Monday, December 08, 2008

Pre-Columbian chickens, dates, isotopes, and mtDNA

Below is the abstract for the latest in a series of studies involving pre-Columbian chickens in the Americas. The issue is a highly-politicized one.

The article basically defends the original contention of Storey et al. claiming evidence through carbon dating and mtDNA testing of pre-Columbian chickens at El Arenal, Chile. There was a surprinsingly quick response by Gongora et al. claiming to refute Storey et al. on both the mtDNA analysis and the isotope dating.

Unfortunately, I have not yet had a chance to read this article and the Storey et al. defense. The original study compared chicken mtDNA from El Arenal-1 to similarly-dated samples from Kualoa on O'ahu, Anakena on Rapa Nui and in Tonga and Samoa.

Pre-Columbian chickens, dates, isotopes, and mtDNA

Alice A. Storey et al.

PNAS December 2, 2008 vol. 105 no. 48 E99

Recently Gongora et al. (1) stated that their analyses of chicken mtDNA and potential offsets for dietary marine carbon cast doubt on “claims for pre-Columbian chickens” in the Americas. We present additional data supporting the interpretation of Storey et al. (2) showing that evidence for pre-Columbian chickens at the site of El Arenal, Chile, is secure.

Gongora et al. (1) analyzed …