Having Reservations: A Discussion on Recognizing the Dynamic Qualities of "Food" within Archaeological Contexts from the pre-Columbian Caribbean
This is an abstract from the "The Intangible Dimensions of Food in the Caribbean Ancient and Recent Past" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.
Food is a biological necessity, but it is also created and used through culturally defined practices and perceptions, including capture, cultivation, and/or collection, preparation, consumption, disposal, and even secondary deposition. This paper challenges us to think more critically about how we identify, categorize, and interpret the dynamic qualities of "food" within pre-Columbian archaeological contexts. Specifically, we discuss ongoing zooarchaeological analyses of faunal assemblages from MC-6 (Turks & Caicos Islands) and research from En Bas Saline (Haiti) to examine how animal-based food use and accessibility, at two later Ceramic Age sites, played roles in creating contexts of social practice and expression. We consider faunal patterns in terms of site layout (e.g., features, ceremonial architecture, and middens) and explore the ways in which animal-based food was important to ceremonial activities and community dynamics that transpired across diverse physical and culture landscapes. Moreover, we highlight zooarchaeological methodologies to study the archaeology of food, while acknowledging inherent difficulties.
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Having Reservations: A Discussion on Recognizing the Dynamic Qualities of "Food" within Archaeological Contexts from the pre-Columbian Caribbean. Brittany Mistretta, Michelle LeFebvre. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 450602)
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min long: -90.747; min lat: 3.25 ; max long: -48.999; max lat: 27.683 ;
Abstract Id(s): 23876