Original Articles

Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 59, Issue 1, pp 207-213

First online:

Paleodietary analysis on the prehistoric population of El Hierro (Canary Islands)

  • J. Velasco-V⟹quezAffiliated withDepartment de Ciencias Históricas, Universidad de Las Palmas
  • , M. Armay-de-la-RosaAffiliated withDepartment de Prehistoria, Antropología e Historia Antigua, üniversidad de La Lagana
  • , E. González-ReimersAffiliated withDepartment de Medicina Interna, Hospital Universitario de Canarias
  • , O. Hernández-TorresAffiliated withDepartment de Química Analítica, üniversidad de la Lagana

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In order to deepen our knowledge of the dietary habits of the prehispanic inhabitants of El Hierro, we have determined bone strontium (Sr), manganese (Mn), magnesium (Mg), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), and calcium (Ca) in 52 human tibiae (23 belonging to male and 20 to female individuals) buried in a single burial cave; in 21 modern individuals who served as controls; and in 11 bones of herbivores found at archeological sites of the Canary Islands. Results suggest that females consumed a more vegetarian diet, although site-corrected Sr/Ca ratio of both males and females speaks for a mixed-diet consumption.

Index Entries

Paleodietary trace elements paleodiet bone strontium prehistory Canary Islands