The Burris Bison site: Analyzing patterns of animal use from the Late Archaic period to the Terminal Late Prehistoric period




Wack, Lynn Katherine

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The number of sites with bison present in South Texas increases between the Late Archaic (400 B.C. to A.D. 800) and the Terminal Late Prehistoric (A.D. 1200-1600) periods. Prey models developed under the Behavioral Ecology theoretical approach suggest that increased presence of bison, a high return resource, should result in a narrowing of the diet breadth as less profitable resources are eliminated. Archaeological studies, however, indicate that Late Prehistoric Texans continued to exploit a diverse range of resources. I compare the Late Archaic and Terminal Late Prehistoric faunal assemblages at site 41TV66. These assemblages reveal increased presence of bison during the Terminal Late Prehistoric and an expansion, rather than a narrowing, of the diet breadth. Such a pattern is consistent with a variable use of bison between sites in this area during the Terminal Late Prehistoric period.


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hunter-gatherer subsistence strategies, zooarchaeology