2014 Scholar: Lindsay Babcock

Isotopic analysis of archaeological teeth at the Early Bronze Age city of Tell es-Safi, Israel

Stable isotope analyses are utilized within archaeology to determine diet (of both humans and animals) and reconstruct environments. Here, we focus on domestic animals and utilize stable isotope analyses (carbon, oxygen and strontium) to examine herd management and mobility, trade and exchange of animals within the local economic system and the region. This poster will focus on the technique of sampling archaeological teeth from the site of Tell es-Safi, Israel for stable isotope analyses. The focus of analyses was the remains of a young, healthy adult female ass recovered under the floor of an Early Bronze Age (3600-2400 BCE) house at the site. It has been suggested that this urban space may have been the location of merchants who relied upon asses as beasts of burden. These merchants would have been involved in exchange systems across the region during the Early Bronze Age. The importance of this taxon to the religious and economic realms of the EBA of the Near East is discussed.

Faculty Mentor: Elizabeth Arnold, Anthropology


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