Is the Grass Always Greener?: Examining the Long-Term Impacts of Migration on Subsistence Strategies among Native American Newcomers to the Protohistoric North Carolina Piedmont

MELTON, Mallory - University of California, Santa Barbara

Migration not only has the potential to expose immigrants to immediate security threats from bellicose neighbors; newcomers who remain also face the daily challenges of surviving in unfamiliar and dynamic ecological and social landscapes. Using archaeobotanical, architectural, and bioarchaeological data from the Wall (A.D. 1400-1600) and Jenrette (A.D. 1650-1680) sites in Hillsborough, North Carolina, this paper will examine how initial safety concerns and European contact impacted the subsistence strategies of Native American immigrants to the region. In interpreting these data, I consider why certain foods were processed in these communities by women engaged in food production and collection and how adjusting to a changing social landscape may have influenced the exploitation of wild plants and the production of cultigens over time.