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Mission Cemeteries, Mission Peoples

Historical and Evolutionary Dimensions of Intracemetery Bioarchaeology in Spanish Florida

Christopher M. Stojanowski

Publication Year: 2013

Mission Cemeteries, Mission Peoplesoffers clear, accessible explanations of complex methods for observing evolutionary effects in populations. Christopher Stojanowski's intimate knowledge of the historical, archaeological, and skeletal data illuminates the existing narrative of diet, disease, and demography in Spanish Florida and demonstrates how the intracemetery analyses he employs can provide likely explanations for issues where the historical information is either silent or ambiguous.

Stojanowski forgoes the traditional broad analysis of Native American populations and instead looks at the physical person who lived in the historic Southeast. What did that person eat? Did he suffer from chronic diseases? With whom did she go to a Spanish church? Where was she buried in death? The answers to these questions allow us to infer much about the lives of mission peoples.

Published by: University Press of Florida


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pp. 1-1

Mission Cemeteries, Mission Peoples

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pp. 2-3


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pp. 4-4


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pp. 5-5


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pp. 6-7

List of Figures

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pp. vii-x

List of Tables

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pp. xi-xii

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pp. xiii-xv

It is a great pleasure to write the foreword to this interesting and fundamental book. It is interesting because it addresses long-standing questions about past population structure and social dynamics using state-of-the art biodistance analysis. It is fundamental because it provides the results of a robust and data-rich research program that builds on a remarkable ...

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pp. xvii-19

I would like to thank all of those who graciously provided me with unpublished field notes and maps and answered unending and highly specific questions about fieldwork that he or she performed many years ago. In particular, I owe a particular debt of gratitude to Rebecca Saunders, Clark ...


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pp. xix-xx

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Introduction: Historical and Evolutionary Dimensions of Bioarchaeological Research

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pp. 1-14

I often counsel students against doing a site-specific dissertation project in bioarchaeology. While such sites certainly offer enough grist for the contextualist’s mill (when they are superlative), the realities of the expectations for academic publishing suggest that a robust data set is needed to sustain a research program through the promotion and tenure process. ...

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1. Life and Death in Spanish Colonial Florida

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pp. 15-40

I begin with a basic question: What do we know about Spanish Florida? The answer, of course, is quite a bit, and in this chapter I summarize (as briefly as possible) the expansive historical and archaeological literatures to provide a broader context for the inferences I offer using intracemetery approaches in the chapters that follow. I first summarize the major ...

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2. Kin Structure and Community Health at Mission Patale

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pp. 41-75

I begin with mission Patale, a rather unassuming doctrina in western Florida. Patale was not the provincial capital and seems to have had little strategic importance for the Apalachee or the Spanish. It was located far from St. Augustine and may have been “frontier” even to Spaniards living at the bustling capital of San Luis just miles away (see Hann 1986).1 But to the people of Patale none of this mattered. ...

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3. Microtemporal Variation in Health Experience at Mission San Martín de Timucua

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pp. 76-126

In this chapter I present an intracemetery analysis of odontometric variation and health experience at the Fig Springs archaeological site, believed to be mission San Martín de Timucua. Analysis of this church complements that of mission Patale in several ways. Both missions date to the first half of the seventeenth century and were located far west of the regional capital at St. Augustine. The major difference between the two is ...

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4. Cemetery Structure after Collapse: Mission Santa Catalina de Guale de Santa María

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pp. 127-164

Although the Apalachee and western Timucua interior was part of the greater administrative effort of La Florida, it was very different ecologically, culturally, and politically from the Atlantic coast of Georgia and Florida. The coast was of critical importance for European geopolitical maneuvering, experienced early and concerted European contact, and ...

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5. The Santa María Mission and the Santa Catalina Ossuary on Amelia Island

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pp. 165-194

Amelia Island (called Santa María by the Spanish) preserves both considerable history in its soils and one of the more perplexing series of skeletal assemblages from Spanish Florida. The island is located fairly close to St. Augustine along a coastline that was heavily raided by the Spanish for slaves beginning in the early sixteenth century (see Davis 1991, 42; Bourne ...

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6. Mission Santa María: The Cemetery Structure of an Early Christian Church

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pp. 195-241

In the previous chapter I discussed the biological identity of the Santa María south cemetery sample. The individuals buried in this church were likely ethnic Timucua and likely lived during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, contra the long-held notion that this sample represents a late mission period (circa 1680s) Yamassee population of recent ...

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7. Mission Cemeteries, Mission Peoples: A Synthesis of Intracemetery Bioarchaeology in Spanish Colonial Florida

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pp. 242-262

This book is defined by its research approach and emphasis on region. All chapters use intracemetery spatial analyses to reconstruct patterns of interindividual variation in Spanish mission churches dating to the (late) sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Paleodietary, paleohealth, and dental phenotypic data are combined to add a new level of inference about ...


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pp. 263-273

References Cited

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pp. 275-295


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pp. 297-304

E-ISBN-13: 9780813048512
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813044637

Page Count: 324
Illustrations: 19 tables, 73 line drawings, notes, bibliography, index
Publication Year: 2013

OCLC Number: 855022923
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Mission Cemeteries, Mission Peoples

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Indians of North America -- Florida -- Anthropometry.
  • Indians of North America -- Missions -- Florida.
  • Indians of North America -- Florida -- Population.
  • Missions, Spanish -- Florida.
  • Cemeteries -- Florida.
  • Human remains (Archaeology) -- Florida.
  • Excavations (Archaeology) -- Floirda.
  • Social archaeology -- Florida.
  • Florida -- History -- Spanish colony, 1565-1763.
  • Florida -- Antiquities.
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