"A feast of meat, a day of sociability": Examining Patterns in Turkey Management in the Cibola Region, AD 1150-1400

Author(s): Sarah Oas; Christopher Schwartz

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "Zooarchaeology and Technology: Case Studies and Applications" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

Recent genetic and isotopic studies highlight important variations in the nature, timing, and intensity of domesticated turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) management practices across the northern U.S. Southwest. While a degree of intensification in turkey production has been associated with widespread settlement aggregation in the 13th and 14th centuries, recent work suggests not all of these turkeys were primarily maize-fed. This paper presents results of the stable isotopic analysis of 40 turkey and lagomorph specimens from Pueblo III and IV period (AD 1150-1400) settlements in the Cibola region of west-central New Mexico. There have been no previous studies of turkey paleodiets in the Cibola region, despite having measures of relative turkey abundance that are comparable to the northern San Juan. The results of our study indicate a widespread practice of keeping captive turkeys that were fed large quantities of maize, even in areas where abundant wild turkey populations might be expected. In contrast with patterns of turkey intensification reported from other areas of the northern Southwest, increased turkey production in the Cibola region—perhaps in association with communal feasting—fits into a larger pattern of simultaneous increases in artiodactyl and turkey procurement, production, and use in the late 13th century.

Cite this Record

"A feast of meat, a day of sociability": Examining Patterns in Turkey Management in the Cibola Region, AD 1150-1400. Sarah Oas, Christopher Schwartz. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 450721)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -124.365; min lat: 25.958 ; max long: -93.428; max lat: 41.902 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 24971