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Term of Award

Fall 2019

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Social Sciences (M.A.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Department

Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Committee Chair

J. Matthew Compton

Committee Member 1

M. Jared Wood

Committee Member 2

Heidi M. Altman

Abstract

This study investigates subsistence strategies used by Native Americans living in coastal Georgia during the transition from the Late Woodland to Early Mississippian period (ca. AD 700 – 1100). Comparatively little subsistence data are available from the time frame on the southern Atlantic coast. Previous studies have focused mainly on archaeological sites representing preceding or subsequent time periods, and few studies of animal-use at coastal sites have used fine-screening methods. This paper presents the analysis and interpretation of invertebrate and vertebrate remains recovered with 1/16-in screens from Late Woodland/Early Mississippian period contexts at Taylor Fish Camp (9GN12), a multi-component site located on St. Simons Island. The study also summarizes previous archaeological projects at the site and presents the results of radiocarbon testing.

Results of the faunal analysis indicate site inhabitants focused their subsistence strategies on shellfish and fishes available in creeks and marshes. Stout tagelus, eastern oyster, ribbed mussel, turtles, sea catfishes, mullets, drums, and killifishes were regular contributors to the diet. Mammals provided resources but to a lesser extent. Zooarchaeological evidence suggests inhabitants regularly exploited nearby estuaries during multiple seasons, and probably employed mass-capture fishing technologies such as nets or traps. The use of 1/16-in screens revealed heavy use of killifishes and fingerling mullets. Comparison with animal remains from nearby prehistoric sites indicates only slight differences in subsistence practices related to location. Evidence collected during previous projects, along with radiocarbon dates, indicate a substantial multi-seasonal occupation of Taylor Fish Camp from the Late Woodland to Middle Mississippian period.

Research Data and Supplementary Material

No

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