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Wild animal use and landscape interpretations at Pimeria Alta Spanish colonial sites

Author(s): Nicole Mathwich

Year: 2016

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European livestock accompanied the foundation of Spanish missions and presidios in the arid Pimeria Alta, altering the local landscape and native society. Livestock connected desert farmers to distant colonial markets and providing a new source of protein and grease, but also required new economic, social, and spatial arrangements, potentially affecting the availability of wild animals in native communities near Spanish colonial sites . This paper surveys wild animal presence and diversity at three mission sites and one presidio site for comparison, gathered from recent zooarchaeological data and published sources. In zooarchaeological assemblages, domestic livestock had the highest biomass estimates, however the presence, diversity, and importance of wild animals varied greatly from site to site. This paper explores historical and zooarchaeological evidence to examine the possibilities and limitations of mission sites as proxies for native landscape use and agency in the mission complex. 

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Wild animal use and landscape interpretations at Pimeria Alta Spanish colonial sites. Nicole Mathwich. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Washington, D.C. 2016 ( tDAR id: 434438)


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 466

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