23 Ağustos 2009 Pazar

Isotopic evidence for the diets of European Neanderthals and early modern humans

PNAS, http://www.pnas.org%02cgi%02doi%0210.1073%02pnas.0903821106

Michael P. Richards and Erik Trinkaus

We report here on the direct isotopic evidence for Neanderthal and

early modern human diets in Europe. Isotopic methods indicate the

sources of dietary protein over many years of life, and show that

Neanderthals had a similar diet through time ( 120,000 to 37,000

cal BP) and in different regions of Europe. The isotopic evidence

indicates that in all cases Neanderthals were top-level carnivores

and obtained all, or most, of their dietary protein from large

herbivores. In contrast, early modern humans ( 40,000 to  27,000

cal BP) exhibited a wider range of isotopic values, and a number of

individuals had evidence for the consumption of aquatic (marine

and freshwater) resources. This pattern includes Oase 1, the oldest

directly dated modern human in Europe ( 40,000 cal BP) with the

highest nitrogen isotope value of all of the humans studied, likely

because of freshwater fish consumption. As Oase 1 was close in

time to the last Neanderthals, these data may indicate a significant

dietary shift associated with the changing population dynamics of

modern human emergence in Europe.

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