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Stable isotopes and the seasonality of the Oronsay middens

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2015

M. P. Richards
Affiliation:
Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art, 6 Keble Road, Oxford, OX1 3QJ, England
P. A. Mellars
Affiliation:
Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3DZ, England

Abstract

Research on six late Mesolithic shell middens on the small Hebridean island of Oronsay address questions of permanent and seasonal occupation. Stable isotope analysis of human bones shows marine resources providing the majority of protein, supporting year-round occupation of Oronsay. One individual, however, demonstrated a mixed diet of marine and terrestrial protein, suggesting seasonal visits and different patterns of site occupation.

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Copyright
Copyright © Antiquity Publications Ltd. 1998

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