Feasting, Paraphernalia, Tools, or Agricultural Pests?: The Meaning of Artiodactyls at the Marana Platform Mound Site, Arizona

DEAN, Rebecca - University of Minnesota Morris
Shelby SPRY - University of Minnesota Morris

The Marana Platform Mound site, near Tucson, Arizona, was a Hohokam Early Classic period community center (A.D. 1150-1350). Although lagomorphs make up the majority of faunal remains from the site, artiodactyls (deer, pronghorn antelope, and bighorn sheep) are a significant minority in the assemblage. Artiodactyl remains were brought to the site through human agency, but their location of origin and their meaning at the site is far from clear. Artiodactyl meat was certainly consumed, but spatial patterns of artiodactyl bones, cultural modifications of bone, ritual deposits of bone and antler, metric analyses, and bone representation combine to suggest that the meat from artiodactyls was consumed and shared very differently than the meat of lagomorphs, and that the bones (and antlers) themselves were just as important – if not more important – than the meat.