Marine Turtle Consumption at the 17th Century Site of Port Royal, Jamaica

Author(s): Megan C. Hagseth; Grace Tsai

Year: 2017


The 17th century city of Port Royal, Jamaica was one of the most economically important English ports in the New World. Inhabiting the south side of the island, this defensive fortification protected the entrance to Kingston Harbour.  It is well documented that 17th and 18th century ships stopping at this economic center would often provision by hunting marine turtles.  Sold at the west market on High Street in Port Royal, these animals were also consumed locally. This paper aims to identify the roles of marine turtle consumption at this site.  The importance of this taxon in the Port Royal diet is reflected in its abundance in the faunal assemblage.  Analysis of the butchery marks found on the Port Royal turtle specimens informs on the social functions of this food source within the urban context, and reveals details about preparation, butchery methods, and the ways in which turtles were consumed.

Cite this Record

Marine Turtle Consumption at the 17th Century Site of Port Royal, Jamaica. Megan C. Hagseth, Grace Tsai. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Fort Worth, TX. 2017 ( tDAR id: 435373)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections


Spatial Coverage

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

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 152