Macropods and measurables: A critical review of contemporary isotopic approaches to palaeo-environmental reconstructions in Australian zooarchaeology

Jane Skippington, Tiina Manne, Peter Veth

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Stable isotopic analyses of herbivorous mammal remains are a powerful and globally applied tool for reconstructing past environments and ecological histories from archaeological sites. For Australia, a substantial corpus of foundational literature has competently established the environmental sources of isotopic variation in modern kangaroo and wallaby species. However, despite the pervasive distribution of these kinds of macropods in contemporary and archaeological contexts, isotopic techniques are utilised infrequently. Our review of the history of macropod isotopic analysis identifies and proposes solutions to the complexities that have inhibited its widespread application in Australian archaeology. This includes a description of relevant basic principles including ecology, physiology and isotopic fractionation. To support our claims for the considerable research potential of macropod remains, we present preliminary analyses of tooth enamel carbonates from archaeological deposits at Boodie Cave, Barrow Island, located in Australia's northwest arid zone.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)144-154
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science: Reports
Volume17
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018

Fingerprint

reconstruction
physiology
history
archaeology
ecology
Palaeoenvironmental Reconstruction
Zooarchaeology
Critical Review
Archaeology
History
literature
Tooth Enamel
Archaeological Context
Ecology
Archaeological Sites
Isotopic Analysis
Arid Zone
Fractionation
Mammals
Carbonate

Cite this

@article{33136408705d40d29a262e23c8cb4a55,
title = "Macropods and measurables: A critical review of contemporary isotopic approaches to palaeo-environmental reconstructions in Australian zooarchaeology",
abstract = "Stable isotopic analyses of herbivorous mammal remains are a powerful and globally applied tool for reconstructing past environments and ecological histories from archaeological sites. For Australia, a substantial corpus of foundational literature has competently established the environmental sources of isotopic variation in modern kangaroo and wallaby species. However, despite the pervasive distribution of these kinds of macropods in contemporary and archaeological contexts, isotopic techniques are utilised infrequently. Our review of the history of macropod isotopic analysis identifies and proposes solutions to the complexities that have inhibited its widespread application in Australian archaeology. This includes a description of relevant basic principles including ecology, physiology and isotopic fractionation. To support our claims for the considerable research potential of macropod remains, we present preliminary analyses of tooth enamel carbonates from archaeological deposits at Boodie Cave, Barrow Island, located in Australia's northwest arid zone.",
keywords = "Isotopes, Late Pleistocene, Macropod, North-west Australia, Palaeo-environment, Zooarchaeology",
author = "Jane Skippington and Tiina Manne and Peter Veth",
year = "2018",
month = "2",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.jasrep.2017.11.010",
language = "English",
volume = "17",
pages = "144--154",
journal = "Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports",
issn = "2352-409X",
publisher = "Pergamon",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Macropods and measurables

T2 - A critical review of contemporary isotopic approaches to palaeo-environmental reconstructions in Australian zooarchaeology

AU - Skippington, Jane

AU - Manne, Tiina

AU - Veth, Peter

PY - 2018/2/1

Y1 - 2018/2/1

N2 - Stable isotopic analyses of herbivorous mammal remains are a powerful and globally applied tool for reconstructing past environments and ecological histories from archaeological sites. For Australia, a substantial corpus of foundational literature has competently established the environmental sources of isotopic variation in modern kangaroo and wallaby species. However, despite the pervasive distribution of these kinds of macropods in contemporary and archaeological contexts, isotopic techniques are utilised infrequently. Our review of the history of macropod isotopic analysis identifies and proposes solutions to the complexities that have inhibited its widespread application in Australian archaeology. This includes a description of relevant basic principles including ecology, physiology and isotopic fractionation. To support our claims for the considerable research potential of macropod remains, we present preliminary analyses of tooth enamel carbonates from archaeological deposits at Boodie Cave, Barrow Island, located in Australia's northwest arid zone.

AB - Stable isotopic analyses of herbivorous mammal remains are a powerful and globally applied tool for reconstructing past environments and ecological histories from archaeological sites. For Australia, a substantial corpus of foundational literature has competently established the environmental sources of isotopic variation in modern kangaroo and wallaby species. However, despite the pervasive distribution of these kinds of macropods in contemporary and archaeological contexts, isotopic techniques are utilised infrequently. Our review of the history of macropod isotopic analysis identifies and proposes solutions to the complexities that have inhibited its widespread application in Australian archaeology. This includes a description of relevant basic principles including ecology, physiology and isotopic fractionation. To support our claims for the considerable research potential of macropod remains, we present preliminary analyses of tooth enamel carbonates from archaeological deposits at Boodie Cave, Barrow Island, located in Australia's northwest arid zone.

KW - Isotopes

KW - Late Pleistocene

KW - Macropod

KW - North-west Australia

KW - Palaeo-environment

KW - Zooarchaeology

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85033557851&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.jasrep.2017.11.010

DO - 10.1016/j.jasrep.2017.11.010

M3 - Review article

VL - 17

SP - 144

EP - 154

JO - Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports

JF - Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports

SN - 2352-409X

ER -