Reassessing the diet of Upper Palaeolithic humans from Gough's Cave and Sun Hole, Cheddar Gorge, Somerset, UK
- Permanent Link:
- Reassessing the diet of Upper Palaeolithic humans from Gough's Cave and Sun Hole, Cheddar Gorge, Somerset, UK
- Series Title:
- Journal of Archaeological Science
- Stevens, Rhiannon E.
Jacobi, Roger M.
Higham, Thomas F.G.
- Publication Date:
- Subjects / Keywords:
- Bone ( local )
Collagen ( local )
Carbon ( local )
Nitrogen ( local )
Magdalenian ( local )
Paleolithic ( local )
Lateglacial ( local )
- serial ( sobekcm )
- Richards et al. (2000) reconstructed the diet of the human remains found in Gough's and Sun Hole Cave through isotope analysis. They concluded that these people consumed an entirely terrestrial-based diet. Their reconstruction was based upon comparison of the results from human bones with those from a very small number of associated animals. The diets of the Gough's and Sun Hole Cave human were different from the other six Upper Palaeolithic humans from the British Isles for which dietary information has been obtained through isotope analysis. The work of Richards et al. (2000) suggests that they were the only ones for whom marine or freshwater resources did not play a significant role in their diets. We test this through further analyses of faunal remains from Gough's Cave, Sun Hole and other contemporary sites (Kent's Cavern, Aveline's Hole, Kendrick's Cave). Despite the limited faunal sample, the original palaeodietary reconstruction is broadly consistent with our findings. The isotope values of the main protein sources consumed by the humans from both sites are consistent with those of red deer and bovines, and, for a single individual, with that of horse and red deer. Reindeer was postulated in the original reconstruction as a potential food source, but this seems very unlikely based on our isotope reconstruction and the archaeological remains.
- Original Version:
- Journal of Archaeological Science, Vol. 37, no. 1 (2010-01-01).
- Source Institution:
- University of South Florida Library
- Holding Location:
- University of South Florida
- Rights Management:
- This object is protected by copyright, and is made available here for research and educational purposes. Permission to reuse, publish, or reproduce the object beyond the bounds of Fair Use or other exemptions to copyright law must be obtained from the copyright holder.
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