Zooarchaeology of Historic Fort Snelling (21HE99) and the Native Ecology of Bdote

Author(s): David Mather

Year: 2018


Animal remains from Fort Snelling in Minnesota provide detailed information about the native ecology of the Twin Cities metropolitan area before it was irrevocably changed by urbanization. This paper presents a case study of the Officers’ Latrine feature, with dated deposits ranging from 1824 to 1865. The assemblage is incredibly well preserved, and includes a significant variety of wild bird remains. These and other animal species reveal aspects of the original upland prairie, floodplain forest and aquatic habitats at the confluence of the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers, an area known as Bdote to the eastern Dakota. Zooarchaeological data are presented in the contexts of historical records, current ecological conditions, and the vast, largely unanalyzed faunal assemblages from significant sites in the vicinity of the confluence. The Officers’ Latrine represents a small subset of the total faunal assemblage from Fort Snelling, and the first to be studied in detail.

Cite this Record

Zooarchaeology of Historic Fort Snelling (21HE99) and the Native Ecology of Bdote. David Mather. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2018 ( tDAR id: 441557)

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Temporal Keywords
19th Century

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): 319