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Paleodietary Patterns of the Cherepakha 13 Site Population (Early Iron Age) in Primorye (Maritime) Province, Russian Far East, based on Stable Isotope Analysis

  • Yaroslav V Kuzmin (a1) (a2), Vsevolod S Panov (a3), Viacheslav V Gasilin (a4) and Sergei V Batarshev (a5)

New paleodietary data were obtained after the discovery and excavation in 2015–2017 of the Cherepakha 13 site in the southern part of Primorye (Maritime) Province in far eastern Russia. The site is located near the coast of Ussuri Bay (Sea of Japan) and belongs to the Yankovsky cultural complex of the Early Iron Age 14C-dated to ca. 3000 BP (ca. 1200 cal BC). The stable isotope composition of the bone collagen for 11 humans and 30 animals was determined. For humans, the following values (with±1 sigma) were yielded: δ13C=–10.2±0.8‰; and δ15N=+12.4±0.3‰. The majority of terrestrial animals show the usual isotopic signals: δ13C=–19.4 ÷ –23.3‰; and δ15N=+4.6÷+6.6‰ (for wolves, up to +10.1‰); dogs, however, have an isotopic composition similar to humans: δ13C= –11.7±1.2‰; and δ15N=+12.4±0.4‰. Marine mammals have common values for pinnipeds: δ13C=–13.7 ÷ –14.6‰; and δ15N=+17.4 ÷ +18.0‰. The main food resources for the population of Cherepakha 13 site were (1) marine mollusks, fish, and mammals; and (2) terrestrial mammals; and possibly C4 plants (domesticated millets).

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