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Plant and Animal Consumption in the Market Street Chinatown, San Jose, California

Author(s): Ryan Kennedy

Year: 2015

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The Market Street Chinatown was a major urban Chinese community in nineteenth century San Jose, California. From 1866 to 1887, the community housed and served as a home base to several thousand Chinese residents and laborers. Excavated in the 1980s, the Market Street Chinatown yielded an incredibly rich collection of material culture as well as faunal and floral remains. This paper examines food consumption and food choice amongst Market Street’s nineteenth century Chinese residents. The author draws upon previously published botanical as well as recently collected faunal data from the site, and, ultimately, shows that Market Street’s residents utilized a combination of traditional and novel plants and animals to construct their diet. This combination of both the familiar and the unfamiliar typifies Chinese immigrant dietary strategies, and this paper explores how this broad pattern played out at the local scale in the Market Street Chinatown.

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Plant and Animal Consumption in the Market Street Chinatown, San Jose, California. Ryan Kennedy. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Seattle, Washington. 2015 ( tDAR id: 433892)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 242

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