Lantos, I., N. Ratto, H. Panarello y M. Maier. Preliminary Study of Stable Carbon Isotopes of Bulk Lipid Residues in Archaeological Ceramics from West Tinogasta, Argentina


Foodways of the pre-Hispanic societies of the West Tinogasta region (Catamarca Province, Argentina) were inferred from stable carbon isotope analysis on bulk lipid residues from eleven archaeological ceramics recovered from sites with occupations ranging from AD 450 – 1550. Nine modern samples were analysed to obtain reference values for typical Andean ingredients. Archaeological maize use patterns can be detected by enriched 13C values typical of C4 plant carbon compounds found in cooking residues. Our preliminary results show a great variability of maize use and consumption practices which can be explained by the multiple recipes and functions a pot had during its use life resulting in organic residue ‘palimpsests’. No statistically significant correlation was observed between site chronology and isotopic signals, although we propose differential access to maize resource at the Inca site of Batungasta.

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