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The fish of Fort Morris: A GIS-based study of human-environment interaction during the American Revolutionary War

Author(s): Ryan Kennedy ; Guido Pazzarossi ; Tamar Brendzel

Year: 2017

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Summary

Situated at the mouth of the Medway River in coastal Georgia, Fort Morris provided protection for the bustling port city of Sunbury. During the Revolutionary War the fort was first controlled by American forces and later by the British, and while the fort’s history is well-known in local lore archaeological analyses are shedding new light on everyday life at the site. This paper draws on the identification of fish bones to provide an inventory of the fish taxa consumed by soldiers at the fort on both sides of the conflict. Because soldiers often collected fish while on patrol or in their spare time, the taxa present can provide substantial clues to reconstructing movement and food collection in the past. We present GIS-based analyses that link the identified fish taxa and their respective biological and environmental needs to bodies of fresh, brackish, and marine water in the vicinity of the fort. We combine these data with least cost path and viewshed analyses to understand soldier movement near Fort Morris during a time of war. Ultimately, we demonstrate how something as simple as fish bones from the garbage of Revolutionary War soldiers can directly reconstruct their physical movements through past landscape.


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The fish of Fort Morris: A GIS-based study of human-environment interaction during the American Revolutionary War. Ryan Kennedy, Guido Pazzarossi, Tamar Brendzel. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430879)


Keywords


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16206

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