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Colonial Subsistence Strategies: Resource Use in English Charleston and Spanish St. Augustine

Author(s): Martha Zierden ; Elizabeth Reitz

Year: 2014

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Decades of zooarchaeological research shows that, in the 18th to early 19th centuries, Spanish colonists in St. Augustine and British colonists in Charleston practiced somewhat different provisioning strategies, despite similar environmental conditions. English colonists emphasized cattle and wild game, while Spanish settlers focused on fishes and other marine species. But new analysis from Spanish, French, and English sites in the Southeastern Atlantic coastal plain suggest that this was not the case in the first decades of colonial settlement. Early North American colonists practiced similar strategies in animal use, regardless of national affiliation, and this strategy varied significantly from the host country. These results were unexpected. New research on 17th to early 18th century sites in South Carolina supports this pattern of initial settlement. Dependence on cattle was the signature of early English sites, and the lowcountry diet becomes more diverse through time. In this paper, we consider reasons for this unexpected initial strategy and for the subsequent evolution in provisioning strategy.

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Colonial Subsistence Strategies: Resource Use in English Charleston and Spanish St. Augustine. Martha Zierden, Elizabeth Reitz. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 436889)

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): SYM-35,10

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