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Communal Food Processing and Culture Contact: An Analysis of Plant Foods and Architecture in the Protohistoric North Carolina Piedmont

Author(s): Mallory Melton

Year: 2015

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Summary

Communities cannot be fully identified by their built landscapes; they must also be understood in terms of mundane activities that enact communal bonds. In this paper I use plant remains and pit features to examine communal food processing events at two Protohistoric sites in Hillsborough, North Carolina: Wall (A.D. 1400-1600) and Jenrette (A.D. 1650-1680). By combining a functional analysis of features with a spatial analysis of plants, I have identified two types of discard patterns: larger pits filled with staple foods in public space versus smaller pits filled with mostly supplemental foods in domestic space. Based on these analyses, I present evidence of communal processing activities and examine diachronic change in the types of plants processed. In interpreting these data, I consider why certain foods were processed (and perhaps consumed) in communal contexts by women engaged in food production and how changes in communal food processing relates to the destabilizing effects of European contact on Native communities.

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Communal Food Processing and Culture Contact: An Analysis of Plant Foods and Architecture in the Protohistoric North Carolina Piedmont. Mallory Melton. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 398395)


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Spatial Coverage

min long: -91.274; min lat: 24.847 ; max long: -72.642; max lat: 36.386 ;

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