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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 Apr 3;115(14):3605-3610. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1713880115. Epub 2018 Mar 19.

Earliest isotopic evidence in the Maya region for animal management and long-distance trade at the site of Ceibal, Guatemala.

Author information

1
Center for Tropical Paleoecology and Archaeology, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, 0843-03092 Balboa, Republic of Panama; sharpeae@si.edu.
2
Environmental Archaeology Program, Florida Museum of Natural History, Gainesville, FL 32611.
3
Department of Anthropology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611.
4
School of Anthropology, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721.
5
Department of Geological Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611.

Abstract

This study uses a multiisotope (carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and strontium) approach to examine early animal management in the Maya region. An analysis of faunal specimens across almost 2,000 years (1000 BC to AD 950) at the site of Ceibal, Guatemala, reveals the earliest evidence for live-traded dogs and possible captive-reared taxa in the Americas. These animals may have been procured for ceremonial functions based on their location in the monumental site core, suggesting that animal management and trade began in the Maya area to promote special events, activities that were critical in the development of state society. Isotopic evidence for animal captivity at Ceibal reveals that animal management played a greater role in Maya communities than previously believed.

KEYWORDS:

Maya archaeology; isotope analysis; zooarchaeology

PMID:
29555750
PMCID:
PMC5889628
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.1713880115
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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