Pocket Gophers as Food? The Zooarchaeological Investigation of An Unusual Woodland Period Assemblage
Author(s): Meredith Wismer
The Rainbow site (13PM91) is a multi-component Middle to Late Woodland period site situated within the tallgrass prairie of northwest Iowa. Excavated in the late 1970’s, the site remains an important example due to its well excavated and substantial faunal collection. The current study focuses on the reanalysis of a concentration of pocket gopher (Geomys bursarius) remains found within the Early-Late Woodland horizon C (AD 550-620). The surprising number and spatial concentration of pocket gopher specimens suggests that humans were responsible for their accumulation. Individual pocket gophers may have had little to offer nutritionally, however, collectively their predictable habits, visibility on the landscape, and fat content may have made them a valuable supplement during lean winter months.
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Pocket Gophers as Food? The Zooarchaeological Investigation of An Unusual Woodland Period Assemblage. Meredith Wismer. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 443326)
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Abstract Id(s): 22159