Goliad ware from Mission Espíritu Santo de Zúñiga (41GD1), Goliad County, Texas: A Rim Sherd Analysis of Functional Attributes

Date
2013
Authors
Bodah, Sara K.
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Abstract

As native groups of the Toyah horizon entered the Spanish missions in Texas, it is expected that their ceramics would show evidence of selective pressures related to increased sedentism and reliance on agriculture, namely corn. It is expected that within the mission setting, jars would be larger and greater in number than bowls due to the substantial amounts of time required to steep corn to render its full nutrition and digestibility. It is also expected that vessels would have thinner walls to cope with the thermal stresses of cooking, namely steeping corn. To examine this expectation, functional attributes of Goliad Plain rim sherds from Mission Nuestra Señora del Espíritu Santo de Zúñiga (41GD1) were analyzed. The results surprisingly deviate from ceramic expectations of mobile hunter gatherers becoming increasingly more sedentary and reliant on agriculture. Specifically the results indicate that all the Goliad vessels types were rather small and uniform in size. Additionally the results indicate that jars do not number significantly greater than bowls and that vessel wall thickness remains rather uniform. This could possibly suggest that the Indigenous mission inhabitants relied on the mission for central food storage and distribution. However to understand the degree to which the Indigenous mission inhabitants depended economically on the mission requires further research.

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Keywords
agriculture, ceramics, evolutionary archaeology, Goliad, sedentism, Texas
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Department
Anthropology