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Northeast Historical Archaeology

Abstract

Test excavations in the summer of 1984 for a resource inventory of Signal Hill National Historic Park, St. John's, Newfoundland, unearthed 1,954 faunal elements from structures built between 1790 and 1945. These were predominantly military buildings, although some were converted to civilian hospitals. Signalmen and their families have lived on the site also. The site, however, was mainly occupied by a British garrison from 1790 to 1870. The faunal remains from the various structures were analyzed as distinct units, and in this article, those from the buildings constructed and used by the British garrison are emphasized. The majority of the bones and teeth were from domesticated mammals with a few avian remains and a surprising 20% local fish. In addition to deducing the soldiers' diets from these faunal remains, those specimens of particular interest to broader issues are discussed.

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