Natural Resources, School of

 

Date of this Version

1991

Document Type

Article

Citation

KIVA, Vol. 56, No.3, 1991

Abstract

Four coprolites were excavated with Burial 5 at Ventana Cave. a partially mummified five-year-old child. Two coprolites were granular and dark in color and two were fibrous and light in color. The coprolites are remains of the child's intestinal contents and were submitted for dietary and parasitological analysis. No parasites were found. The fibrous coprolites proved to be remains of highly masticated mesquite pods (Prosopis). The granular coprolites consist of seeds of saguaro cactus (Carnegiea gigantea). Pollen analysis reveals two dietary pollen types, both derived from cactus. No evidence of cultivated plants except for a trace amount of corn pollen was found.

RESUMEN--Cuatro coprolitos fueron excavados con el Enterramiento 5 en Ventana Cave, un niño de cinco años de edad parcialmente momificado. Dos coprolitos eran granulares y obscuros, los otros dos fibrosos y de color claro. Los coprolitos son restos del contenido intestinal del niño y fueron sometidos a análisis parasitológico y de dieta. No se encontró parasito alguno. Los coprolitos fibrosos demostraron ser restos de vainas de mezquite (Prosopis) sumamente masticadas. Los coprolitos granulares consisten en semillas del cacto saguaro (Carnegiea gigantea). El análisis polínico revela dos tipos de polen en la dieta, ambos derivados de cactos. No se encontraron evidencias de plantas cultivadas, con excepci6n de una minima cantidad de polen de maíz.