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|Title:||Stable Carbon And Oxygen Isotopes In Bone – Tracing Droughts During The Maya Era Using Archaeological Deer Remain|
|Advisor:||Schwarcz, Henry P.|
|Department:||Geography and Earth Sciences|
|Keywords:||Earth Sciences;Geography;Earth Sciences|
|Abstract:||<p>In this study, the potential of using white-tailed deer archaeological bones as an additional climatic proxy to track droughts in the Maya area at a very local scale is assessed.</p> <p>The oxygen and carbon isotopic compositions (δ<sup>18</sup>O and δ<sup>13</sup>C) on chronological series of numerous white-tailed deer bones, excavated from three Maya archaeological sites (Piedras Negras and Motul de San Jose, Peten region, Guatemala, and Lamanai, Orange Walk district, Belize) have been measured.</p> <p>It is considered that the isotopic composition of deer bones reflects a multi-year average of relative humidity and local precipitation amounts (δ<sup>l8</sup>O ) as well as environmental conditions such as the type of food ingested by the animal (δ<sup>13</sup>C). The aim of the present work was principally to delineate the conceptual background needed to replace the obtained isotopic values in their context and understand their signification.</p> <p>The results of geochemical analyses of deer bones are considered as reliable, in accordance with predicted values. However, the number of analyzed bones must be sufficient to accurately describe the variations of past climate variations. The major findings of this study are: (1) the use of Fourier Transform Infra Red spectroscopy is not a reliable way to detect diagenetically altered samples, (2) the climate during the apogee of the Classic Maya period was more variable than today, with more extremes pluri-annual wet and dry conditions, (3) no significantly dry climatic conditions occurred at the time the city of Piedras Negras started to decline and (4) dry conditions were probably responsible of the final abandonment of the site.</p>|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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