Elizabeth J. Reitz
Data from three early European-sponsored colonies in North America indicate that changes in animal use occurred quickly. Over half of the meat from vertebrate sources in a Spanish assemblage associated with the first permanent European settlement on the Atlantic coast (Florida) and a French assemblage from the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico near Mobile (Alabama) are from local, wild animals. The English assemblage associated with Charles Towne (South Carolina) reflects the rapid development of a short-lived cattle industry. Early colonists by and large practised a strategy that combined similar arrays of local wild meat sources with pork or beef regardless of the national affiliation of the colony, the ethnicity of the colonists, or the century in which colonization occurred.
Karen Gust Schollmeyer and Katherine A. Spielmann
Studies of animals in Southwest archaeology have been particularly successful in addressing the social-environmental context of human use of fauna. Two aspects of this topic form the focus of this chapter: understanding anthropogenic effects on landscapes, and human ritual engagement with animals. Studies of fauna and anthropogenic landscape change have centered on topics including garden hunting, anthropogenic vegetation changes, and human impacts on artiodactyls. Investigations of human ritual engagement with animals have primarily included analyses of room and site function (particularly examining ceremonial centers), studies of the emergence of new ritual regimes, and analyses focused on birds in religion. Emerging directions for Southwest zooarchaeology include synthetic analyses, archaeological chemistry, and variation in religious belief over time and space.
Christopher I. Roos
It has been suggested that anthropogenic burning may have altered Southwest landscapes at a large scale. Southwestern biomes vary in their propensity for and their susceptibility to anthropogenic burning practices. Anthropogenic burning to enhance the productivity of wild plant foraging or agriculture was probably limited in scale; on the other hand, fire use in hunting, religious practice, and warfare may have impacted larger scales, though at lower intensity. Middle-elevation forests, woodlands, and grasslands were the biotic zones most likely to be impacted by anthropogenic burning, but sophisticated mimicry of natural fire regimes means that the evidence of such impact is ambiguous.
Scott E. Ingram
This chapter serves as an introduction to and reference for climate–human behavior studies in the Southwest. These studies investigate potential climatic impacts on social change and historical trajectories. To build foundational understanding, a representative climate–human behavior model is presented and evaluated, commonly used paleoclimatic data are detailed, and methods for identifying climate extremes (e.g., droughts, wet periods) in these data are described. Some extreme climate events and the challenge of identifying their influence (if any) on social change are noted. A familiarity with these aspects of climate–human behavior studies is essential for effectively evaluating interpretations of historical trajectories that invoke climatic influences.
Rebecca M. Dean
The Hohokam of Arizona, USA, created one of the most intensive agricultural systems in North America. Their hunting economy intensified along with the agricultural system, but intensification (measured through the diversification of hunting strategies) was mitigated by a variety of processes, not all of which are easily understood by traditional methods of measuring intensification, such as diet breadth models. Hunting intensification was limited by constraints placed on hunters due to agricultural labour needs, and affected by changes in local landscapes for agricultural purposes. The hunting behaviour of the Hohokam cannot be understood solely in its own terms, as a product of optimal decision-making based on the availability of prey in the landscape at large. Rather, decisions were contextualized within the constraints of the social and labour organization of the agricultural system, and were contingent on the changes that had been made to that landscape as a result of agricultural demands.
Andrew I. Duff, Judith A. Habicht-Mauche, and M. Steven Shackley
This chapter discusses the procurement of clay, temper, and mineral pigments (including lead) used to make pottery, as well as tool stone, salt, and turquoise, by people in the Southwest. This chapter also discusses the distribution of these minerals and the analytical means used by archaeologists to source them. Some of these materials were available near residences, while others were located at greater distances, requiring trade relationships or sojourns to acquire. When resources were procured from considerable distances, their procurement was often enmeshed in ritual. The procurement and circulation of these resources are critical to models of social, political, and economic interaction in Southwest archaeology.
This chapter discusses wetland archaeology in Canada. It first summarizes the intellectual and sociopolitical context that affects where and how Canadian archaeologists conduct research, and then describes the human use of wetlands in antiquity, covering settlements, resource procurement locations, and transportation sites. Next, the chapter presents examples that illustrate how wetland archaeology in Canada has been integrated into research. The examples reflect different regions, ages, and site types. They include research addressing the antiquity of technologies and cultural activities, cultural attribution of archaeological remains, and adaptation to the natural environment.
Suzanne K. Fish and Karen R. Adams
Beginning 4,000 or more years ago in the U.S. Southwest and Mexican Northwest, the most varied and sustained interactions between regional inhabitants and the plants of their environments took place within the context of agricultural economies. Even though a recurrent paradigm portrays the Southwest/Northwest as harsh and agriculturally marginal, the region is rich in the archaeological legacy of Indigenous cultivators who produced harvests over three and a half millennia. In recent decades, a finer focus on analytical details, as well as broader comparative approaches to the archaeological record of plants, has expanded the roster of regional crops and culturally enhanced resources, illuminated the nature and scope of culturally modified environments, and explored the roles of plants in a range of economic and social transactions.
Heather A. Lapham
This chapter highlights zooarchaeology’s contribution to our understanding of the trade in animal pelts (furs, skins, and hides) that flourished between Native Americans and Europeans in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in eastern North America. Hides from white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) dominated exchanges in the southern trades, whereas the northern trades focused mainly on acquiring pelts from American beaver (Castor canadensis) and other fur-bearing animals. Zooarchaeological signatures of hunting to procure deerskins for commercial trade are outlined on the basis of evidence from Native American animal economies in southwestern Virginia. A case study focused on early historic-period Susquehannock deer hunting and beaver harvesting in south-central Pennsylvania is then presented.
John D. Speth
For the past 13,000 years Indians in the North American Great Plains hunted bison (Bison bison and B. antiquus) in large communally organized drive operations. This chapter briefly describes the taxonomy of fossil and living bison, the behaviour of modern bison, and what is known from ethnohistoric and archaeological sources about the ways that Indians conducted these drives, including the use of foot surrounds, cliff jumps, arroyo traps, and pounds (corrals). The chapter concludes by considering whether such drives were conducted annually in the late fall and/or early winter as a means of winter provisioning; or instead were conducted periodically, but not necessarily annually, and at many different times of year, as a socio-political mechanism for integrating otherwise widely dispersed and highly mobile hunting bands.
Gregory G. Monks
The Northwest Coast of North America (NWC) is a culture area that extends from the Klamath River in northern California to Yakutat Bay in southeastern Alaska. The area’s topography varies from a relatively linear open Pacific shoreline in Oregon and Washington to a highly irregular shoreline of islands, archipelagos, and fjords with mountains often descending precipitously into the sea. Archaeology on the Northwest Coast of North America has a relatively short history, and zooarchaeology has an even shorter one. This paper presents a summary of that history for the pre-contact period, traces the research that has been done to date and suggests some directions for future studies.