Essay: Archeology-protein

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Essay: Archeology-protein

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There is no doubt that protein was primarily procured from marine resources: the archaeological record and the isotope analyses of human bone are in agreement here. Meat from iguanas, agutis, rice-rats, birds, and landcrabs offered, without doubt, a welcome change to the usual meat intake, which consisted of fish and shellfish. A probable deficiency in the archaeological record (the lack of a representative number of conch, Strombus gigas) prevents an estimation of the relative importance of the latter food sources: fish may or may not have been a more important protein supplier than shellfish.

The isotope analyses favor an important position for shellfish, but as yet it is impossible to come to pertinent conclusions. Shellfish in large quantities were probably available from the sandy flats in front of the beaches (Strombus gigas), and from the rocky shores (Cittarium pica), on both the windward and leeward sides of the island (Archeologisch Museum Aruba 1998). In the case of Smoke Alley it was noted that Excavation of five 1 m² test pits established that the midden was approximately 10 x 10 meters in size. Excavation of four large machine-made (255 m², pits resulted in the discovery of 80 features. Sixty-five of them proved to be postholes. Twelve postholes belong to one slightly oval 10-meter diameter house, 7 others belong to a round 8-meter diameter house (Archeologisch Museum Aruba 1998)

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