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Zooarchaeology of Three PreHispanic Sites in the Southern Georgia Bight: Evidence for Cultural and Ecological Continuity, Flexibility and Resilience

Author(s): Irvy Quitmyer ; Nicole Cannarrozzi ; Margo Schwadron ; Douglas Jones

Year: 2016

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Summary

Zooarchaeological research in the central Georgia Bight has arrived at a point where human subsistence behavior over space and time can be modeled. Elizabeth J. Reitz and colleagues have offered a testable hypothesis that subsistence rested on three cultural and ecological pillars: continuity, flexibility and resilience. For nearly 5000 years, and possibly longer, resilient estuarine finfish taxa that easily recover from intensive harvest were most frequently exploited, while terrestrial and littoral zone taxa were less commonly consumed. Stochastic processes common to the marine environment and extreme semi-diurnal tides that cycle between two and three meters must have selected for flexibility within everyday subsistence planning. The question arises, do preHispanic subsistence practices represented in the estuaries of the southernmost extent of the Georgia Bight, and points just south, rest on these three pillars? Well recovered zooarchaeological assemblages from Castle Windy (A.D.1190-1420), Turtle Mound (A.D. 1280-1640) and Site 8SL1146 (A.D. 1090-1388) validate this approach to resource use. The assemblages contain core finfish species such as mullet, spot, Atlantic croaker, and hardhead catfish whereas among shellfish, Eastern oysters and coquina clams fill a similar role. The zooarchaeological record documents a rich and stable fishery that was primarily associated with the estuarine system.


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Zooarchaeology of Three PreHispanic Sites in the Southern Georgia Bight: Evidence for Cultural and Ecological Continuity, Flexibility and Resilience. Irvy Quitmyer, Nicole Cannarrozzi, Margo Schwadron, Douglas Jones. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403048)


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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