Privy Perspectives: The Zooarchaeology of Urban Mobile and its 19th Century Occupants

Author(s): Stefanie Smith

Year: 2017


Data recovery excavations at Site 1Mb504 in the downtown section of the City of Mobile, Alabama produced a large assemblage of faunal material relating to the 19th century occupation of the surrounding city blocks. By the 1840's, the area was occupied as a residential block including the private homes of merchants, doctors, and other professionals, as well as boarding houses for similar professional classes. In the 1910's, land use began to shift from residential to commercial. By the 1950's, businesses outnumbered residential houses. Faunal material from the site was mostly recovered from the privy features attributed to the original residential occupation of the neighborhood. Zooarchaeological analysis of the recovered faunal material indicated that the average diet was heavily reliant on domestic animals. The consistent presence of wild birds and both freshwater and marine fish suggests that these animals were included as supplementary foods. A comparison of faunal material from privy to privy shows some variety in consumption practices between households.

Cite this Record

Privy Perspectives: The Zooarchaeology of Urban Mobile and its 19th Century Occupants. Stefanie Smith. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429551)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16810