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The Archaeological Signature of Stews: Experimental Chopping of Long Bones and Small Fragment Sizes

Author(s): adam heinrich

Year: 2013

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Summary

For decades, small bone fragments have been interpreted as the residues of stews. In international historical archaeology, stew interpretations have often been loaded with portrayals of groups who were enslaved, underclass, and others who had limited access to sufficient or preferable amounts of food. These groups have been depicted as having faced nutritional struggles where they resorted to extracting maximum nutrients from their resources. Others have been pictured making stews that can simmer all day while they were occupied serving away from the hearth. The analyses of these faunal samples have been uncritical and the pattern of small fragment sizes has been better explained as the products of taphonomic processes. This work presents results from experimentally chopped long bones from cows, sheep, goats, and pigs that identify butchery and fracture patterns that can be used as comparisons to help evaluate past stew interpretations and provide a baseline for future analyses.


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The Archaeological Signature of Stews: Experimental Chopping of Long Bones and Small Fragment Sizes. adam heinrich. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Leicester, England, U.K. 2013 ( tDAR id: 428654)


Keywords


Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 227

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