Zooarchaeology and the Development of Colonial Period Archaeology in the Pimería Alta

Date and Time: 
Friday, 18 March, 2016 - 13:30
, Barnet - University of Maryland

Archaeological research on the colonial period in what the Spanish referred to as the Pimería Alta, encompassing present-day southern Arizona and northern Sonora, was somewhat slow to develop compared to other regions. Archaeological and historical research tended to be either biographical or architectural in nature, or was focused primarily on description and particularism. The current blossoming of research that places these colonial sites in broader economic and environmental context is due in no small measure to the growth of archaeofaunal analysis in the region. Zooarchaeological information from Spanish colonial missions and presidios permits examination of regional economic interactions, and connectivities between what used to be characterized as frontier isolates. Zooarchaeological research demonstrates that, through the co-option of O’odham labor, the economies of Spanish colonial missions, mines, and presidios were intimately connected through the production of animal products, including hide and tallow.