Re: Early diets

Ele Baker (
Mon, 9 May 94 11:01:45 GMT

>In article <2qc0e3$> (David Darryl Bibb) writes:
>>What would the effect be on the radiocarbon dating of human material which
>>came from someone who ate shellfish? Would the date be thrown off?
>marine shellfish certainly would affect a radiocarbon date on the
>bone collagen of the eater. There is an effect sometimes termed "the
>apparent age of sea water" which requires that dates on shell be corrected
>as they are too old. The amount to be subtracted varies regionally as one
>can see if using the Calib. programme (Minze Stuiver et al)( and it will
>also have cjanged with time). Eating the the flesh of molluscs will have an
>effect roughly proportional to the amount of shellfood in the overall
>protein diet. Excavators of shellmiddens should be aware of this if well
>contextualised burials are obtained which appear to be slightly discrepant
>in dated age compared to the horizons from which they came. FYI in S Africa
>the subtracted time is €400 years.

The Clovis material found in the State of Florida aways seems to date
earlier than the Western Clovis which is found inland. What correction
would be required if one was 12,000 old, lived in Florida and had a 100%
diet of sea food? How about 50% sea food? Does anyone know if the
Florida C14 dates consider this effect.

Tony Baker / Denver Colo.