Research articles

Food and diet of the pre-Columbian mound builders of the Patos Lagoon region in southern Brazil with stable isotope analysis


An intense debate in South American archaeology stands on the origin and patterns of food production of ancient populations and the correlation of both aspects with demographic growth and social complexity. However, there is still a lack of information on the diet for Late Holocene populations in the wetlands of the Pampas Biome. Chanca et al. combined bulk collagen stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes analyses of faunal and human remains from Holocene sites in Patos Lagoon. The Results revealed variable subsistence strategies with high consumption of marine/estuarine protein for some individuals. Our study suggests that the Patos Lagoon surroundings were a “hub of interactivity” characterised by a remarkable intra-site dietary variability.

Read report