used in basketry. Finally, the presence of domesticated plants in the northern archipelagos constitutes a bio-indicator of archaeological remains that allows us to project contacts between different cultural pathways of the marine hunter gatherers and horticultural groups throughout the temporal sequence.
Tags: Western Patagonian channels, Middle/Late Holocene, diet, marine hunter gatherers, human tooth calculus, paleoethnobotany