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Revista argentina de antropología biológica

versión On-line ISSN 1514-7991


VALENZUELA, Luciano O; GARCIA LABORDE, Pamela; D´ANGELO DEL CAMPO, Manuel D  y  GUICHON, Ricardo A. Dietary transition in native populations of northern Tierra del Fuego during the salesian missionary period: an isotopic approach. Rev Arg Antrop Biol [online]. 2019, vol.21, n.1, pp.1-10. ISSN 1514-7991.

The Salesian mission La Candelaria was run from 1893 to 1928 in the north of Tierra del Fuego, but its cemetery was in use until 1948. Historical sources suggest that the natives living there underwent marked dietary changes with respect to the hunter-gatherers of the area. The change can be characterized by a large increase in the consumption of flour, rice, potatoes, and sugar, in replacement of guanaco, as their main food source. Our objective is to evaluate the dietary transition experienced by the inhabitants of the mission through the analysis of stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen on bones (collagen, apatite) and teeth (dentin, enamel) of 23 individuals exhumed from the cemetery. The ´ 15N values in collagen (´ 15Nc), and ´ 13C values both in collagen (´ 13Cc) and in apatite (´ 13Ca) of samples from the cemetery were lower than the values published for the region in pre-contact periods. Within the cemetery, the ´ 15Nc, ´ 13Cc and ´ 13Ca values were lower than those of ´ 15Nd (dentin) and ´ 13Ce (enamel), but there were no differences between ´ 13Cc and ´ 13Cd values. The ´ 15Nd and ´ 13Cd values were significantly lower than the isotope values of collagen for pre-contact periods. The results are consistent with the hypothesis raised by historical sources and suggest an imbalance in the diet, with a higher proportion of carbohydrates and a lower proportion of animal proteins in the inhabitants of the mission in comparison with the hunter-gatherers of Tierra del Fuego of pre-contact periods. Rev Arg Antrop Biol 21(1), 2019. doi:10.17139/raab.2019.0021.01.02

Palabras clave : inter-ethnic contact; stable isotopes; Selk nam.

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