Diet and mobility in middle Archaic Florida: stable isotopic and faunal evidence from the Harris Creek Archaeological Site (8Vo24), Tick Island
Journal of Archaeological Science, 35(8), 2346- 2356, August 2008
Rhonda L. Quinn, Ph.D.
Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work
B. Tucker and J. Krigbaum
We explore diet and mobility in Middle Archaic Florida using human burials and faunal remains from the Harris Creek archaeological site (8Vo24) on Tick Island. We conducted stable carbon and oxygen isotopic (δ13C, δ18O) analyses of 50 human enamel samples and strontium isotopic (87Sr/86Sr) analysis of a subset of 10. Most individuals (46/50) subsisted on local freshwater and terrestrial resources, with relatively depleted δ13C values (C3) and δ18O values matching those of central and north Florida water resources within the St. Johns River valley. Eight of 10 burials have local, within valley 87Sr/86Sr values. Two human burials yield marine δ13C and 87Sr/86Sr values, which we interpret as evidence for across valley movement from the coast. Another two individuals show depleted δ18O values, likely obtained from northern rivers. We also identified potential food resources and non-local foods from the Harris Creek faunal assemblage. We found six species with estuarine and marine habitat preferences; two of which, whelk and quahog, indicate that people of Harris Creek traveled to or traded with coastal areas.