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Dietary Reconstruction of the Okhotsk Culture of Hokkaido, Japan, Based on Nitrogen Composition of Amino Acids: Implications for Correction of 14C Marine Reservoir Effects on Human Bones

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      Abstract

      The relative contribution of marine-derived carbon in the ancient diet is essential for correcting the marine reservoir effect on the radiocarbon age of archaeological human remains. In this study, we evaluated the marine protein consumption of 3 human populations from the Okhotsk culture (about AD 550–1200) in Hokkaido, Japan, based on stable carbon and nitrogen isotopic compositions in bulk bone collagen as well as the nitrogen isotopic composition of glutamic acid and phenylalanine. Despite the similarity of carbon and nitrogen isotopic composition of bulk collagens, nitrogen isotopic composition of their constituent amino acids suggests differences in fur seal contributions among northern Hokkaido (0–24% for Kafukai 1, 0–10% for Hamanaka 2) and eastern Hokkaido (78–80% for Moyoro) populations. It suggests that nitrogen composition of glutamic acid and phenylalanine could provide a detailed picture of ancient human subsistence.

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      Influence of diet on the distribution of carbon isotopes in animals

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        Radiocarbon Age Calibration of Marine Samples Back to 9000 Cal Yr BP

        Calibration curves spanning several millennia are now available in this special issue ofRadiocarbon. These curves, nearly all derived from the14C age determinations of wood samples, are to be used for the age conversion of samples that were formed through use of atmospheric CO2. When samples are formed in reservoirs (eg, lakes and oceans) that differ in specific14C content from the atmosphere, an age adjustment is needed because a conventional14C age, although taking into account14C (and13C) fractionation, does not correct for the difference in specific14C activity (Stuiver & Polach, 1977). The14C ages of samples grown in these environments are too old, and a reservoir age correction has to be applied. This phenomenon has been referred to as the reservoir effect (Stuiver & Polach, 1977).
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          Trophic level isotopic enrichment of carbon and nitrogen in bone collagen: case studies from recent and ancient terrestrial ecosystems

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            Author and article information

            Journal
            applab
            Radiocarbon
            Radiocarbon
            Cambridge University Press (CUP)
            0033-8222
            1945-5755
            2010
            July 18 2016
            2010
            : 52
            : 02
            : 671-681
            10.1017/S0033822200045690
            © 2010

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