Isotopic analyses suggest mammoth and plant in the diet of the oldest anatomically modern humans from far southeast Europe - MNHN - Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle Access content directly
Journal Articles Scientific Reports Year : 2017

Isotopic analyses suggest mammoth and plant in the diet of the oldest anatomically modern humans from far southeast Europe

Abstract

Abstract Relatively high 15 N abundances in bone collagen of early anatomically modern humans in Europe have often been interpreted as a specific consumption of freshwater resources, even if mammoth is an alternative high 15 N prey. At Buran-Kaya III, access to associated fauna in a secured archaeological context and application of recently developed isotopic analyses of individuals amino acids offer the opportunity to further examine this hypothesis. The site of Buran-Kaya III is located in south Crimea and has provided a rich archaeological sequence including two Upper Palaeolithic layers, from which human fossils were retrieved and directly dated as from 37.8 to 33.1 ka cal BP. Results from bulk collagen of three human remains suggests the consumption of a high 15 N prey besides the contribution of saiga, red deer, horse and hare, whose butchered remains were present at the site. In contrast to bulk collagen, phenylalanine and glutamic acid 15 N abundances reflect not only animal but also plant protein contributions to omnivorous diet, and allow disentangling aquatic from terrestrial resource consumption. The inferred human trophic position values point to terrestrial-based diet, meaning a significant contribution of mammoth meat, in addition to a clear intake of plant protein.

Dates and versions

mnhn-04071430 , version 1 (17-04-2023)

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Dorothée Drucker, Yuichi Naito, Stéphane Péan, Sandrine Prat, Laurent Crépin, et al.. Isotopic analyses suggest mammoth and plant in the diet of the oldest anatomically modern humans from far southeast Europe. Scientific Reports, 2017, 7 (1), pp.6833. ⟨10.1038/s41598-017-07065-3⟩. ⟨mnhn-04071430⟩
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