Isotopic Evidence of Diet and Place of Origin in the Midcontinent

Stanley H. Ambrose, Kristin M. Hedman, Philip A. Slater, Matthew A. Fort

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The midcontinent (Illinois) has figured prominently in foundational isotopic studies of diet and place of origin in the midcontinent. Larger datasets and new techniques have contributed significantly to our understanding of prehistoric diet and interac-tions. Recent stable isotope and strontium (87Sr/86Sr) isotope analyses of human bones and teeth from individuals buried within Cahokia's Mound 72 provide direct evidence for diet and place of origin for this ritually and politically important site. These data provide new insight into the dietary and residential heterogeneity of Cahokia, and direct evidence of non-local individuals within the Cahokia mortuary sample. Evidence for variation in diet and place of origin with age, sex, and social status is suggested by recent data. The correlation of isotope results with available biological and mortuary data allows us to examine the role of migration in the rise (and fall) of this Mississippian polity.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMAC 2014 Abstracts
StatePublished - 2014


  • ISAS


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