Stable isotope evidence for early modern human diet in southeastern Europe: Pestera cu Oase, Pestera Muierii and Pestera Cioclovina Uscata


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January 2009


During the process of direct radiocarbon dating of four Early Upper Paleolithic modern humans from the Romanian sites of Peştera cu Oase, Peştera Muierii and Peştera Cioclovina Uscată, carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios (δ13C and δ15N) were measured from their bone collagen. These individuals have δ13C values similar to other Late Pleistocene humans. Their δ15N values are well within the carnivore trophic level range, among the higher of the Middle Upper Paleolithic values, and significantly greater than those of preceding Middle Paleolithic and Initial Upper Paleolithic Neanderthals. These data suggest a shift towards a broader faunal dietary spectrum among these early modern humans, despite western and eastern European archeological evidence and human functional morphology indicating little change in faunal exploitation from the Middle Paleolithic to the Early Upper Paleolithic.


Radiocarbon Dating, Early Upper Paleolithic, Peştera Cu Oas, Peştera Muierii, Peştera Cioclovina Uscată, Middle Paleolithic, Early Upper Paleolithic

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Materiale şi cercetări arheologice, Vol. 5 (2009).