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Oxygen isotope fractionation between human phosphate and water revisited

Abstract : The oxygen isotope composition of human phosphatic tissues (delta18OP) has great potential for reconstructing climate and population migration, but this technique has not been applied to early human evolution. To facilitate this application we analyzed delta18OP values of modern human teeth collected at 12 sites located at latitudes ranging from 4 degrees N to 70 degrees N together with the corresponding oxygen composition of tap waters (delta18OW) from these areas. In addition, the delta18O of some raw and boiled foods were determined and simple mass balance calculations were performed to investigate the impact of solid food consumption on the oxygen isotope composition of the total ingested water (drinking water+solid food water). The results, along with those from three, smaller published data sets, can be considered as random estimates of a unique delta18OW/delta18OP linear relationship: delta18OW=1.54(+/-0.09)xdelta18OP-33.72(+/-1.51)(R2=0.87: p [H0:R2=0]=2x10(-19)). The delta18O of cooked food is higher than that of the drinking water. As a consequence, in a modern diet the delta18O of ingested water is +1.05 to 1.2 per thousand higher than that of drinking water in the area. In meat-dominated and cereal-free diets, which may have been the diets of some of our early ancestors, the shift is a little higher and the application of the regression equation would slightly overestimate delta18OW in these cases.
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Valérie Daux, Christophe Lécuyer, Marie-Anne Héran, Romain Amiot, Laurent Simon, et al.. Oxygen isotope fractionation between human phosphate and water revisited. Journal of Human Evolution, Elsevier, 2008, 55, pp.1138-1147. ⟨10.1016/j.jhevol.2008.06.006⟩. ⟨halsde-00341152⟩

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