Presentation (Project) Title

Investigation of Foodways of the Levi Colbert Prairie

Mentor Information

Diane Wallman (Department of Anthropology)

Presentation Format

Event

Abstract

The field of zooarchaeology is a multi-faceted investigation of human-animal interactions through the analysis of faunal remains on archaeological sites. This research investigates the foodways of those who lived on the Levi Colbert Prairie (LCP), a nineteenth-century livestock farm in Mississippi, through analyzing the faunal remains recovered from archaeological excavations at the site. Through the evaluation of these remains, zooarchaeologists identify the species, skeletal element, and age at death, of the animal, which offer insight into the culture and behaviors of the humans who deposited the remains. My project uses zooarchaeological methods to examine subsistence of the enslaved laborers and occupants of the LCP. Levi Colbert was a Chickasaw leader who had various economic endeavors in northeastern Mississippi. He established the Prairie site primarily for livestock farming, where approximately 40 enslaved people tended to 4,000 sheep, horses and cattle. Unfortunately, little historical documentation regarding the LCP farm exists. Archaeological research conducted at the LCP has recovered various artifacts and food remains that can fill in some of these missing gaps in the historical record. This poster presents the results of the analysis of the faunal remains recovered from the site. The results suggest that most of the remains belonged to domestic animals including cattle, pig and horse that were likely raised on the farm, with a few local wild taxa also identified. These data help to reconstruct the cultural practices of the occupants and enslaved laborers who lived and worked at the Levi Colbert Prairie.

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Investigation of Foodways of the Levi Colbert Prairie

The field of zooarchaeology is a multi-faceted investigation of human-animal interactions through the analysis of faunal remains on archaeological sites. This research investigates the foodways of those who lived on the Levi Colbert Prairie (LCP), a nineteenth-century livestock farm in Mississippi, through analyzing the faunal remains recovered from archaeological excavations at the site. Through the evaluation of these remains, zooarchaeologists identify the species, skeletal element, and age at death, of the animal, which offer insight into the culture and behaviors of the humans who deposited the remains. My project uses zooarchaeological methods to examine subsistence of the enslaved laborers and occupants of the LCP. Levi Colbert was a Chickasaw leader who had various economic endeavors in northeastern Mississippi. He established the Prairie site primarily for livestock farming, where approximately 40 enslaved people tended to 4,000 sheep, horses and cattle. Unfortunately, little historical documentation regarding the LCP farm exists. Archaeological research conducted at the LCP has recovered various artifacts and food remains that can fill in some of these missing gaps in the historical record. This poster presents the results of the analysis of the faunal remains recovered from the site. The results suggest that most of the remains belonged to domestic animals including cattle, pig and horse that were likely raised on the farm, with a few local wild taxa also identified. These data help to reconstruct the cultural practices of the occupants and enslaved laborers who lived and worked at the Levi Colbert Prairie.