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ARCHAEOLOGY AT THE MODJESKA MONTEITH SIMKINS SITE: FAUNAL ANALYSIS REPORT VOLUME III

Bobby Southerlin Archaeological Consultants of the Carolinas

Jakob D. Crockett, PhD Program Director Columbia Archaeology Program

Recommended Citation Southernlin, Bobby (2013) Archaeology at the Modjeska Monteith Simkins Site: Faunal Analysis Report, Volume 3. Columbia Archaeology Program, Columbia, South Carolina.


Published by Columbia Archaeology Program Freely available online at http://issuu.com/columbiaarchaeology Copyright Š 2016 by Columbia Archaeology Program This is an open access document, licensed under a Creative Commons By Attribution Share Alike license. Under this license, authors allow anyone to download, reuse, reprint, modify, distribute, and/or copy this document so long as the authors and source are cited and resulting derivative works are licensed under the same or similar license. No permission is required from the authors or the publisher. Statutory fair use and other rights are in no way affected by the above. Read more about the license at creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0

The cover illustration is copyright Columbia Archaeology Program.

Columbia Archaeology Program is a research and education organization dedicated to making contemporary historical thought freely available worldwide. Documents published under the Columbia Archaeology Program imprint are produced through a partnership between the City of Columbia and Historic Columbia Foundation. Columbia Archaeology Program 1601 Richland Street Columbia, South Carolina 29201 USA www.ColumbiaArchaeology.org


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS THE completion of any project is dependent upon contributions from a multitude of individuals. I am indebted to Columbia Major Steve Benjamin, who initiated the Columbia Archaeology Program and has sup ported the program throughout. Financial support came from Hospitality Tax via Columbia City Council. Historic Columbia supported the project with PR, in-kind donations, and by acting as fiscal agent. Bobby Southerlin of Archaeological Consultants of the Carolinas did the faunal analysis. The completion of fieldwork is a direct result of Joseph Johnson’s time and efforts. A multitude of individuals volunteered in the filed and lab. Their hard work, interest and excitement made for a better project. I owe a special thank you to Kelly Goldberg, Don Rosick, Kelsey Hanrahan, Staci Young, Diane Wallman, Chris Judge, and Kimberly Simmons who volunteered their time to make Public Archaeology Days at the Modjeska Simkins Site an outstanding success.


CONTENTS VOLUME III ACKNOWLEDGMENTS...................................................................................................................iii TABLES...........................................................................................................................................vi PREFACE.......................................................................................................................................vii MISSION.................................................................................................................................vii GOALS....................................................................................................................................vii APPROACH..............................................................................................................................vii STRUCTURE OF THE REPORT................................................................................................viii 7 FAUNAL ANALYSIS OF REMAINS FROM THE SIMKINS HOUSE....................................................7-1 INTRODUCTION....................................................................................................................7-1 METHODS.............................................................................................................................7-2 RESULTS................................................................................................................................7-4 DISCUSSION........................................................................................................................7-10 SUMMARY...........................................................................................................................7-11 REFERENCES CITED............................................................................................................7-15 FAUNAL REMAINS PHOTOGRAPHS.....................................................................................7-17

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TABLES 7-1 SUMMARY OF CONTEXTS AND FAUNAL REMAINS FROM THE SIMKINS HOUSE.......................7-4 7-2 VERTEBRATE SPECIES LIST FOR FEATURE 53EE, THE SIMKINS HOUSE...................................7-5 7-3 ELEMENT DISTRIBUTION FOR FAUNA FROM FEATURE 53EE, SIMKINS HOUSE......................7-5 7-4 BONE MODIFICATIONS ON FAUNAL REMAINS FROM FEATURE 53EE, SIMKINS HOUSE.........7-6 7-5 VERTEBRATE SPECIES LIST FOR FEATURE 53H, THE SIMKINS HOUSE....................................7-7 7-6 ELEMENT DISTRIBUTION FOR FAUNA FROM FEATURE 53H, SIMKINS HOUSE.......................7-8 7-7 BONE MODIFICATIONS ON FAUNAL REMAINS FROM FEATURE 53H, SIMKINS HOUSE..........7-8 7-8 VERTEBRATE SPECIES LIST FOR FEATURE 53L, THE SIMKINS HOUSE.....................................7-9 7-9 VERTEBRATE SPECIES LIST FOR FEATURE 53Z, THE SIMKINS HOUSE.....................................7-9 7-10 ELEMENT DISTRIBUTION FOR FAUNA FROM FEATURE 53Z, SIMKINS HOUSE....................7-10 7-11 BONE MODIFICATIONS ON FAUNAL REMAINS FROM FEATURE 53Z, SIMKINS HOUSE.......7-10 7-12 VERTEBRATE SPECIES LIST THE SIMKINS HOUSE, ALL CONTEXTS.......................................7-12 7-13 ELEMENT DISTRIBUTION FOR FAUNA FROM THE SIMKINS HOUSE, ALL CONTEXTS...........7-12 7-14 BONE MODIFICATIONS ON FAUNAL REMAINS FROM THE SIMKINS HOUSE, ALL CONTEXTS.7-13 7-15 COMPARISON OF FAUNAL ASSEMBLAGE FROM SIMKINS HOUSE WITH ESTABLISHED PATTERNS, BASED ON MNI PERCENTAGES (COMMENSAL SPECIES NOT INCLUDED)......................................7-13

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PREFACE FOUNDED in 2012 as a partnership between the City of Columbia and Historic Columbia, the Columbia Archaeology Program (CAP) is a city-wide archaeology research and education organization providing a focal-point for engaging scholarly, professional, and community perspectives on the social dynamics and historical legacies of Columbia’s diverse residents. We are particularly interested in those histories which lie outside the ‘official’ and ‘mainstream’, and those histories which chal lenge our existing ideas and understandings of the past and present. Archaeology allows us to understand the ways in which people made their own histories within the political-economic structures they inherited. Like today, people in the past had differential access to a wide range of oppor tunities and resources. Also like today, most of these individuals never made it into the history books. The result: the majority of people who contributed to the fundamental making of society have been disappeared to the margins by those who could – and can – control the spotlight of his tory. The role of the CAP is to refocus the spotlight of history to illuminate the stories of those citizens whose pasts have been obscured and shadowed. MISSION

To promote alternative histories of underrepresented pasts in ways that challenge our existing ideas of the past and present. GOALS

1. Explore how the histories and experiences of individuals are shaped and informed by larger political-economic, gender, race, age, and class considerations. 2. Use the experience of individuals within Columbia as a lens into what it means to be an American. 3. Create opportunities for individuals to learn and explore the history of Columbia and diverse experiences of individuals within Columbia. 4. Explore innovative methodologies at the intersection of new media studies and traditional cultural heritage management. APPROACH

Despite the number and diversity of preservation-, scholarship-, and outreach-oriented activities that a multitude of stakeholders have enacted in Columbia, there remain gaps in our collective history. These gaps in history are the silenced voices of our neighbors past, disappeared from our narrative landscape by time and intent. Our guiding question behind our mission is simple: If this is your city, where are your stories? A poverty of answers indicates a gap in our collective knowledge and the need to explore an underrepresented past. This report is one exploration of a people and past lost in the shadow cast by

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public historians and their near-exclusive attention to the life and works of Modjeska Monteith Simkins. To this end, the data presented in this report serve as a foundation and launching point for further investigations into the histories and lived realities of the individuals and households who occupied the interior of Columbia City Block 260 from the 1880s to the 1930s. STRUCTURE OF THE REPORT This report is split into three volumes. Volume I provides detailed descriptions of the project, including research design, field and laboratory methodologies, and feature/provenience descriptions. Volume II is a full catalog of all artifacts recovered from excavations at the Simkins Site. To aid in the manipulation and general use of the artifactual data, the full catalog is also presented in spreadsheet form on the enclosed CD. Volume III is an analysis report of faunal remains recovered from the site.

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Faunal Analysis of Remains from the Simkins House Columbia, South Carolina prepared for: Historic Columbia Foundation prepared by: Bobby Southerlin Archaeological Consultants of the Carolinas November 2013

Abstract Faunal remains from the Simkins House in Columbia, South Carolina were examined. A variety of fauna were identified, including wild and domestic species. Many of the remains (especially cow, pig, and large mammal categories) have saw marks, and may have been purchased as cuts of meat from the butcher/market. Chicken appears to have been a significant dietary item, but non-meat yielding body parts (e.g., feet and head) are most common, suggesting a different acquisition, processing, and/or disposal pattern than with large mammals.

Introduction The presence of particular animal remains may reveal much about the subsistence system of which they are a remnant. The species composition of an archaeologically-associated faunal assemblage will indicate in broad terms some of the subsistence techniques that were used, such as the relative importance of hunting verses fishing (Evans 1978; Wing and Brown 1979). The habitat preference and seasonal availability of the species represented may also suggest what habitats were exploited and when during the year. The condition of these biological remains can show evidence of how the animal was caught or how the food was prepared and discarded. The faunal assemblage can not only reveal what animal species were used, but also their relative importance in the diet. There are several methods for determining the significance of faunal remains from archaeological sites. Use of animals for subsistence by humans generally follows a specific activity sequence. For historic site assemblages this sequence would be comprised of the following steps: • • • • • •

Obtain animal - such as through sale, husbandry, or capture (in the case of hunting and fishing) Kill animal and dress carcass Dispose of butchering debris/non-food portions of carcass; this may include reuse of bone for utensil handles, buttons, etc. Cook and/or preserve meat and other elements (e.g., bone marrow, intestines, etc.) Consume meat and/or other elements (e.g., roast, bone marrow, intestines, etc.) Discard food debris

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Each of these steps would be reflected in the faunal assemblage in a variety of ways. This analysis has sought to identify each of these activities, as well as to identify the post-depositional impacts on the recovered bone.

Methods Faunal remains from the Simkins House were examined by Bobby Southerlin, Senior Archaeologist with Archaeological Consultants of the Carolinas, Inc. The analysis was performed using standard zooarchaeological methods. Individual bones were identified to the highest taxonomic level to which they could confidently be assigned. Bones of all taxa were counted and weighed to determine the relative abundance of the species identified. Records were kept on all identifiable elements, noting age, sex, and modifications when present. Age was estimated based primarily on epiphyseal fusion. Three general age classes have been established by Chaplin (1971), who attached specific age ranges to periods of fusion, and Gilbert and Steinfeld (1977), who advocate more general chronological ranges such as early, middle, and late. The Minimum Number of Individuals (MNI) analysis estimated the number of individuals within each taxon represented in the faunal assemblage. The MNI estimate is based on paired elements and age. While MNI is a standard zooarchaeological quantification medium, the measure has several problems. MNI emphasizes small animals over large ones. This is clearly demonstrated by a hypothetical sample which consists of 20 chickens and only one pig. While 20 chickens represent a larger number of individuals, one pig might supply a substantially larger meat yield. A further problem with MNI is the inherent assumption that the entire individual was utilized at the site. From ethnographic evidence and modern grocery store influenced dietary patterns, we know that this is not necessarily the case, particularly in regard to large animals and to where meat was redistributed (White 1953). Additionally, some elements either preserve better due to bone density or chemical composition of the soil, or are simply more readily identified than others and the taxa represented by these elements may appear more significant in the species list than they were in the diet. There are two ways to calculate MNI. The aggregation of all faunal material into a single analytical unit is called the “minimum distinction” method (Grayson 1973), and allows for a conservative estimate of MNI. Alternatively, faunal remains from a site may be divided into multiple analytical units such as individual excavation blocks with MNI tabulated for each analytical unit. This “maximum distinction” method will produce a larger MNI count for the site than the “minimum distinction” method. The maximum distinction method was used in this analysis to determine the site’s MNI. The faunal assemblage was broken into four separate assemblages based on distinct excavation proveniences. Estimates of biomass are made to compensate for problems encountered with MNI. Biomass is an allometric calculation that provides information on the quantity of meat supplied by identified animals. Estimates are based on the allometric principle that the portions of body mass, skeletal mass, and skeletal dimensions change with increasing body size. A given quantity of bone or a specific skeletal dimension represents a predictable amount of tissue due to the effects of allometric growth. Values for biomass calculations are based on data gathered at the Florida Museum of Natural History and the University of Georgia Museum of Natural History (Reitz et al. 1987; Wing and Brown 1979). Biomass and MNI and other derived measures are subject to sample size bias. Casteel (1978), Grayson (1979, 1981) and Wing and Brown (1979) suggest a sample size of at least 200 individuals or 1,400 2


bones for a reliable interpretation. Small samples frequently will generate a short species list with undue emphasis on one species in relation to others. This assemblage does not contain the requisite number of individuals but does contain an acceptably large overall sample to mitigate this bias to some degree. The presence or absence of certain elements in an archaeological sample may provide information on butchering practices and site formation processes. David Landon (1996) describes the butchering process in three steps. Primary butchering is the initial carcass dressing (i.e., skinning, removal of intestines, head and foot elements). The second step involves the initial division of the carcass into major portions, such as hind and forequarters. The third and last step is the division of individual cuts of meat for sale and/or consumption. For this assemblage, identified elements are divided into five categories - head, ribs/vertebra, forequarters, hindquarters, and feet. The head category includes all material from bones associated with the cranium and mandible. The presence of head elements at a site may indicate the consumption of cuts such as the brains or tongue, or the discard of unused refuse from on-site butchery. Vertebrae include the atlas, axis, cervical, thoracic, lumbar, and caudal vertebrae. Forequarters include the scapula, humerus, ulna, and radius. Forefeet include carpals, and metacarpals, elements which do not contain much meat and may be evidence of nearby procurement and butchering. Hindquarters include the innominate, sacrum, femur, patella, and tibia. The hind feet include the tarsals and metatarsals. The fore- and hindquarter categories generally account for the most desirable cuts of meat. The category "Feet" contains phalanges and bones identified as metapodials because they could not be identified confidently as metatarsal or metacarpal. As with head elements, the feet category can also represent butchery refuse, although pig feet in particular are frequently consumed. Modifications to bones can indicate butchering practices as well as site formation processes. Modifications in this assemblage have been classified as cuts, hacks, burns, calcining, grooving, gnawing (rodent or carnivore), and working. Burned bones may result from exposure to fire during cooking or they may have been burned after discard, intentionally or unintentionally. Bone still protected by meat probably will not burn, so burns on shafts probably mean exposure to fire after the meat is removed. On the other hand, burns on the shaft ends may be evidence of roasting. Calcining results when bone is exposed to extremely high temperatures (i.e., in excess of 800 o Fahrenheit) and begins to oxidize (Wing and Brown 1999). This usually occurs when the bones are left in the coals when being burned after discard. Hacks are v-shaped indentations on the bone made by a large blade instrument such as a cleaver. Hack marks are generally indicative of early stage butchery. Cuts are small incisions made across the surface of bones, often during skinning of an animal or during butchering as attempts were made to disarticulate the carcass at joints. Cuts may also have been made as meat was removed from the bone before or after cooking. Gnawing occurs when a bone is either bitten or scraped by an animal. Carnivores, such as dogs, cats, and raccoons, will leave tooth indentations. Rodents will leave striations where the outer layer of bone has been scraped away. Gnawing generally indicates that bones were disposed of in open contexts. Worked bones are those that have been used to produce functional items such as utensil handles and buttons. It is not uncommon for animal remains that are not related to human activity to become part of the archaeological record. For example, mice are frequently present in faunal assemblages often because they were drawn to the disposal areas, and for whatever reason, died there. Animals that are not considered subsistence contributors are labeled “commensal.� For the purposes of this study, the Taxon Anura (frog/toad) is considered to be commensal species. Turtles are frequently identified in archaeological assemblages. Their ubiquity in nature and attraction to disturbed contexts may suggest that they enter a site record through their own behaviors. There are reports that box turtle can be toxic when eaten (Beisaw 2001) but there is also abundant evidence that turtles were heavily exploited as an easily obtained meat source (Reitz and Wing 1999). For this analysis, turtles were considered to be subsistence species. 3


Results A total of 1,097.6 grams of bone were collected from the 2012 Simkins House excavations. In addition, fish scales and eggshell fragments were collected, with total weights of 0.6 grams and 28.8 grams, respectively. The four excavation contexts and their associated faunal assemblages are briefly summarized in Table 1. The faunal collections from these four contexts are discussed individually in the following pages. The final discussion then elaborates on the combined faunal assemblage. Table 1.

Summary of Contexts and Faunal Remains from the Simkins House.

Provenience

Excavation Context

Total Bone Weight

N484 E463 (SE Quad)

Feature 53EE

343.3 grams

N484 E463 (SE Quad)

Feature 53H

495.7 grams

N484 E463 (SW Quad)

Feature 53L

23.7 grams

N484 E463 (NW Quad)

Feature 53Z

234.9 grams

Feature 53EE The faunal assemblage recovered from Feature 53EE consists of 399 bones weighing 343.26 grams (Table 2). This assemblage includes the remains of domestic mammal (cow), wild mammal (rabbit), domestic bird (chicken), reptile (turtle), amphibian (frog/toad), and fish. In terms of bone count, chicken and fish are most common, followed by rabbit. Cow, turtle, and frog bones occur in small numbers. Chicken accounts for the highest MNI with nine individuals being present, followed by fish with six individuals identified. These two taxa account for 75 percent of the feature’s total MNI of 20 individual animals. Rabbit, cow, turtle, and frog/toad bones account for the remaining 25 percent of the MNI. Of the chicken remains, at least one male (rooster) was identified based on the presence of two lower leg bones with large spurs. A number of sub-adult chickens are represented by metatarsus bones with unfused proximal ends. In terms of meat weight, UID Large Mammal accounts for the largest percentage with 43.11 percent. This category is likely comprised of cow bones as no pig remains were identified in this feature. Identifiable cow remains account for an additional 15.65 percent, indicating that 58.76 percent of the biomass in this assemblage is from beef. As an individual species, chicken contributes 25.09 percent (27.22% if the c.f. category is included) of the total meat weight. Fish, rabbit, and turtle are all minor contributors to the total assemblage’s biomass. Frog/toad is not considered a dietary item and was not included in biomass estimates. Element distributions for the Feature 53EE faunal assemblage are presented in Table 3. A total of 232 individual elements were identified. The cow elements include both high and low meat yielding body portions. The rabbit elements indicate that the entire animal was present on the site rather than butchered portions being brought in. The vast majority of the chicken elements are from low-meat yielding body parts, particularly the head and feet. The scarcity of chicken bones associated with high meat yields strongly 4


Table 2.

Vertebrate Species List for Feature 53EE, the Simkins House.

Taxon

Count

Weight (grams)

MNI

Biomass

#

%

Weight (kg)

%

Bos taurus (cow)

3

42.0

1

5.00

6.038435

15.65

UID Large Mammal

36

129.5

-

-

16.63577

43.11

Sylvilagus sp. (rabbit)

29

7.4

2

10.00

1.265635

3.28

UID Mammal

15

6.7

-

-

1.157357

3.00

Gallus gallus* (chicken)

199

87.2

9

45.00

9.679881

25.09

c.f. Gallus gallus

42

5.8

-

-

0.821712

2.13

Testudines (turtle)

1

0.3

1

5.00

0.066019

0.17

Anura (frog/toad)

4

0.06

1

5.00

-

-

Siluriformes, c.f. Ictalurus sp. (freshwater catfish)

12

3.5

2

10.00

0.581608

1.51

UID Large Fish

7

11.6

1

5.0

1.38743

3.59

UID Fish**

51

7.3

3

15.00

0.953436

2.47

UID Bone

-

41.9

-

-

-

-

399

343.26

20

100.00

38.587283

100.00

TOTAL * does not include 16.0 g eggshell

Table 3. Body Region

**does not include 0.2 g fish scales

Element Distribution for Fauna from Feature 53EE, Simkins House. Cow

Rabbit

Chicken

Turtle

TOTAL

Head

1

2

16

-

19

Ribs/Vertebra

-

-

15

1

16

Forequarter

2

1

2

-

5

Hindquarters

-

2

2

-

4

Feet

-

24

164

-

188

TOTAL

3

29

199

1

232

indicates that these bones are butchery debris rather than bones being discarded after on-site consumption of the birds. Combined with the relatively large amount of eggshell recovered from this features (16.0 g), it is very likely that chickens were being raised and butchered in the immediate vicinity of this feature and that the meat was being taken off site possibly for sale.

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Bone modifications noted in the Feature 53EE faunal assemblage are recorded in Table 4. Saw marks are most common and were identified on one cow bone and 19 unidentified large mammal bones. These modifications are indicative of the reduction of the carcass into individual cuts of meat. Exposure to fire resulted in 35 bone fragments being burned or calcined, most of which are from the Mammal and UID Mammal categories. Several chicken and fish bones also show evidence of exposure to fire. The high percentage of burning and calcining on the larger animals bones combined with the lack of rodent and/or carnivore gnawing suggests that food debris was not left exposed but rather was burned after disposal. Relatively few of the chicken bones exhibited exposure to fire or gnawing, suggesting possible burial of the butchery debris or disposal in sealed contexts. Table 4.

Bone Modifications on Faunal Remains from Feature 53EE, Simkins House.

TAXON

Saw

Burn

Calcined

TOTAL

UID Mammal

-

-

11

11

UID Lg. Mammal

19

12

2

33

Cow

1

-

-

1

Chicken

-

2

1

3

c.f. Chicken

-

3

-

3

UID Fish

-

1

3

4

TOTAL

20

18

17

55

Feature 53H Faunal remains recovered from Feature 53H are summarized in Table 5. A total of 175 bone fragments weighing 495.7 grams were collected from this context. Cow, pig, opossum, squirrel, rabbit, chicken, turtle, and fish remains were identified. A possible dog pelvis fragment was also identified. This animal was considered to be commensal. Large mammals contributed the highest number of bones, but chicken bones are most common for those identifiable to species. Bones associated with the other taxa occur in relatively small numbers. A minimum of 11 animals are represented in the Feature 53H faunal assemblage. Chicken is the only taxon representing more than one animal. The MNI for chicken is three, accounting for nearly 27.2 percent of the total number of animals present. Wild animals, including mammals, fish, and turtle, account for nearly half (45.5 %) of the animals present. Domestic mammals, including the possible dog, contribute the final 27.3 percent. The total biomass for Feature 53H is 63.35483 kg. Cow and pig are significant contributors to this meat weight, accounting for 30.74 percent of the total biomass. This figure increases to 53.17 percent of the total meat weight when the c.f. Bos taurus category is added. In this context, the UID Large Mammal bones likely represent either cow or pig, adding another 32.67 percent to the total biomass. Chicken, which accounts for just under 30 percent of the MNI, has 3.56 percent of the feature’s biomass, which increases to 5.79 percent when the c.f. Gallus gallus category is included.

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Table 5.

Vertebrate Species List for Feature 53H, the Simkins House.

Taxon

Count

Weight (grams)

MNI

Biomass

#

%

Weight (kg)

%

9.1

7.077078

11.17

14.21041

22.43

12.39687

19.57

20.7001

32.67

Bos taurus (cow)

1

50.1

1

c.f. Bos taurus

12

108.7

-

Sus scrufa (pig)

6

93.4

1

UID Large Mammal

74

165.1

-

c.f. Canis familiarus (dog)

1

1.9

1

9.1

-

-

Didelphis virginiana (opossum)

3

9.2

1

9.1

1.539604

2.43

Scurius sp. (squirrel)

3

0.8

1

9.1

0.170915

0.27

Sylvilagus sp. (rabbit)

1

0.2

1

9.1

0.049083

0.07

UID Mammal

44

21.6

-

3.319009

5.24

Gallus gallus (chicken)

15

17.6

3

27.2

2.256402

3.56

c.f. Gallus gallus

10

10.5

-

-

1.410205

2.23

Testudines (turtle)

1

0.7

1

9.1

0.11647

0.18

UID Fish

4

0.5

1

9.1

0.108684

0.17

UID Bone

-

15.4

-

-

-

-

175

495.7 g

11

100.00

63.35483

99.99

TOTAL

9.1

Element distributions for faunal material recovered from Feature 53H are summarized in Table 6. Bones from high meat yielding body portions (n=21) are significantly more common than bones from low meat yielding body portions (n=9). This is especially true for chicken, for which several breast, leg, and wing bones are present. The variety of elements for opossum and squirrel suggest that the entire animal was on site. The distribution of pig elements could indicate either the transport of meat portions to the site or the presence of the entire animal. Modifications noted on bones from Feature 53H are summarized in Table 7. Cut, hack, and saw marks were all identified. As noted above, these modifications are commonly associated with butchering and processing meat. Saw marks are the most common modification noted in the Feature 53H assemblage, which suggests that meat portions (probably of both beef and pork) were purchased at the butcher or market and brought to the site. The burned and calcined bones are indicators of burning after discard. A single bone had evidence of rodent gnawing, suggesting the bone may have been exposed on the ground surface, at least for a brief period.

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Table 6.

Element Distribution for Fauna from Feature 53H, Simkins House.

Body Region

Cow

Pig

Opossum

Rabbit

Squirrel

Chicken

Turtle

TOTAL

Head

1

-

1

-

2

-

-

4

Ribs/Vertebra

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Forequarter

-

1

1

1

-

11

-

14

Hindquarters

-

1

1

-

1

3

1

7

Feet

-

4

-

-

-

1

-

5

TOTAL

1

6

3

1

3

15

1

30

Table 7.

Bone Modifications on Faunal Remains from Feature 53H, Simkins House.

TAXON

Cut

Hack

Saw

Burn

Calcined

RG*

TOTAL

UID Mammal

-

-

4

2

3

-

9

UID Lg. Mammal

-

-

30

-

4

1

35

Cow

1

-

-

-

-

-

1

c.f. Cow

-

1

8

2

-

-

11

Pig

1

-

3

-

-

-

4

TOTAL

2

1

45

4

7

1

60

*RG - rodent gnawed

Feature 53L Feature 53L yielded the fewest bones of the four features examined, with only 17 bone fragments weighing 23.7 grams recovered. Table 8 lists the identified vertebrate species for this feature. The only definitively identifiable body part was from the head (mandible/dentary) of a rabbit. There are also two possible chicken shaft fragments, possibly from the wing, leg, or foot (metatarsus). The MNI for this feature has been calculated as three, based on the identification of bone fragments associated with a rabbit, a bird, and a large mammal (pig/cow size). The large mammal has the greatest biomass estimate, accounting for 89.29 percent of the meat weight. Seven bone modifications were noted in the faunal assemblage from Feature 53L, all on UID Large Mammal bones. Three bones have saw marks and probably represent items from the market or butcher. Two are burned and three are calcined, possibly from burning as part of the discard/disposal process.

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Table 8.

Vertebrate Species List for Feature 53L, the Simkins House.

Taxon

Count

Weight (grams)

MNI

Biomass

#

%

Weight (kg)

%

UID Large Mammal

14

19.5

1

33.3

3.027131

89.29

c.f. Gallus gallus (chicken)

2

0.8

1

33.3

0.13546

4.00

Sylvilagus sp. (rabbit)

1

1.1

1

33.3

0.227643

6.71

UID Bone

-

2.3

-

-

-

-

TOTALS

17

23.7

3

99.9

3.390234

100.00

Feature 53Z The faunal assemblage from Feature 53Z is summarized in Table 9. A total of 114 bones weighing 234.96 g were recovered. Fish and chicken account for the majority of the bone fragments, although chicken and pig account for the highest weight of any taxon identified. In addition, 12.8 grams of eggshell and 0.4 grams of fish scales were recovered. The MNI for Feature 53Z is nine. This includes three fish, three chickens, one cow, one pig, and one frog. The frog is considered to be commensal. One of the chickens is male (rooster), as indicated from the presence of spurs.

Table 9.

Vertebrate Species List for Feature 53Z, the Simkins House.

Taxon

Count

Weight (grams)

MNI

Biomass

#

%

Weight (kg)

%

Bos taurus (cow)

3

20.9

1

11.1

3.222045

10.6

c.f. Bos taurus

10

107.2

-

-

14.0338

46.0

Sus scrufa (pig)

1

51.6

1

11.1

7.267495

23.8

Gallus gallus* (chicken)

51

42.9

3

33.3

5.07617

16.6

Anura (frog/toad)

2

0.06

1

11.1

-

-

Siluriformes, c.f. Ictalurus sp. (freshwater catfish)

5

0.7

1

11.1

0.126719

0.4

UID Fish, c.f. Morone sp. (bass)

8

1.5

2

22.2

0.256515

0.8

UID Fish**

34

3.7

-

-

0.549849

1.8

UID Bone

-

6.4

-

-

-

114

234.96

9

99.9

30.532593

TOTAL *does not include 12.8 g eggshell

**does not include 0.4 g fish scales

9

100.0


The total biomass for this feature is 30.532593 kg. Combined, pig and cow account for over 34 percent of the feature’s total meat weight. This increases to just over 80 percent if the c.f. Bos taurus category is included. Chicken accounts for 16.6 percent of the biomass. Fish accounts for the remaining 3 percent of the feature’s total biomass The element distribution for Feature 53Z is shown in Table 10. Pig and cow are each represented by one forequarter element, which is associated with high meat yielding portions of the body. Identified chicken elements are associated with both high meat yielding and low meat yielding body parts, but the largest percentage of the chicken bones are feet and head elements. This combination together with the presence of the eggshell suggests that the birds were being raised, processed, and consumed on-site. Table 10.

Element Distribution for Fauna from Feature 53Z, Simkins House.

Body Region

Cow

Pig

Chicken

TOTAL

Head

-

-

5

5

Ribs/Vertebra

-

-

6

6

Forequarter

1

1

1

3

Hindquarters

-

-

11

11

Feet

-

-

28

28

TOTAL

1

1

51

53

Bone modifications identified in the Feature 53Z faunal assemblage are summarized in Table 11. Modifications were noted on 22 bones, and include cuts, saw marks, burning, and calcining. Saw marks indicative of market preparation of individual cuts of meat are most common (n=9), and are primarily present on cow bones. The second most common modifications are the result of exposure to fire (6 burned and 1 calcined). Table 11.

Bone Modifications on Faunal Remains from Feature 53Z, Simkins House.

TAXON

Cut

Saw

Burn

Calcined

TOTAL

Large Mammal (c.f. cow)

1

8

4

1

14

Cow

-

1

-

-

1

Pig

1

-

-

-

1

Chicken

-

-

2

-

2

TOTAL

2

9

6

1

18

Discussion A total of 705 bone fragments weighing 1,097.62 grams were examined during this analysis (Table 12). The remains are from domestic mammals (cow, pig, and dog), wild mammals, (opossum, rabbit, and squirrel), domestic bird (chicken), reptile (turtle), amphibian (frog/toad), and fish (catfish, bass, and others unidentified). 10


Bird bones are the most common in the faunal assemblage (n=319), with all likely being from chickens. Mammal bones are second in frequency, with 255 mammal bone fragments examined. Cow and pig bones occur in relatively low numbers, but most or all of the large mammal bones are from one of these two animals. Fish are represented by 121 bones and bone fragments, and includes bones from catfish and probably bass, and at least one or two other unidentified fish species. The combined MNI from the four features is 43. This includes six domestic mammals (3 cows, 2 pigs, and 1 probable dog) and six wild mammals (4 rabbits, 1 squirrel, and 1 opossum). The highest number of individual animals by species is chicken, with an MNI of 15. Fish have the second highest MNI with 10 individuals represented. Reptile (turtle) and amphibian (frog/toad) each are represented by an MNI of two. The final two individuals are represented by a c.f. Gallus gallus and an Unidentified Large Mammal. Cow and pig provide the greatest biomass, 16.33 kg for cow and 19.66 kg for pig. If we combine these with the probable (c.f.) cow (28.24 kg) and Unidentified Large Mammal (40.36 kg) categories (which are likely from cow or pig) these represent 77.14 percent of the site’s total biomass. Even though chicken has the highest MNI and bone count, the chicken and c.f. chicken categories represent only 14.28 percent of the total meat weight. Fish, which yielded high bone and MNI counts, provides only slightly less than 3 percent of the total biomass. Element distributions for the site are shown in Table 13. High and low meat yielding body parts are present for all taxa. Chicken stands out because of the number of identifiable elements and the preponderance of bones from low meat yield body parts (head, ribs/vertebra, and feet [n=206]) versus high meat body parts (forequarter and hindquarter [n=15]). As previously noted, one possible reason for this disparity is that chickens were being raised and butchered at the site but the cuts of meat were being sold or traded, as well as being consumed. The recovery of eggshell further supports this possibility. Modifications noted on the Simkins House faunal assemblage are summarized in Table 14. Cut, hack, and saw marks are the most common modification in the overall assemblage, particularly on the large mammal bones. It is likely that these bones represent cuts of meat processed by a butcher and purchased at a market or butcher shop by the site occupants. Evidence of exposure to fire is the next most common modification noted. A total of 57 bones were either burned (n=28) or calcined (n=29). These modifications are indicative of the disposal practices of the site residents. Food and butchery debris was burned rather than being left exposed. Table 15 provides a comparison of the Simkins House faunal assemblage with other established faunal assemblage patterns. The Simkins House pattern does not closely match any of the other established patterns. In particular, the number of chickens identified far surpasses any of the percentage for the other patterns.

Summary The abundance of chicken bones, the range of ages (including at least two mature roosters), and the presence of eggshell fragments suggests that chickens were being raised on-site. The prevalence of non-meat yielding parts indicates that initial butchering and discard of the associated debris was conducted on-site. However, the cuts of meat were probably sold or traded, explaining the relative scarcity of meat yielding body parts.

11


Table 12.

Vertebrate Species List the Simkins House, all contexts.

Taxon

Count

Weight (grams)

MNI

Biomass

#

%

Weight (kg)

%

Bos taurus (cow)

7

113.0

3

6.98

16.337558

12.05

c.f. Bos taurus

22

215.9

-

-

28.24421

20.83

Sus scrufa (pig)

7

145.0

2

4.65

19.664365

14.50

UID Large Mammal

124

314.1

1

2.33

40.363001

29.76

c.f. Canis familiarus

1

1.9

1

2.33

-

-

Didelphis virginiana (opossum)

3

9.2

1

2.33

1.539604

1.14

Scurius sp. (squirrel)

3

0.8

1

2.33

0.170915

0.13

Sylvilagus sp. (rabbit)

31

8.7

4

9.30

1.542361

1.14

UID Mammal

59

28.3

-

-

4.232606

3.12

Gallus gallus (chicken)

265

147.7

15

34.88

17.012453

12.54

c.f. Gallus gallus

54

17.1

1*

2.33

2.367377

1.74

Testudines (turtle)

2

1.0

2

4.65

0.182489

0.13

Anura (frog/toad)

6

#0.2

2

4.65

-

-

Suluriformes, c.f, Ictalurus sp. (freshwater catfish)

17

4.2

3

6.98

0.708327

0.52

c.f. Morone sp. (bass)

8

1.5

2

4.65

0.256515

0.19

UID Large Fish

7

11.6

1

2.33

1.38743

1.02

UID Fish

89

11.5

4

9.30

1.611969

1.19

UID Bone

-

66.0

-

-

-

-

705

1097.6

42

100.00

135.62118

100.00

TOTAL

* cf Gallus gallus only bird from Feature 53L, creating MNI of 1

Table 13. Body Region

Element Distribution for Fauna from the Simkins House, all contexts. Cow

Pig

Opossum

Rabbit

Squirrel

Chicken

Turtle

TOTAL

Head

1

-

1

3

2

21

-

28

Ribs/Vertebra

1

-

-

-

-

21

1

23

Forequarter

3

2

2

2

-

15

-

24

Hindquarters

-

1

-

2

1

15

1

20

Feet

-

4

-

24

-

164

-

192

TOTAL

5

7

3

31

3

236

2

287

12


Table 14.

Bone Modifications on Faunal Remains from the Simkins House, all contexts.

TAXON

Cut

Hack

Saw

Burn

Calcined

RG*

TOTAL

UID Mammal

-

-

4

2

14

-

20

UID Large Mammal

-

-

57

14

10

1

82

Cow

-

-

3

-

-

-

3

c.f. cow

1

1

16

6

1

-

25

Pig

2

-

1

-

-

-

3

Chicken

-

-

-

4

1

-

5

UID Fish

-

-

-

2

3

-

5

TOTAL

3

1

81

28

29

1

143

*RG - rodent gnawed

Table 15.

Comparison of Faunal Assemblage from Simkins House with Established Patterns, Based on MNI Percentages (commensal species not included).

Faunal Category

Simkins House

English Barnyard Complex1

Urban Pattern2

Rural Pattern2

Slave Pattern2

Domestic Mammal

12.8

13.6

28.9

17.2

20.5

Domestic Bird

41.0

7.2

19.7

4.1

3.0

Wild Mammal

15.4

17.0

8.1

19.2

24.7

Wild Bird

0.0

20.9

7.6

3.0

2.1

Reptile

5.1

3.0

5.4

13.7

10.4

Fish

25.6

37.0

19.7

38.4

36.6

1 Reitz and Honerkamp 1983; 2 Reitz 1986

Unlike with chicken, there are no indications in the Simkins House faunal assemblage that domestic mammals were being raised at the site. The frequency of saw marks on the cow and pig bones is high. The fine grooves on the sawed bones indicate a band saw was used, as would be expected from a butcher. It is therefore most likely that the site residents purchased prepared cuts of beef and pork from a market or butcher. Further, by comparing the number of large mammal bones with those of meat yielding portions of chicken and the respective meat weights, it is likely that beef and pork were a dietary preference to chicken. The fish remains are comprised primarily of head parts. The presence of these elements, in addition to the presence of scales, indicate primary butchering. Both catfish and bass would be available in local creeks and rivers, and may have been acquired through recreational fishing. Alternatively, the fish carcasses could have been purchased whole and brought to the site.

13


Burning and calcining on the bones in the assemblage was common. These modifications were likely made when the bones/scraps were discarded following both butchery and consumption. Overall, the Simkins House faunal collection indicates that the occupants raised chickens which they butchered for sale or trade. It is possible they also sold or traded the eggs. Doubtless, chicken also contributed to their own diets, although in limited amounts. They purchased (or traded) other meat items (i.e., beef and pork) from a local market or butcher’s shop. Their diet was further supplemented by fish, which may have been caught or purchased at market. Although the wild mammals were likely present at the site incidentally, they could also have been consumed. In summation, this faunal assemblage does not fit either the urban or rural patterns but rather a combination of activities associated with both.

14


References Cited Beisaw, April M. 2001 Turtle Ecology and Feature Taphonomy in the Chesapeake Region. Paper presented at the 2001 meeting of the Society of American Archaeology, New Orleans, LA. Casteel, Richard W. 1978 Characterization of Faunal Assemblages and the Minimum Number of Individuals Determined from Paired Elements: Continuing Problems in Archaeology. Journal of Archaeological Science. 4, 125-134. Chaplin, R.E. 1971

The Study of Animal Bones from Archaeological Sites. Seminar Press, New York.

Evans, John G. 1978 An Introduction to Environmental Archaeology. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, New York. Gilbert, A.S. and P. Steinfeld 1977 Faunal Remains from Dinkha Tepe, Northwestern Iran. Journal of Field Archaeology 4(3):329-351. Grayson, Donald K. 1973 On the Methodology of Faunal Analysis. American Antiquity 38(4):432-439. 1979 On the Quantification of Vertebrate Archaeofauna. In Advances in Archaeological Method and Theory, Volume 2, edited by M.B. Schiffer, pp. 200-238. Academic Press, New York. 1981 The Effects of Sample Size on Some Derived Measures in Vertebrate Faunal Analysis. Journal of Archaeological Science 8:77-88 Landon, David B. 1996 Feeding Colonial Boston: A Zooarchaeological Study. Historical Archaeology 30(1):1-153. Reitz, Elizabeth J. 1986 Urban/Rural Contrasts in Vetebrate Fauna From the Southern Atlantic Coastal Plain.

Historical Archaeology 20:47-58. Reitz, Elizabeth J. and Nicholas Honerkamp 1983 British Colonial Subsistence Strategy on the Southeastern Coastal Plain. Historical Archaeology 17:4-26. Reitz, Elizabeth .J., I.R. Quitmyer, H.S. Hale, S.J. Scudder, and E.S. Wing 1987 Application of Allometry to Zooarchaeology. American Antiquity 52(2):699-713.

15


Reitz, Elizabeth J. and Elizabeth S. Wing 1999 Zooarchaeology. University Press, Cambridge. White, T.A. 1953 Method of Calculating the Dietary Percentage of Various Food Animals Utilized by Aboriginal Peoples. American Antiquity. 38(3), 266-278. Wing, Elizabeth S., and Antoinette B. Brown 1979 Paleonutrition: Method and Theory in Prehistoric Foodways. Academic Press, New York.


Appendix A Faunal Remains Photographs


Rabbit bones, Feature 53EE.

Chicken metatarsus bones, Feature 53EE.


Catfish bones, Feature 53EE.

Unidentified large fish from Feature 53EE.


Cow bones that have been sawn (top: Feature 53H [vertebra]; bottom: Feature 53EE [scapula]).


Pig bones from Feature 53H.


Archaeology at the Modjeska Monteith Simkins Site: Faunal Analysis: Volume III  

Volume III - faunal analysis - of the Archaeology at the Modjeska Monteith Simkins Site Report of Findings. Faunal remains from the Simkins...

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