Ungulate Bone Fat Exploitation at the Adoption of Horticulture in Western Iowa

Author(s): Meredith Wismer

Year: 2017


Fat in the form of bone marrow and/or grease is a valued resource among foragers, and is more frequently exploited during times of subsistence stress. Risk-reduction in the face of resource stress is one potential theory for why prehistoric people incorporated horticulture into existing hunting and gathering practices. During the Woodland period (2800-1350 BP), the tallgrass prairie region of western Iowa provided a rich environment where numerous prey species could be found, including bison and deer. This paper examines subsistence stress during the adoption of horticulture by focusing on evidence for the utilization of bone fat within highly ranked ungulate taxa present at a selection of Woodland period sites within western Iowa. This research provides one line of evidence from which to examine the underlying factors involved in the shift toward production economies which occurred in later prehistory.

Cite this Record

Ungulate Bone Fat Exploitation at the Adoption of Horticulture in Western Iowa. Meredith Wismer. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430479)

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Geographic Keywords
North America - Midwest

Spatial Coverage

min long: -104.634; min lat: 36.739 ; max long: -80.64; max lat: 49.153 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 17302