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Trends and Traditions in Southeastern Zooarchaeology

Tanya M. Peres

Publication Year: 2014

While most works of southeastern archaeology focus on stone artifacts or ceramics, this volume is the first to bring together past and current trends in zooarchaeological studies. Faunal reports are often relegated to appendices and not synthesized with the rest of the archaeological data, but Trends and Traditions in Southeastern Zooarchaeology calls attention to the diversity of information that faunal remains can reveal about rituals, ideologies, socio-economic organization, trade, and past environments.

These essays, by leading practitioners in this developing field, highlight the differences between the archaeological focus on animals as the food source of their time and the belief among zooarchaeologists that animals represent a far more complex ecology. With broad methodological and interpretive analysis of sites throughout the region, the essays range in topic from the enduring symbolism of shells for more than 5,000 years to the domesticated dog cemeteries of Spirit Hill in Jackson County, Alabama, and to the subsistence strategies of Confederate soldiers at the Florence Stockade in South Carolina.

Ultimately challenging traditional concepts of the roles animals have played in the social and economic development of southeastern cultures, this book is a groundbreaking and seminal archaeological study.

Published by: University Press of Florida

Series: Florida Museum of Natural History: Riple


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Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-vi


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pp. vii-viii

List of Figures

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pp. ix-x

List of Tables

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pp. xi-xii

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pp. xiii-xiv

The idea for this volume grew out of my teaching and research experiences at the university level. I organized a symposium for the 2010 Southeastern Archaeology Conference to highlight the innovative and interesting research being conducted by zooarchaeologists working in the southeastern...

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pp. xv-xvi

This volume was wrangled into its final form by me, but not without the assistance, guidance, patience, and counsel of numerous colleagues, friends, and family members. The original symposium at the 2010 Southeastern Archaeological Conference, although scheduled for the dreaded...

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1. Introduction

Tanya M. Peres

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pp. 1-23

The primary goal of archaeology is to interpret past human behaviors based on observations of material culture. Animal remains recovered from the archaeological record aid in the interpretations of ancient resource choices, technological adaptations, cultural continuity, and settlement...

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2. “Som Times I Git a Nuff and Som Times I Don’t”: Confederate Subsistence and the Evidence from the Florence Stockade (38FL2), Florence, South Carolina

Judith A. Sichler

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pp. 24-49

In the field of zooarchaeology, at the most basic level our goal is to understand what people ate in the past. The picture is fleshed out, so to speak, as we add multiple lines of inquiry to put the people behind the food remains. When we are working in the historic time period, one of...

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3. Foodways, Economic Status, and the Antebellum Upland South Cultural Tradition in Central Kentucky

Tanya M. Peres

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pp. 50-79

The earliest recorded historical archaeology in Kentucky was conducted in 1936, when William S. Webb and William D. Funkhouser recorded evidence of saltpeter mining in Menifee County rockshelter sites (McBride and McBride 1990a). Many of the subsequent investigations of Kentucky’s...

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4. Shell Trade: Craft Production at a Fourteenth-Century Mississippian Frontier

Maureen S. Meyers

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pp. 80-104

Craft production has long been identified as an important component in the formation of inequality within chiefdoms and emergent states (Brumfiel and Earle 1987; Costin 1998; Helms 1992; Hirth 1978). Within the Mississippian Southeast, evidence for the importance of craft production...

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5. The Dogs of Spirit Hill: An Analysis of Domestic Dog Burials from Jackson County, Alabama

Renee B. Walker and R. Jeannine Windham

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pp. 105-124

The phenomenon of burying dogs is an ancient and global practice that dates back to at least 10,000 years ago at the site of Ushki-1, in Siberia (Morey 2006), although the domestication of dogs dates back to over 30,000 years ago, as evidenced by sites such as Goyet in Belgium (Germonpre et...

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6. Hunting Ritual, Trapping Meaning, Gathering Offerings

Cheryl Claassen

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pp. 125-160

Native peoples view(ed) animals as other types of people. These people existed before humans and have aided humans greatly. Animals helped create this earth, as is explained in the earth diver story that Hall (1997) dates to at least the Early Woodland. Animal trails became human paths...

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7. Embedded: Five Thousand Years of Shell Symbolism in the Southeast

Aaron Deter-Wolf and Tanya M. Peres

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pp. 161-185

In 1882/83, the Rev. J. Owen Dorsey recorded a description of mourning rituals and war customs among the Kansa, in which he described the contents of a sacred war bundle. This bundle contained five layers of wrappings, in the center of which was a “clam shell . . . brought from ‘the...

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8. Behavioral, Environmental, and Applied Aspects of Molluscan Assemblages from the Lower Tombigbee River, Alabama

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pp. 186-212

In recent decades, shell-bearing archaeological sites have received serious attention from North American archaeologists. This is partly due to the high visibility of such sites, especially those like the Archaic-period shell rings that take geometric forms. The nonrandom distribution of shell at...

List of Contributors

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pp. 213-214


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pp. 215-224

Series Page

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pp. 225-226

E-ISBN-13: 9780813048734
E-ISBN-10: 0813048737
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813049274

Page Count: 288
Illustrations: 10 tables, 19 b/w illustrations
Publication Year: 2014

Series Title: Florida Museum of Natural History: Riple
Series Editor Byline: Jerald T. Milanich See more Books in this Series

OCLC Number: 870646876
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Trends and Traditions in Southeastern Zooarchaeology

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Animal remains (Archaeology) -- Southern States.
  • Excavations (Archaeology) -- Southern States.
  • Southern States -- Antiquities.
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