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date: 01 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article presents an overview of the history of Caribbean archaeological carbon and nitrogen stable isotope studies, a history that is paradoxically notable both for the precociousness of its first appearance and the subsequent dearth of large and meaningful studies. It provides a synopsis of the methodological underpinnings of paleodietary reconstruction by stable isotope analysis and discusses some of the unique challenges encountered in the use of this technique in Caribbean contexts. After reviewing some of the more meaningful studies of Caribbean archaeological materials, the article concludes with some thoughts on future prospects for the use of C and N stable isotope analysis for paleodietary reconstruction in archaeological research in the Caribbean Basin.

Keywords: Caribbean isotopic studies, carbon isotope, nitrogen isotope, archaeological research, Caribbean Basin

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