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Ritual or dietary use? Wild and domestic turkeys at Tijeras Pueblo (LA 581)

Author(s): Cyler Conrad ; Emily Lena Jones ; Seth Newsome ; Hannah Van Vlack

Year: 2015

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Recent work on turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo) in the prehispanic Southwest (e.g., Speller et al. 2010, McCaffery et al. 2014) has highlighted both the long history of domestic turkey use in the Southwest and the concurrent exploitation of the local wild Merriam’s turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo merriami). This new information has added to the ongoing debate over whether turkeys were domesticated for ritual or for dietary purposes. At Tijeras Pueblo (LA 581), turkeys eating a maize-heavy diet (presumably domesticates) and turkeys with an isotopic signature more similar to modern wild specimens (presumably Merriam’s turkeys) have been identified in 14th century contexts. In this poster, we examine the contexts in which these turkeys were found to test the hypothesis that wild and domestic turkeys were treated differently by prehistoric Puebloans.

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Ritual or dietary use? Wild and domestic turkeys at Tijeras Pueblo (LA 581). Emily Lena Jones, Cyler Conrad, Hannah Van Vlack, Seth Newsome. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397478)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -115.532; min lat: 30.676 ; max long: -102.349; max lat: 42.033 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America