Apalachicola Ecosystems Project Fauna


This project presents the results of zooarchaeological analysis of faunal specimens recovered from two sites (1RU18 and 1RU27) excavated as part of a multidisciplinary NSF-funded Collaborative Research Project titled the “Apalachicola Ecosystems Project”, as well as a reanalysis of a zooarchaeological assemblage from the nearby site of Spanish Fort. The Apalachicola Ecosystems Project was co-directed by Thomas Foster, Barnet Pavao-Zuckerman, and Roger Brown.

The objectives of the Apalachicola Ecosystems Project were to (1) investigate how Native Americans maintained social, economic, and ecological viability in the face of substantial and rapid change to the social and biophysical environments, (2) identify the anthropogenic effects of the Creek Indian economic strategies on plant and animal communities, and (3) better understand Native American social, economic, and ecological resilience during the Historic Period.


1RU18: Apalachicola Old Town, Creek, 1715-1757

1RU27: Apalachicola, Creek, 1400s-1600s.

1RU101: Spanish Fort: Located within 1RU27, colonial Spanish, 1689-1691

Both 1RU18 and 1RU27, located in Russell County, Alabama on the Chattahoochee River, are associated with the politically important ancestral Muscogee-Creek town of Apalachicola. Radiocarbon dating suggests that 1RU27 (“Apalachicola”) dates to the 1400s-1600s. 1RU18 (“Apalachicola Old Town”) is known in the documentary record to date to 1715-1757. A single radiocarbon date for this site yielded a mean of AD 1806.5, but this date may not be accurate.

The site of Spanish Fort (1RU101), located within the bounds of 1RU27, was occupied by a small garrison of Spaniards and Apalachee militia from AD 1689 to AD 1691. The short-lived fort was the northernmost Spanish settlement in Eastern North America.


• Barnet Pavao-Zuckerman is the data creator and contact for this project.

• Nicole Mathwich, a graduate assistant at the University of Arizona, began migrating the datasets to tDAR in 2014.

• Andrew Webster, a graduate assistant at the University of Maryland, compiled the resources for this project and uploaded everything to tDAR in 2018.

• Thomas Foster, Barnet Pavao-Zuckerman, and Roger Brown are the co-directors of the Apalachicola Ecosystems Project.

• Tracie Mayfield and Chance Copperstone, then graduate students at the University of Arizona, identified the zooarchaeological materials under the direction of Barnet Pavao-Zuckerman.


Data included on this tDAR project consist of two Excel spreadsheets of zooarchaeological data from the three Apalachicola Ecosystems Projects sites.

Documents on tDAR:

• Copperstone, Mayfield, and Pavao-Zuckerman 2014, "Faunal Remains from the Apalachicola Ecosystems Project" is the faunal report for the three project sites.

Other Relevant Documents:

• Pavao-Zuckerman, Mayfield, Copperstone, and Foster 2018, "'Horned Cattle and Pack Horses': Zooarchaeological Legacy Collections from the Unauthorized (and Unscreened) Spanish Fort" is a Southeastern Archaeology article about the Spanish Fort faunal collections. This article is available at https://doi.org/10.1080/0734578X.2018.1459133

• Foster 2017, "The Identification and Significance of Apalachicola for the Origins of the Creek Indians in the Southeastern United States" is a Southeastern Archaeology article which discusses the recent excavations of the Apalachicola Ecosystems Project. It contains useful maps which depict how the three project sites relate to each other geographically and temporally. It also contains a pottery analysis from the sites. This article is available at https://doi.org/10.1080/0734578X.2016.1187531

• The 2010 reprint of the 1975 book entitled "Archaeological Salvage in the Walter F. George Basin of the Chattahoochee River" by David DeJarnette contains "Part III: Special Investigation of 1Ru 101, the Spanish Fort Site" by Edward B. Kurjack and Fred Lamar Pearson, Jr." Kurjack and Pearson present information on the original twentieth-century excavations of Spanish Fort, including maps and photographs. This book is available at https://muse.jhu.edu/book/1048

Cite this Record

Apalachicola Ecosystems Project Fauna. ( tDAR id: 392857) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8392857

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Temporal Coverage

Calendar Date: 1715 to 1757 (1RU18)

Calendar Date: 1400 to 1690 (1RU27)

Calendar Date: 1689 to 1691 (1RU101)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -85; min lat: 32.184 ; max long: -84.927; max lat: 32.227 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Barnet Pavao-Zuckerman

Contributor(s): Nicole Mathwich; Andrew Webster; Tracie Mayfield; Chance H. Copperstone

Project Director(s): Thomas Foster; Roger Brown

Sponsor(s): National Science Foundation

Source Collections

1RU18 and 1RU27 (Apalachicola): The University of Tulsa 1RU101 (Spanish Fort): The University of Alabama Museums, Office of Archaeological Research.

Related Comparative Collections

Stanley J. Olsen Laboratory of Zooarchaeology, Arizona State Museum, University of Arizona

Resources Inside this Project (Viewing 1-3 of 3)


  1. Faunal Remains from the Apalachicola Ecosystems Project (2014)


  1. Faunal Data from Apalachicola (1RU18, 1RU27) (2014)
  2. Faunal Data from Spanish Fort (1RU101) (2014)