87Sr/86Sr variability in Puerto Rico: Geological complexity and the study of paleomobility

William J. Pestle, Antonio Simonetti, L. Antonio Curet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The temptation to use biogeochemical techniques to resolve issues of paleomigration is evident and well intentioned. Knowledge of radiogenic strontium isotope baselines in a region of interest is a sine qua non of such archaeological studies of paleomobility. Here, we present the first detailed study of baseline 87Sr/86Sr values for the island of Puerto Rico. The high degree of 87Sr/86Sr variability present in this corpus of modern Puerto Rican bedrock and terrestrial malacological samples (0.70406-0.70909) is a testament to the complex geology of that island. This diversity of 87Sr/86Sr values makes parsing issues of origin a difficult and highly contingent task. Given these complexities, regional studies seeking to assess paleomigration by such isotopic means should proceed with a great deal of caution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2561-2569
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2013


  • Caribbean
  • Paleomigration
  • Paleomobility
  • Puerto Rico

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology


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