Constructed Spaces and Managed Species: Niche Construction Theory and "Wild" Turkey Management during the Mississippian Period in the Southeastern United States
Pre-Columbian peoples of the Southeastern United States systematically altered their environment through forest clearing, gardening, terraforming, and urban planning. The end result of these activities encouraged certain native animals like the wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo silvestris) to occupy these constructed and managed environments, especially forest-edges and agricultural fields. The sustained daily interactions between species resulted in a special and complex human-turkey relationship. In some areas of the Americas the end result is evidenced as domestication, while in the Southeastern United States, a unique style of free-range turkey management was in place by at least AD 1250. Working from the theoretical basis of niche construction theory, we bring together the ethnographic and ethnohistoric record of Southeastern Native Americans, biological literature on wild turkeys, and morphometric data from a Mississippian Period (ca. AD 1250-1450) archaeological turkey assemblage to present a more nuanced understanding of the cultural engagement of a not-so wild species.
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Constructed Spaces and Managed Species: Niche Construction Theory and "Wild" Turkey Management during the Mississippian Period in the Southeastern United States. Kelly Ledford, Tanya Peres. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430489)
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min long: -91.274; min lat: 24.847 ; max long: -72.642; max lat: 36.386 ;
Abstract Id(s): 15926