Greg Lattanzi and Gary Stinchcomb recently published their isotope analyses of Abbott Farm NHL museum-archived samples. Check out the link and abstract below to learn more!
Lattanzi, G. D., Stinchcomb, G. E., 2015, Isotopic analysis of museum-archived soil samples from archaeological sites: A case-study using the Abbott Farm National Historic Landmark, USA: Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 4, 86-94, doi:10.1016/j.jasrep.2015.08.044
Abstract: Archived soil samples hold important information for reconstructing ancient environments and can provide data on prehistoric land use, manipulation and changes over time. Archeological investigations at the Abbott Farm National Historic Landmark (NHL) located near Trenton, New Jersey recovered occupations from Paleoindian to Late Woodland periods. Soil samples collected during the 1930s WPA excavations have never been analyzed until now. This paper discusses the results of a carbon isotope analysis of soil organic carbon, δ13Csoc, performed on 54 samples from a number of archeological contexts from the Abbott Farm NHL. Data from Early and Middle Woodland pits and associated soils exhibit average δ13Csoc values of − 25.0 ± 1.0‰ suggesting that the suite of samples have an isotopic signature that primarily reflects aboveground C3vegetation. These values agree with current interpretations of an Early and Middle Woodland that had no maize and a gradual Late Woodland introduction of maize (C4plant) into the Lower Delaware River Valley. Assuming these samples have not experienced significant organic matter oxidation in their ~ 80 years of storage, the Abbott Farm results suggest that preserved archeological feature and soil samples in other collections that have been desiccated and housed in climate controlled facilities serve as an untapped resource for paleoenvironmental reconstruction for sites that either no longer exist or where access is limited. In the case of Abbott Farm NHL, the archeological feature and soil samples provide information on prehistoric site vegetation and paleoenvironment before the beginnings of agriculture in the Delaware Valley.
...is a geoscience research lab in Murray, KY USA. The lab is directed by Gary Stinchcomb, an Assistant Professor of Geosciences at Murray State University who holds a joint appointment with the Watershed Studies Institute.
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In the Watershed Studies Institute & Department of Geosciences, Murray State University