Paleodietary analysis on the prehistoric population of El Hierro (Canary Islands).

Author(s): 

Velasco-Vázquez J and Arnay-de-la-Rosa M and González-Reimers E and Hernández-Torres O

Year Published: 

1997

Journal: 

Biological trace element research

Category: 

Study Design: 

Abstract: 

In order to deepen our knowledge of the dietary habits of the prehispanic inhabitants of El Hierro, we have determined bone strontium (Sr), manganese (Mn), magnesium (Mg), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), and calcium (Ca) in 52 human tibiae (23 belonging to males and 20 to females individuals) buried in a single burial cave; in 21 modern individuals who served as controls; and in 11 bones of herbivores found at archeological sites of the Canary Islands. Results suggest that females consumed a more vegetarian diet, although site-corrected Sr/Ca ratio of both males and females speaks for a mixed-diet consumption.