Abstract

This study involves the investigation of diet and mobility among people living in the lower Río Verde Valley, Oaxaca, Mexico, during the Late Classic (AD 500-800) and Early Postclassic (AD 800-1200) periods. Specifically, this research focuses on how political and social collapse affected subsistence practices and diet, particularly maize agriculture and consumption, as well as human migration. Archaeological evidence suggests that Río Viejo, the region's largest urban center before AD 800, experienced multiple periods of political fragmentation and instability during its long history, specifically during the Early Classic (AD 250 - 500) and Early Postclassic periods, making it an ideal place to test these relationships. Stable carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen isotopic analyses of human bone and tooth samples were used to reconstruct diet and create a life history for sampled individuals. Samples were extracted from the skeletal remains of individuals dating to the Late Classic (n=11) and Early Postclassic (n=11) periods. Stable carbon and nitrogen isotope values provide insight into maize consumption; in addition stable nitrogen isotope values also indicate the extent that aquatic resources were being exploited. Stable oxygen isotope values are used to determine if any of the individuals were foreigners and had migrated to the valley during their lifetime. Results demonstrate collapse following the Classic period led to a slight dietary shift that included a wider variety of resources, possibly aquatic. Human mobility also increased during this time as oxygen values display a wider range and indicate movement within the valley and along the coast.

Graduation Date

2016

Semester

Fall

Advisor

Barber, Sarah

Degree

Master of Arts (M.A.)

College

College of Sciences

Department

Anthropology

Degree Program

Anthropology

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0006491

URL

http://purl.fcla.edu/fcla/etd/CFE0006491

Language

English

Release Date

December 2021

Length of Campus-only Access

5 years

Access Status

Masters Thesis (Campus-only Access)

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