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Beyond Subsistence: Food consumption in the military garrison of San Juan de Puerto Rico from the 18th to 19th centuries

Author(s): Natasha Fernandez-Perez ; Isabel Rivera-Collazo

Year: 2017

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Summary

This case study explores how food consumption in the military garrison of San Juan de Puerto Rico played a role in the negotiation of status and identities during the Spanish colonial period. Since defense of the territories was the primary task, the military tended to have priority to the access of exotic foodstuffs, such as wheat products. Nevertheless, Puerto Rico was quickly relegated to the margins of the Spanish Empire and legal ships ceased to arrive in a constant mode. Thus, we want to explore if the diet of people that lived and worked in this military garrison consisted of locally available or exotic foods, and if there is variation of this pattern throughout time. To answer this, we conducted an exploratory excavation in the kitchen and latrine of El Castillo San Felipe del Morro and took sediment samples for phytolith analysis. Given that these areas are integral to food preparation and excretion, we can expect both to contain food remains. The results of this analysis will contribute to discussions about the relationship between food and status, and discussions about the negotiation of identities.


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Cite this Record

Beyond Subsistence: Food consumption in the military garrison of San Juan de Puerto Rico from the 18th to 19th centuries. Natasha Fernandez-Perez, Isabel Rivera-Collazo. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 428822)


Keywords

Geographic Keywords
Caribbean


Spatial Coverage

min long: -90.747; min lat: 3.25 ; max long: -48.999; max lat: 27.683 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 14527

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